Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #105 – Brick Walls

TSQL2SDAY-150x150It’s another T-SQL Tuesday. Thanks to Wayne Sheffield (b|t) for hosting this month. His T-SQL Tuesday challenge is to write about Brick Walls we have faced. (If you are unfamiliar with the T-SQL Tuesday party, check out the website for the full backstory.)

It took me a bit to figure out what to write about for this topic. But that’s not the type of brick wall I want to post about today.

The Brick Wall:

I was working with a highly transactional system. The table with the most writes was also the table with the most reads. To add to the problem, the data being updated the most was the same data we need to read the most. The next set of popular tables, i.e. the next most read and updated tables, had triggers that used the most popular table for some of the data needed. As you can guess, we had a lot of deadlocks in our system. Oh, did I mention that this was running SQL Server 2000?

Continue reading “T-SQL Tuesday #105 – Brick Walls”

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Posted in data modeling, SQL Server

Designing Super Types of Tables

I want to talk a little about database design patterns. When working with a relational database, there are a couple of patterns that exist to help you normalize your data. I think one of the most useful patterns in this is the supertype-subtype relationship.

You don’t see a supertype-subtype relationship defined as such when you’re looking at the physical database. You’ll only see it explicitly in the logical data model. So what is the pattern and how do you know that you have one in your database?

Continue reading “Designing Super Types of Tables”

Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #102 – Giving back little by little

Happy T-SQL Tuesday #102! The challenge for this month is from Riley Major (b|t). His challenge is to think about how we can give back to the community. (Check out his blog invite or the T-SQL Tuesday website to find out more details about this monthly blog party.)TSQL2SDAY-150x150

The list of suggestions that Riley put together is quite an impressive one. It’s a great reminder that there are so many ways to get involved in the community.

I’ve started doing several things on the list over the past year – speaking, taking on the T-SQL Tuesday challenges, getting involved with the local user group – so I’m definitely going to commit myself to doing more of that. Maybe I can “up my game” and submit to a SQL Saturday in a city that I have to fly to or even submit a session to present for a virtual user group or a bigger event like GroupBy or 24 Hours of PASS.

At my new job, I’ve been told there are opportunities to do “lunch and learns” and I’ve been told to encourage my co-workers to join me at the local user group meetings. It’s kind of a no-brainer to do those.

But of all the things on the list, I definitely would love to find a way to pay forward the support I’ve gotten from members of the community to others who need it. A few people have come to me asking for advice or to be sounding board. As happy as I am to help out, I still feel like there’s more that I could do in this area. One concrete thing I think I can do is volunteer to help the first timers at PASS Summit as part of Buddy Program, if they continue that program again this year. But I’m going to keep looking to find other opportunities to help support others as they need it and in general feel like I’m being a better citizen of our #sqlfamily. I know they’re out there, but I just need to find the way that I can contribute.

As I was putting this list together, I realized that these examples are little things that I can do. And that’s OK that they’re little things. I think that’s important thing to note for those who are thinking about how they can start to give back to the community. One of the great things that Riley’s original list proves is that not every way to give back to the community requires big gestures. If you’re not someone who’s comfortable stepping into the limelight or jumping in with both feet (or whatever other catchphrase fits), there are still a lot of behind the scenes ways to contribute. There is a place in this community for that special passion you have and this community wants you to share with us.

Thanks to Riley for hosting this month’s topic! And thanks to all those who are currently doing so much to support our community and those are going to take on the challenge to step up their involvement! And if there is something I can do to help out, please let me know….

 

Posted in SQL Server

Insert Title

Hello LabelI was talking with some people after a user group meeting and over the course of conversation, I was asked what I do. I said my official job title was Senior Database Architect. It then turned to why my blog is called “Deb the DBA” if I’m a database architect. Perhaps “Data by Deb” would be a better name? It’s not the first time the “DBA” part of the blog title has gotten attention. But all of this definitely got me thinking…

As I write this post, my title is no longer a Senior Database Architect. I’m about to start a new job with the title of Senior Database Developer. My title the last time I switched jobs was Senior Database Administrator. Continue reading “Insert Title”

Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #100 – Looking ahead

TSQL2SDAY-150x150It’s T-SQL Tuesday. But it’s not your ordinary, normal T-SQL Tuesday – it’s the 100th T-SQL Tuesday, which is a pretty significant milestone. This month, our host is the creator of this monthly blog party, Adam Machanic (b|t). Adam, thank you for introducing something that has inspired the community for so long.

Our challenge this month is to think about what the world would be like for T-SQL Tuesday #200. I can barely predict what’s going to happen in the next 10 days and I definitely don’t have the insight of “The Simpsons” writers, but I thought I’d give this a try – in terms of databases at least.

Continue reading “T-SQL Tuesday #100 – Looking ahead”

Posted in SQL Server

I Know Nothing – Execution Plan Edition

Just call me Jon Snow, because like him, I know nothing.

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Or at least, that’s how I feel. In many ways, I feel like a light has gone on over my head. Recently, I’ve been looking something that I’ve been working with for a long time and I feel like I’m really able to understand it.

I’m talking about execution plans. I use them all the time. But lately, I feel like I’ve not been using them correctly at all. I always try to go to as many different sessions that cover execution plans to make sure I know how to read them properly. Despite my best efforts, I’m not sure where I went wrong. But I feel like I should share where I’m starting to get things right.

Continue reading “I Know Nothing – Execution Plan Edition”

Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #97 – Learning Goals

It’s the second Tuesday of the month so it must be T-SQL Tuesday! Time to get our learning on.

TSQL2SDAY-150x150Thank you to Malathi Mahadevan (b|t) for hosting this month’s challenge. Her topic is to set learning goals for the new year with a threefold approach:

  1. What do you want to learn? (Specific skills and talents)
  2. How and when do you want to learn? (Methods of learning and timeline on learning)
  3. How do you plan to improve on what you learned? (Putting it to use at work/blogging/speaking)

At a previous job, we once had a professional development session that talked about a couple of different learning styles – aural, visual, and kinesthetic, although I seem to remember this last one being referred to more as a big picture style. (But you can learn more about these here.) I fall somewhere between the visual and kinesthetic side, although it’s much closer to kinesthetic.

I know there is some debate of these styles, but I think this really accurate in terms of how I learn things. I like being an “active” learner because I feel I learn the best when I can actually put things into action. I do like reading blogs or going to see sessions in person because I learn about the things I should know and get the basic groundwork. But it isn’t until I can put them into a real-world scenario that those concepts truly hit home.

Unfortunately, I can’t just hear something and learn it; I need the visual prompts or some form of interaction to go with it.

My biggest problem is always figuring out ways to apply what I’m learning. One of the things on my long-term wish list is to set up better testing for the various projects that I work on that are specific to me and my work. It is the perfect opportunity for me to set up my own automated testing. There are a lot of great tools out there that will help me with this. My goal for this upcoming year is to find a way I can use those and build them into my daily process.

I’m reluctant to be more specific with my goals than this. On the one hand, figuring out how to automate testing does have a lot of moving parts and it’s not a minor thing to implement properly. There is definitely a learning curve to go with it. But it still feels rather broad, especially since I haven’t figured out all the details yet. However, I don’t want to be more specific with more goals because I often find that as soon as I start down one track, something comes up and I wind up in a different direction. The upside to just learning about what the trends are and new functionalities is that just knowing what’s out there has made a difference. I feel like I’m on the right track with this so I want to commit to continuing down that path over the next year.

There is always something new to learn – even for the things that we think we already know. The key is to being open to it, in all the forms that come your way, and figure out how to make it work for you.

Now go out there and keep learning!