I Don’t Understand

Professional Development
I suspect this may make a few people angry, but I felt the need to share. I was recently asked to go through my contacts and put together calls with some technologists for a series of discussions. OK. I thought about what we'd need, compared it to a mental list of people and what I know about their work in my head and started sending emails. I got in touch with people. Everyone was interested in helping out. It was a win. Later... Well, I talked yesterday about reading that blog post by Susan J. Fowler and the confusion it caused. I just don't understand it. Further, I don't understand it on two levels. Level 1 Acknowledging that I'm the most evil, privileged individual on the planet, cis-gendered white male,…
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Confusion of An Old Technologist

Professional Development
As someone who still actively pursues a career in technology, I'm a little on the older side. I got started in tech when a lot of the people I know were still in elementary school. So please understand that when I write the rest of this little... rant. I read the blog post by Susan J. Fowler the day it was posted. I'm not sure where I found it. It's been running around and around in my head ever since, so I'm finally going to write a couple of posts on this. Let's Start With Age There's at least an implication that with age comes wisdom. Well, I'm living proof that's total BS. However, I will agree that with age comes perspective. The modern age has its problems. I've had…
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Still Grateful to Rodney Landrum

Professional Development
So, my blog got hacked. They edited the page where I thanked Rodney for all that he did. I had to remove that post as a part of the cleanup (still ongoing). However, I couldn't let that stand. I've used caching on the internet to track down the original post because that must live on. Here you go Rodney. Thanks again. I recently was honored to take part in the SQL Sons of Beaches Tour. It was a whirlwind of five user groups across the entire state of Florida in five days. I was joined on the tour by Denny Cherry. He and I did most of the presentations (except Tampa where we also had Buck Woody). We were driven from place to place by Karla & Rodney Landrum. I…
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Presentations for SQL Server Beginners

Azure, PASS, PowerShell, Professional Development, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016
[caption id="attachment_2548" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tired from all those blog posts[/caption] For my final blog post in the #gettingstarted, #iwanttohelp series, I decided to curate a set of presentations from the PASS Virtual Chapters. This content is available online. It's free. Most importantly for the person just getting started as a SQL Server data pro, it's good. I'm going to marry each of the presentations with my eleven blog posts in this series. The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server For this one I'm going to recommend Tim Radney's session Understanding SQL Server Backup and Restore. I know Tim personally and guarantee this is a good session. Why Is The Server Slow Jes Borland is a very close personal friend and an absolutely outstanding presenter (and person). She has…
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Book Review: Marshmallow Test

Professional Development
Different people approach their career in different ways. My working assumption, all the time, is that I don't know enough and I'm not good enough. Don't get me wrong, I've got an ego (way too big of one really). I just know that there's room for improvement. It's one of the reasons I read books like the Marshmallow Test. The core concept is simple. You show a kid a treat, a marshmallow. You let them know that they can have that marshmallow right now, or, if they wait, they have two later. Kids who choose to wait, and succeed in waiting, generally do better in life, have better jobs, lower BMI, all sorts of things. It's about discipline and self-control, and even more importantly, delayed gratification. "Yeah, I can something…
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Carpenters vs. DBAs

Professional Development
Let's get the caveat out of the way up front, I work for a tool vendor. If you look around at the tools landscape for the Microsoft Data Platform, it's really interesting. There are a few tools vendors, primarily clustered around monitoring tools, and then there are a bunch of point tools for helping with various aspects of operations against the Data Platform (mostly SQL Server). Some of these are free tools. Some are pay only. Some are a mix. There are variables in the quality of these tools, and I'm sure not going to comment on that. Instead, I find one thing really interesting. Let's step back a bit. My neighbors have both worked as carpenters (well, one carpenter, and one general contractor who also does carpentry). They both…
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How to Convince the Boss to Send You to PASS Summit

PASS, Professional Development
August two years ago I originally posted, Make the PASS Summit Work for Your Employer. After conversations at several SQL Saturdays over the last couple of months, I decided to refresh and update that original content and post it again. I keep hearing how the job market has changed. That companies just don't want to pay for training any more. However, I don't recall any of my employers in the past ever actively wanting, desiring, begging me, please, oh, please, can't you go out to a little training? In fact, for the most part, I pretty much always had to beg the boss to send me out to training. I had to sell it. I don't think that's a new development. Let's review the selling points to help you convince the boss.…
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Speaker of the Month: April 2016

Professional Development
THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL POST! Seriously. My Speaker of the Month for April 2016 is Keith Tate (b|t) and his session at SQL Saturday Chicago called Profiler is Dead, Long Live Extended Events. I actually suspected very strongly from the start of the session that it was going to be good. The reason for this, Keith was having issues with his machine, but he started the session anyway. It was an excellent beginning. Then, he started to talk about Extended Events and use his slide deck to emphasize the points he was making, and it was wonderful. For example, as he talked about the way the number of events has grown in each version of SQL Server since 2008, he used larger and larger fonts with the bigger…
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Do You Teach Azure Data Platform?

Azure, Professional Development
I offer instruction on the Azure Data Platform, and have for about six years, since shortly after it came out. I started using Azure SQL Database (although it had a different name then) Day 1. I know a few other people who don't work for Microsoft, but have been actively pursuing Azure SQL Database, SQL Server on Azure VMs, and pretty much all the Microsoft Data Platform. I'm not counting the BI people who have dived into PowerBI and related tech. The BI people, who are generally pretty smart, jumped on Azure with both feet. I'm talking about the data platform aspect of Azure. The people that I know who regularly teach classes are (in no particular order, sheesh, you people): Karen Lopez(b|t) Denny Cherry(b|t) Jes Borland (b|t) Thomas LaRock (b|t) Joe D'Antoni…
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Leadership Lessons

Professional Development
Not for you, for me. I'm sure you've heard the statement: Praise in public. Criticize in private. I agree with this approach. However, I find it extremely difficult to do. It's one of the fundamental proofs that all leadership, all life for that matter, is about constant practice and discipline. It's not enough to know something. It's not enough to practice something occasionally. To get good at this stuff, you need to practice a lot. Let me tell you about a recent failure on my part. My 17 year old daughter had friends for a sleepover (yeah, they still do that). She makes her own breakfast and starts eating. I remind her to ask her friends what they want. She does so in this really irritated manner. Of course, the…
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