I've been very fortunate to work with a great performance engineering team at my current customer site. Like most companies, each person on the team is evaluated annually and has a set of objectives they work towards throughout the year. The team manager sent out an email this past week that had some great advice in it that I thought was worth sharing. Rather than do an individual session with each person to discuss how things are going a little over mid-way through the year, he made a few suggestions he thought everyone should follow:

Be self sufficient – Many times in our daily tasks we are faced with trying to do things that we do not necessarily know how to do. We might say “It’s in a trigger”, “it’s in the java code” or “I don’t have access” when these areas are not our strengths or not something we typically do. The easy thing to do is to simply get someone else to look at these items. As performance team members we should be the “best of the best”. Which means we should be well versed in all of these areas. When you find yourself faced with this type of challenge, I would suggest that you still try to get the teammate to assist, but at the same time try to gain the knowledge or access so that you will not be dependent on the team member the next time around.

Collaborate, do not deflect – For our team to be successful we will need to collaborate. Collaboration is working together on a shared goal. Collaboration is not simply relying on someone else to tell you what to do. If you are working on an issue and need others assistance, work with them collaboratively, be involved, share the problem or challenge together. A good example, if you need direction on how to do things do not simply ask “How should we do this?”. Instead, think of ways to complete the task, suggest these and ask if there are any additional ways to accomplish the task.

Do not wait on me (or other teammates) – Many times some of you are waiting for me or other team mates for several things. Sometimes these items could be answered by your teammates. In these situations, continue to come to me with your questions. But also check with your teammates. If they know the answer, share it with me and move on. Then we all learn!

Do not get tunnel vision – There are typically several ways to solve any problem or performance issue. Do not get tunnel vision on one solution. Remembering that sometimes the answer is do nothing. Last week I was working on an issue and I was seemingly stuck. After speaking about it with someone and after several emails sharing information with other teams, the answer became clear that we should do nothing. Basically someone else was already working on the issue. But before that point I had tunnel vision. The lesson I learned (which I’m old enough to already know), there’s rarely just one way to solve an issue.

Be accountable – We all work on complex items that sometimes tend to drag on. Be accountable for how long your work items take. Most of us know how long these items should take to complete.

Learn something new every week – If I’m not learning something I am not growing. If we all continue to learn new things our team becomes stronger.

I thought this was fantastic advice and is applicable no matter what your role. The list is a great reminder to work towards self-sufficiency but doing so in collaboration with others...not in a dependent way. Anyway, I hope you find it helpful too!

Stay tuned for my next post in the continuing series on Optimizer Statistics.