Being a Positive Influencer

Professional Development
I read a lot of self-help and improvement information. I'm always trying to hack my brain or my attitude to arrive at a better, more productive, more useful individual. I suck at it. Positive If you read a lot of these books and articles about how to go about getting better, positivity is one of the most important aspects. That's not to say you should be a Pollyanna. In fact, it's extremely important to be honest with yourself and others. It's more about how you're critical or how you deliver bad news, not whether or not you should deliver bad news. Quick story that happened to me recently. My family and I went to Fort Sumter during our vacation (that's "on holiday" for my friends across the pond). Follow the…
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SQL Cruise: Alaska 2017

Professional Development
We're weeks away from another SQL Cruise. If you've never heard of this before, follow the link to read more. There you'll also find testimonials and suggestions on how to sell SQL Cruise to your boss. I'm going to leave selling it to your boss to you. I want you to consider this. Class Time I'm extremely honored to once more act as one of the Technical Leads. When you look at the people I'm working with, Argenis Fernandez, Andrew Kelly, Allen White and Bob Ward (SQUEEE!), you can understand why I feel this way. I'm as grateful as I can be to Tim Ford for putting faith in me to let me stand next to these wonderful people. I'll do everything I can to prove myself worthy. That means…
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The Choices We Make

DevOps, Professional Development
If you keep your head up and look around you'll see the choices people make all the time. I saw a recent example online in this story about two experiences, shopping at Home Depot vs. Lowes (very minor NSFW warning due to language). I don't want to get into a debate about the two stores. That's not the point. The point is, we all have two sets of priorities that we have to serve. The first set of priorities are the ones immediate to us, the rules and regulations we create and enforce around our jobs. The second set of priorities are the ones that are at least a step removed from us, the service and services we supply to our "customers". Make no mistake, we're all serving customers to…
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Database Fundamentals

Database Fundamentals, Professional Development
One of my favorite things about being a technologist is constantly learning new things, but, this can lead us to forget about the fundamentals. More importantly, in our pursuit of the latest and greatest things, it's very easy for those of us who teach to forget to reach back and pull others forward. With this in mind, I'm going launch a new blog series called Database Fundamentals. Database Fundamentals The goal here is simple. I'm going to talk about the basics. Creating a database. Creating tables.  Inserts, selects, primary keys, and on and on. I have a bunch of material accumulated around these topics. I may as well share it as much as I can. I will continue posting information about all the fun cutting edge stuff I get to…
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Technology Gender Gap By State

Professional Development
This is my first ever guest blog post. Take it away Hazel Garcia. Though the gender gap narrows by the year, there remains a noticeable lack of balance in the professional workplace. This gap reflects in everything from gender-based pay scale discrepancies to the ratio of women to men in the workforce. Interestingly, the gap varies by region, though it significantly impacts the professional gender balance all fifty states. The gender gap displays quite prominently in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, despite a growing number of young female graduates who carry all of the qualifications that their male counterparts possess. Still, highly qualified female candidates in STEM fields frequently find themselves passed over in favor of similarly, or even less qualified male candidates. Despite overwhelming evidence showing the harm…
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The Age of Data and Software Development

Professional Development
I am so excited to be a data professional in the modern era. Yeah, 15-20 years ago, it was cool to be a DBA and a database developer. However, now, it's amazing. Data drives, or should drive, all our decisions. Whether we're deciding how high to set the cost threshold for parallelism, which query we want to tune, or even which product would serve us best, we should be making these decisions based on data. It's not just about getting the average or the min & max, although, those are the start points. Now, you need to start to take into account standard deviation and you probably should learn how to run a regression analysis. All these tools will make you a better more valuable employee. It's not any different…
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Random Blogging Challenge Results

Professional Development
The winner is: Everyone. Hey, the challenge was random. I didn't promise a prize or a winner. Instead, I suggested everyone blog based on an image of the great Tom Baker: In no particular order we have: Persist and Aggregate Index Stats Across Server Restarts by Eric Cobb Nice use of the image, incorporating it into an interesting technical post on how to persist your index usage stats. Useful information since this DMV is reset when you restart the server (or fail it over or...). Good technical blog on a useful topic, data about your system. Working with SQLSaturday SpeedPass by Wayne Sheffield +10,000 points for both using the image well and for the PowerShell. -10,000 points for making me comment on a post about PASS (I'm the EVP of…
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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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