Mike Walsh asked a few folks for 4 things they wish they’d have known earlier.
1. You have customers, not users or coworkers. Every person you work with today is a potential reference and a customer for you down the road. Treat them with professionalism and respect.
2. Focus on your customers’ pains. Ask them what sucks, and how you can relieve that pain. Your database server won’t give you a raise for decreasing fragmentation.
3. Keep it short and sweet. Typing a lot doesn’t show off your knowledge – it shows that you don’t respect others’ time. Give them the right information to solve their problems in as little time as possible.
4. Don’t help people for free via private emails. I used to spend hours answering questions for people who can’t be bothered to read the manual. Thing is, they don’t thank you, and they don’t respect your time. Help people in public, under bright lights, at places like Stack Overflow and DBA.StackExchange.com where your work will show up in the search results for the rest of time – thereby helping countless others who have the same problem. These days, when strangers email wanting free help, I use these email templates.