Super w00t!  I just read the most amazing news at

I’ve blogged recently about how small things that the data community does can make a significant difference in the world. The Microsoft SQL Server Team will donate $50, up to $20,000, to the Pragmatic Works Foundation.  The foundation will provide training to returning veterans: SQL Server, soft skills and interview coaching.

We just learned about the Pragmatic Works Foundation, a non-profit that provides free technical training to veterans, the jobless, and underemployed.  In 2012 the foundation will be embarking on a campaign to bring better jobs for returning veterans. The classes will be taught at military base hotspots around the United States and will primarily focus on introductory technical training for SQL Server and soft skill training and interview guidance. At the end of the class, job placement assistance is given to help the veterans find jobs. The cost to train each veteran for a week is approximately $50. 

So, for the first 400 submissions*, the SQL Server team will donate $50 per submission to the Pragmatic Works Foundation. You can submit your #SQLFamily stories to, along with your name and email address. Or, send us a link to your blog or your Twitter handle if you post your story online. We will feature a selection of submitted stories weekly on this blog into the New Year.

I can’t even describe how excited I am that a relatively small number of people, sharing their knowledge and passion with each other, have managed to grow this into something that can touch so many lives.  And that we have more opportunities to make an even great difference in the future.   I can’t wait to read some of the stories!

But we need your help.  Please take 5 minutes to send your #SQLFamily story to so that we can max out the donations for this great cause.  Need some ideas?

  • Have you ever attended a SQLSaturday or User Group and had a discussion about how to solve a problem?  Share it.
  • Have you learned something new by chatting with someone on Twitter? Share it.
  • Have you solved a problem faster by getting help wit the #SQLHelp hashtag? Share it.
  • Did someone in the community help you with a totally non-SQL, non-data problem? (Thanks, again Noel, for that downtown parking space for a week). Share it.
  • Did someone blog about something and it made your job easier? Share it.
  • Have you ever just felt better that others were out there to help? Share it.
  • Have you already blogged about #SQLFamily? Share it.

We need 400 submissions to make this happen.  You have 5 minutes, I know it.   Get your story in now.  Make a difference in someone’s life, right now.

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