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T-SQL Tuesday #115 – Dear 20 Year Old Self

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20 Year Old Self

For my T-SQL Tuesday contribution this month I want to write a letter to my 20 year old self.

Because this months T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Mohammad Darab, who invites us all to write our 20 year old selves a letter and wants us all to share what advice we would give our past selves.

You can find out more about the invite by clicking on the T-SQL Tuesday logo and following the link

I will be honest, this is tough for me. Not because I can’t think of anything, in fact far from it.

For example, if I had given myself advice certain situations it could have had implications for others.

One piece of advice I definitely would have given myself is to quit smoking.

A lot of you who know me in the SQL community might not be aware of this fact. However, when I was younger I was a heavy smoker. Something which I heavily regret.

Anyway, this post is suppose to be fun and not giving out health advice. With this in mind, here’s my advice to my 20 year old self myself.


Dear Kevin

I thought I better write you this letter to give you some advice about what to do after you graduate.

First, try and focus on one specific area of IT to begin with instead of spreading yourself out. I hear SQL Server is pretty good, you can invest more time looking into it.

Remember to keep up to date with all the database stuff you have learned already. It’s all very well knowing dBase and doing stuff in Access.

It’s probably a good idea to remember all that compliance and data protection stuff you have learned as well. Because I get a feeling that will be useful for you.

In addition, remember to do your installations as smart as possible. Take it from me, automation will be a big thing in the future so probably worth looking into doing that.

I know there’s a temptation to go out and enjoy yourself, but make sure you balance it with learning new things. Of course, don’t overdo it as there is more to life than work.

If you get a knockback from somebody for a database job keep pursuing others. Take credit for the hard work you do and the knowledge you pass onto others. Trust me, it’ll work itself out.

In fact, one day you’ll be in a similar position having to turn down people you have interviewed. You might upset a few people with this choice.

However, just remember at the end of the day you’re the one who must answer to people higher up.

By the way you’re probably going to experience a few interesting things during your career. For example, you’ll probably go into the office one Sunday only to find that a colleague has got stuck in a lift (aka. elevator).

In addition, you’re going to get a lot of unusual challenges come your way. Get used to being the guy people turn to for the more urgent and unusual issues.

If you do this, you’ll make a lot of managers and directors very happy. Plus, a lot of very interesting experiences to share which will help others.

In addition, you’ll notice now and again the same trends will come back slightly different. You’ll go from thin to fat clients a fair few times and you’re going to back to Linux more times that you expected.

One last thing, you’ll probably end up working with Dutch people for three different UK companies in a row. I strongly recommend that you get use to that.



Last sentence

I’m sure a lot of you will relate to this, apart from the last sentence of that letter.

Basically I had three unrelated jobs in the UK where I worked with Dutch people. In the end I ended up moving to the Netherlands for another reason.

Final word

Well I hope you all enjoyed reading my letter to my 20 year old self for my T-SQL Tuesday contribution for this month. I had fun doing it and tried to stick to the positives.

I know others will agree with some of this. In addition younger people might get some tips from this.

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