Redgate Community Circle

Professional Development
I am very excited to announce that I will be taking my paid precon content "Tools for SQL Server Query Performance Tuning" and presenting it for free. This is all a part of a new initiative from Redgate Software called Community Circle. Read about that here. I'll be livestreaming the precon once a week on the Redgate Youtube. So, please tune in, every Tuesday at 13:00CDT. Or, you can watch the recordings of the livestream, which we'll host on Youtube, free, forever. Between classes, you can ask questions, make comments, and generally interact through a Discord server I've set up here. We'll be covering a whole slew of topics from Query Store to DMVs, SQL Server Management Studio to Extended Events, Execution Plans and more, lots more. Whether you watch…
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Develop Resiliency

Professional Development
We are all going through some tough times. It's tougher for some more than others. Now is the time when you have to work on being resilient, and it ain't easy. However, there are things you can do to develop resilience. Like most things, it's actually a skill that can be learned. Let's start with a little disclaimer up front. I'm no expert on this topic. However, I do have a few bonafides and I'll share them so you know where I'm coming from. If you don't care, skip to the next section. My Training and Experience In Resiliency Without going into personal details, like everyone, one of my teachers has simply been life. At 57, I've done a few things and been a few places. I've gone through tough,…
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Be Kind

Professional Development
Simply put, we are not always going to agree. Please, take this as someone who was nicknamed "The Scary DBA" for reasons comic and tragic. I've screwed up a bunch of stuff in my career. Yes, some of it was through ignorance of technology. However, most of it was through badly managed interpersonal relationships. I was not always kind. I was not always empathetic. I caused problems on teams sometimes that were just unnecessary. If I had just thought things through, a little, and practiced more kindness, I'd have had a much nicer time of it and influenced people in a more positive way. Now, I read this post by Jennifer Jones. I wanted to get angry at people for not treating her well. But all I could think about…
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Why Don’t People Use Columnstore Indexes?

Professional Development, SQL Server
I saw this question on SQL Server Central the other day and had an immediate, visceral reaction. I know why. Now, before I explain my answer, please, let me reassure you. I get it. You're busy. What I'm about to suggest is not meant as a direct critique of you. It's just an observation of the human condition. Heck, maybe I'm wrong. So, before you write the angry screed about how busy you are and why you can't possibly do what I'm about to suggest, believe me, I already understand. I'm still going to suggest something that's going to make some of you angry. Common Knowledge If you'll permit me, I want to talk about Extended Events before we talk about Columnstore. SIDE NOTE: Standing invitation, any time I'm at…
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Distributing Jupyter Notebooks

Professional Development, SQL Server
If you're working with the Microsoft Data Platform, you should be, at the least, exploring Azure Data Studio as a new tool in your toolbox. One of the big reasons for this is the inclusion of Jupyter Notebooks. For those who don't know, Jupyter Notebooks are an open source documentation tool that lets you combine text and pictures with live code. From this we can talk about runbooks that you can share with people, lessons in combination with videos, presentations, interactive software documentation and lots more. I'm myopically focused at the moment on Azure Data Studio, but there are a lot of other places and ways to create or consume notebooks. However, I'm going to keep my focus. The issue I'm running into, is distributing the notebooks. Where to go…
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Docker, Git and DBATools

DevOps, Professional Development
For those who don't know, last week was the PASS Summit. It's an amazing event every year, but this last week, I saw a ton of indications that our peers are spotting the changing technology landscape largely defined by three tools, Docker, Git and DBATools. None of those indications resonated quite as much as this tweet from Kevin Hill: 3 things I can no longer justify ignoring: #dbatools Git and #Docker for my dev SQL work@cl @sqldbawithbeard @Kendra_Little and @unclebiguns @GFritchey, I blame you 🤪😂There’s more but those are top 3— SQL Cyclist (@Kevin3NF) November 9, 2019 There are a million things to learn about in our rapidly shifting technological landscape, but I think this assessment, especially the way it was put, "no longer justify ignoring" really nails some of…
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You Are A Coder

DevOps, Professional Development
So, you say you're a DBA. I say you're not. You say you're a system administrator. I say you're wrong. We are all coders now. Every single one of us. You are a coder. Put down the brick and let me explain. Automation There was a time when I would give a presentation to a room full of people and ask, "Who is using PowerShell right now?" and get, 15 hands out of a hundred. Last week at SQL in the City in London, the same question came up and most of the room raised their hands. What's changed? Automation. Automate all the things!!! The simple fact of the matter is, anything easy, repetitive, and quantifiable is, has been, or shortly will be, automated. You should not be spending your…
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Well Trained Staff

Professional Development
I've had the opportunity in the last month to do a couple of different consulting visits, one private and one through my employer, Redgate. The goals of each of the visits was different, but I received an impression at each that I want to share. We couldn't be talking about two more different organizations. One is a large, global concern, headquartered in the US (named with permission, ChannelAdvisor, go here to get a job after you read about them). The other was a more mid-sized (although with quite a few more servers, as in hundreds more) concern focused in a single European country. I can't share more detail about the organizations than that. Sorry. Teaching Educated People Going into these, I expected to have to lay a lot of groundwork…
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Passwords = A Good Thing

DevOps, Professional Development
Those my friends are, in my opinion, one of the single most wonderful things on earth, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Now, you may not like those. So, picture your own, special, favorite indulgence. Not a common indulgence either. Something truly lovely and special. Something important to you. Got it? Good. Now, I want you to equate that indulgence, whatever it might be, with the fundamental security of your systems. Let's imagine for just a moment, that you're developing a new system using the ElasticSearch database, one of the most popular data management systems on the planet right now. Did you know, by default, the basic and trial versions of ElasticSearch have security disabled? So, probably, if you're in development, you started with a trial version. If you just moved…
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Certifications are a Bonus, Not A Path to Employment

Professional Development
I've never been terribly shy about my beliefs about IT certifications. I sincerely believe they are largely a waste of time. I do recognize that one thing they do provide is a documented learning path. Having gone through that learning path, you will gain knowledge. Knowledge, I very much believe in. Unfortunately, certifications are not an actual demonstration of knowledge. I also know that for some organizations, having certified individuals gets them partner status and all that entails. Again, this means that the certificate is a bonus, not one of the major qualifications for a given position. If I worked for one of these organizations, I'd go and get certified. Otherwise, why bother? Which Certification Will Get Me a Job in IT? If you've never seen this question before, you…
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