Today is the next meme Monday, and the topic is all about what “SQLFamily” means to you.

I first heard the term SQLFamily as a hashtag on Twitter during the PASS Summit last month. I thought it was brilliant, as it described so perfectly how I feel about my closest friends in the SQL Community. We are a family. We don’t always get along, we often fight and bicker with each other over the most inane and ridiculous things, and Mom always liked someone else better than me. At times I can see bitterness and actions that equate to a sibling rivalry. I see all the dysfunctions that most families have.

I also see such amazing things. I see people supporting each other when they (or a family member, like someones son) are ill. I see folks lending a hand to help someone up when they are down. I also see rivals unite, like brothers and sister would, when they are attacked by someone outside the family. We share information whenever possible, and not just information about technology. I’m talking about career information, as in “hey, if you know of someone looking for a job, call me because I’m looking to hire”. You know, just like how you would have Uncle Buck watch your children for a week because, well, he *is* family, right? Yeah, it’s like that.

I also see forgiveness, and lots of it. We aren’t perfect, no family is, and we know it. I can’t imagine where my career as a database professional would be right now if it were not for my SQLFamily. When people ask why I put so much effort into the Community the answer is simple: “I have to, they’re my family, and they taken good care of me before so now it’s my turn to help them.”

And that’s what SQL Family means to me. It means I am part of something much, much larger than I could possibly imagine, and that my role is to help a family member that needs help, no questions asked, even if they are my third cousin twice removed. And if I can’t help, I will make the effort to find someone that can.