Let’s Make September Our Free Community Tools Awareness Month.

Last week, I was reading a brand new article from a Microsoft employee about how you should directly query sys.dm_exec_requests in order to find out what’s running on your system.

Brent Reading Book
“Step 1: get a stone that looks round.”

I lost my mind.

There was a lot of yelling at the monitor.

In the year 2022, nobody should be reinventing the wheel. There are plenty of free wheels available for you to choose from. You’re literally wasting your time if you start from scratch with a boulder and chisel, and then try to turn it into a wheel.

The Microsoft data platform community is amazing, and has been that way for years. There are so many free resources to help you do your job faster, easier, and more accurately.

And sure, I’ve been around for quite a while, and I take for granted that everybody in the database business knows about all this cool free stuff. I’m not talking about the First Responder Kit, either – I’m talking about a stunning list of resources so large that it’s intimidating just to get started.

That’s where you come in.
What do you rely on every week?

In September, I want you to improve community knowledge about one free tool that you rely on every week in order to get your job done.

Your first reaction is gonna be that everybody already knows it, but trust me, they do not. Just by reading this blog post, you’re already ahead of many folks out there who don’t have the time to keep up with the industry. Imagine that you’re talking to a brand new hire at your organization who needs to get up to speed on how you’re able to do your job so effectively.

Pick one of these things to share:

  • Introduce the tool to readers for the first time
  • Tell a story about how it saved your bacon
  • Share a non-default configuration option that you use, and why
  • Write a review – explain what you like about a tool and what you wish was different
  • Compare several free tools that do the same thing – explain the pros & cons of each one
  • Put together a list of learning resources for a free tool – maybe you like the tool, but it isn’t easy to use, and you want to put together a set of links to show a new user where to begin

And there are any number of ways you can share it:

  • Write a blog post (if you don’t have a blog, write on LinkedIn, SQLServerCentral, MSSQLTips)
  • Record a short video
  • Improve the tool’s documentation

You can schedule it anytime you want during September. When it goes live, leave a comment here with a link to it. I’ll post a roundup post, and I’ll set up social media re-sharing so that I can keep driving new folks to your work over time. I’ll be working on it too – most of my September blog posts will be focused on free community tools.

Let’s make sure that nobody in our industry has to reinvent the wheel again!

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