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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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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