Wednesday, June 11, 2008

MySQL: Improving your skills with Forums

I haven't been a big user of the MySQL Forums till recently.

I'm not sure why - partly because I like to think I know something about what I do ( I just need to remember that there is always someone else who knows more), partly because I have a need to re-invent the wheel as often as possible, and partly because I dont' like waiting around for an answer...

It can be a little overwhelming when you look at the list of all them... Everything from the newbie forum to the forum for creating a custom storage engine. I guess that's what also makes them useful, if you know how to use them to your advantage.

Here's a few of my suggestions/tips towards getting the most out of the MySQL Forums :

  1. The Forums are what we make them. The more you use them, the better they get.
  2. Don't be afraid to answer a post. Sure, test your suggestion if you can, or at least think about it before you post it, but if you've run across the issue before, or have a good idea of where to dig in further, then by all means post!
  3. Don't be concerned about someone else having a better idea.... someone probably will, and that's your opportunity to learn ( this has held me back many times from posting - thinking that someone might have a better answer, so wait for them to post)
  4. Be as precise as possible when posting a question. If you can, include a test case, or a snipit of code.
  5. Include any trouble shooting steps you've already tried in your post.
  6. If you solve your issue, remember to post your solution so that the answer is there when I go looking for the answer to that same issue :)
  7. Be nice... I don't always know what I'm talking about, but at least I'm trying to contribute...
  8. If you post it, everybody sees it... (a note about security, proprietary info, etc)
  9. If you have a lot of experience with one area (say, partitioning...) then add that Forum to your google reader, and try to answer as many posts as often as you can. It will encourage more use of the forum, and help you keep your skills sharp as well!
  10. If you don't get an answer in one Forum, you might want to check another that has a similar subject. ( A replication issue with MyISAM tables might get an answer in the MyISAM forum if one doesn't come out of the Replication forum)
If you have other suggestions - let me know (and especially if you disagree with any of my suggestions....)