The holidays are a time for giving back, and several of us are giving back to the community this year by recognizing some of the best blog posts of 2010.

Happy Holidays from a Leather Merman Drinking a Cosmopolitan

Happy Holidays from a Leather Merman Drinking a Cosmopolitan. Because.

On Thursday the 9th, Jeremiah Peschka (BlogTwitter) will kick things off with his favorite blog post of 2010.  He’ll tag another blogger who will share their favorite, and so on.  That’s all well and good, but before they get started, I’d like to share some of my favorite posts by those bloggers.

Jeremiah Peschka on going to work for Quest – my former managers will be quick to tell you that Jeremiah took over my budget, not my job, and they’re right, but I was excited to see that Quest was still committed to the database community.  I wanted to learn more about NoSQL, but I decided not to go that way in my career, and I’ve really enjoyed reading Jeremiah’s take on various NoSQL systems.  It’s good to get this info from a former SQL Server guy that I trust and respect.

Grant Fritchey on foreign key constraints and performance – Grant excels at writing clear, easy-to-understand start-to-finish tutorials on advanced topics, making tough things seem easy.  If you like that blog post, you’ll love his book.

Dave Stein on paying his own way to the PASS Summit – I met Dave back when he was just starting to blog, and it’s been a privilege to watch him get more involved in the SQL Server community.  I believe that blogging, attending, presenting, tweeting, and volunteering will make you a happier, more fulfilled person, and Dave is proof of that.

Andy Leonard on the drama metaproblem – one of my mentors used to say, “There’s the problem, and then there’s your story about the problem.  Right now, just tell me about the problem, and we’ll talk about your story later.”  I have to deal with this a lot at clients – when the server’s on fire, everybody wants to talk about what led up to the problem.  I’ve had the privilege of working with Andy this year – not on technical issues, but on day-to-day decisionmaking issues that challenge us both personally and professionally.

Erin Stellato on desperately seeking seeks – another good start-to-finish tutorial post with code and screenshots, but it gets better.  The commenters joined in, pointed out tips, and Erin added a followup post.  Bloggers – this is the right way to handle feedback from your readers.  When your readers suggest improvements, you should be thankful, because it’s not every day you get to work with Paul White on your T-SQL!

Tim Ford on a typical geek conversation – in which Tim does a Venn diagram of the things he discussed with Jeremiah Peschka.  These guys are both so witty, so fast, so Dennis Miller before he started coasting.  If you ever get the chance to be in close proximity with these two, just sit back and listen for a while.

Yanni Robel on SQLskills Immersion training – this year Yanni got to attend both SQLCruise and Immersions, and she blogged about what it’s like to attend Immersions.  I liked this because it reminded me of the MCM training, and really, the Immersions course is pretty close to week 1 of the MCM.

Karen Lopez on understanding Generation Y teammates – I’m getting old.  I’d like to think I’m relatively hip (or whatever it is these youngsters call themselves), and I identify with the Gen Y traits in the article.  Earlier in my career, I made sure to be the first one in the office every morning, then leave at least 30 minutes after the clock-punchers raced out the door at 5pm.  Later, after I figured out my body’s best working hours, I started working from 6am to 11am, then 3pm to 6pm.  On days when I get up really early (like 4am), it’s not uncommon for me to call it quits at noon.  This worked out fine as a telecommuter, but for folks who have to show up in the office, they end up looking like slackers even though they’re still busting their humps.

Kendra Little on the “Clammy Seduction of the Print Statement” – I can’t stop giggling when I read that title.  I’ll go on record right now to say that Kendra is going to be one of the most popular speakers on the SQL Server circuit within the next two years.  Attendees will get baited in by her excellent abstracts, and she’s got the charisma to deliver a great presentation.

Crys Manson on heartbeats in Agent jobs – if you’ve got SQL Agent jobs that could run for hours, wouldn’t it be great if you could add a heartbeat step that would record its status in Job Monitor?  (Crys didn’t blog much in 2010, but I’m determined to push her out of her comfort zone in 2011.  (You could also read that as me making Crys uncomfortable, but I’ve already done that in 2010 to everyone I know by wearing a Richard Simmons costume on camera, nothing new there.))  She knows a ton of good stuff and she’s doing killer things at work with SQL Server.  She must share this. Now.

Mike Walsh on the best book ever written – OK, not really – it’s actually a book review of our book, but forget about that for a minute.  Look at the effort he put into writing the book review – examining chapter by chapter, explaining what you’ll learn.  Now THAT is a useful book review.  I aspire to write reviews that complete.

Stuart Ainsworth on the PASS Election 2010 – I linked not just to one post, but to a whole category on Stuart’s blog.  Stuart served on the Nomination Committee, which caught a lot of fire for the process.  Stuart took hours and hours out of his own time to volunteer, then turned around and took hours and hours to craft blog posts explaining what things were like on the inside.  My hat is off to him for his dedication to the community.  He’ll never earn a dollar for everything he did – he did it because he’s passionate about helping and making a difference.

I consider myself very privileged to have been able to read all this material for free thanks to blogs, and even more lucky to have been able to spend time with these people.  I think back to what my career was like before I started getting involved in the community, and I just shake my head.  Twitter, blogs, and conferences have introduced me to some of the finest people in our profession.  I hope to be working in technology for a very long time with these people, building relationships with them, learning what they’ve learned, and enjoying the ride.  Your career is not a sprint – it’s a marathon, and it helps to be running alongside people you admire.  Which brings me to the last post…

Steve Jones on the long road of your career – a transcript of Steve’s keynote at SQLSaturday Baton Rouge.  I read a lot of inspirational, motivational stuff (because I’m lazy) and this post left a mark on me.  I wish I could have been there in person to see the speech.  It’s the perfect 2010 post to leave you with.

And here’s the posts from those bloggers:

Brent Ozar
I make Microsoft SQL Server faster and more reliable. I love teaching, travel, and laughing.

I’m mostly a figurehead here at Brent Ozar Unlimited. My true skills are menu advice, interpretive dance, and reading Wikipedia.
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  1. I’m challenging each of the other authors here to include a photo of the most-embarrassing ornament on their tree, menorah, or Festivus pole when they do their post. I have one that Amy makes me hide at the back of the tree each year. Not nearly as bad as Brent’s gay mer-man though. If you hold it to your ear I bet you can hear Lady Gaga gargling ocean water! (Oh, that’s just her singing.)

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  3. That is a very good list. If it was 13 days of SQL 🙂 , I would reccomend the blogs of Paul White. He has one of the most technically correct blog I have read.

  4. I know I can beat all of you with the most embarrassing ornament on a Christmas Tree, I’m just reluctant to actually put a picture of it on my blog.

  5. Having to post an ornament pic would mean I’d have to drag out the decorations sometime before 25 December though…

  6. When i read the blog title the line “On the first day of christmas Brent Ozar gave to me, a blog for the sql community”

  7. I’m too cool for a tree and ornaments. I guess that changes the day the hubby and I reproduce. 🙂

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  13. So the ornaments I posted aren’t actually that embarrassing…but the number of them are. If people knew that I had 100+ of these It’s a Wonderful Life themed-ornaments….

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  15. I’m sure I must be miscounting… you’ve listed 13 bloggers for 12 days?

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  19. Yep Noel, one of my 2010 favorites too and I refer to that series frequently.

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