I’m sitting in the classroom of SQL Cruise listening to Tim Ford (b|t) explain mechanisms for monitoring indexes. It’s a great class. Earlier in the week I got to hear Jes Borland (b|t) talk about extended events and do a session on wait statistics. I was also lucky enough to listen to David Klee (b|t) talking about systems monitoring, especially around VMs. Argenis Fernandez (b|t) and Jason Hall (b|t) are coming up today. In short, I’ve received some excellent learning while on a boat in the Caribbean. Now, one could argue (and you’d be right) that I’m thinking about positivity because of the nature of the position in which I find myself. Hang on though, I have some additional points.

One of the biggest strengths of the SQL Cruise is the intimacy of the event. You’re not just sitting through a one hour session with David or Jes, Tim or Jason or Argenis (the sessions are two hours anyway) like at a regular event. You’re sitting across from them at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’re going out for drinks. You’re hanging out on the beach. You’re zip lining through the canopy. You’re exploring 17th century fortifications. In short, you get to have nice, long, thoughtful conversations with these people and your fellow cruisers. Positive now? Please bear with me. I don’t mean for this to be an advertisement for SQL Cruise (although…)

For all of the above, I  love SQL Cruise. However, there’s more to it than that.

No, the principal thing I love about SQL Cruise is the extremely high degree of positivity of the people that seem to be drawn to it. Maybe it’s Tim. Maybe he’s just good at pulling together a bunch of people who are incredibly positive. They care about what they do. They care about how they do it. They are unremittingly positive. I think of them as a bunch of happy warriors. They’re fighting with some of the hardest data problems yet don’t come down against their jobs, their lives, or the technology they use. Instead, they tighten their belts, crack their knuckles, get a smile on their face, and tear into the problems with glee. How do I know this? Because I watch them interacting with all the other people on the cruise. They listen with focus and once the problem is defined, you see that smile appear.

It’s so easy to be negative. The world is full of reasons to be unhappy, dissatisfied and disgruntled. Tearing things (and people) down is quite simple and maybe even satisfying in a way. However, negativity is draining. Negativity breeds additional discontent and more negativity. Sooner or later, enough negativity leads to a simple statement, “Eh, what does it matter.” Down that path lies the end of your career.


Be positive. Be energized. Get that smile on your face and rip into that problem. Further, get people around you as much as you can who also will put that smile on their face, will also rip into that problem. Positivity breeds positivity and you’re so much more likely to have fun while getting your work done. Seek out the kind of people who want to help. Talk to people who are going to nod their heads and say “Yes, you can do that” and then will help you figure out how. I mean this not just for technology, but for your career and personal development. Find positive people and positive experiences (like SQL Cruise), that are going to lift you up and in turn enable you to lift your career.

4 thoughts on “Positivity

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