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”

Advertisements
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, 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 T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #99 – My #sqlibrium

TSQL2SDAY-150x150It’s another T-SQL Tuesday. Thanks to Aaron Bertrand (b|t) for hosting this month. (If you want more information about T-SQL Tuesdays in general, read more here.)

Aaron gave us a choice this month – we can either talk about how we keep our #sqlibrium (i.e. work\life balance) or we can talk about some of our own personal additions to his bad habits list. I’m choosing Door #1.

The easiest way to my #sqlibrium is by the extra facts I add about me at the bottom of my “About Me” slide for my presentations:

random facts 2

You’ll notice a theme – music.

If my love for theater, especially musical theater, isn’t apparent, may I direct you to my T-SQL Tuesday post from August about “Auditioning for the Job?” I’ve always loved theater. I was in a sketch comedy troupe in college so I was able to use that to get some acting in. I always thought I’d have the opportunity to do community theater once I graduated college but that never seemed to materialize, other than the one production of Annie where I was a bum or dancing through the streets of NYC or a maid in the Warbucks household. But I still love theater even if I can’t be on stage. About that picture from the slide on the right – yes, it’s me with the one and only Bernadette Peters after seeing her and Elaine Stritch in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music on Broadway. (Yes, I “stalked” the stage door hoping for this and yes, I got her to sign my playbill as well.) My friends and I have subscriptions to the touring Broadway shows and I have done the subscription to one of the local theaters that had been sending its shows to Broadway. Seeing Waitress before it went to Broadway with the majority of original Broadway cast is still a highlight.

(While it’s not musical theater, seeing James Earl Jones and Dana Delany be fantastic and still be outshined by a revelatory Amanda Plummer in Night of the Iguana by Tennessee Williams was pretty fine evening, too.)

The bluegrass jams and instruments are relatively new. I’ve been doing those for about 4 years now. I picked up guitar about 2 1/2 years ago and the mandolin was a gift over the holidays. I know of at least 4-5 different local jams that occur each week with at least one more monthly jam. I can’t make all of them but I try to get to one or two on a weekly basis. And then there are a whole bunch of different festivals that where you can hear bands or just walk up to a group and start jamming (or picking as it’s called in the bluegrass world.) You wouldn’t think it would have such a strong following in New England, but there’s a huge community in this area. It’s wonderful to show up and just make music. I’ve lucked out in finding a group of really talented people who’ve made the process of jumping and in learning all these new songs and styles so much fun.

Finally, on most Tuesdays, my response to most things is:

https://some.ly/165u2VQ/

In many ways, my choir is my second family. As my director said, we’re not the family we were born into but the family he auditioned. I joined this group a year after I graduated college. In terms of repertoire, it’s incredibly diverse – ranging from Baroque music from the early 1600s through new commissions to everything in between. We’ve sung songs in over 15 languages and toured internationally. We even have a documentary from our tour to Eastern Europe that was shown on PBS stations. The picture on the left in my slide is me in our version of the Andrew Sisters singing Ba Mir Bistu Shein; we do this as part of an arrangement that starts the original Yiddish theater version. I wouldn’t be half the singer I am today if it weren’t for this group – from our conductor\artistic director who is so passionate about what we do to the vocal coaches we’ve had through the years to the other fabulous singers who have become such good friends of mine. Perhaps the best way I can describe this group to #sqlfamily is to call it #choirfamily.

When I’m having a rough day or week, showing up and making music with good people seems to make everything else go away. Speaking of which, I should wrap this up – I have rehearsal and solo auditions tonight! Wish me luck!

 

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!

 

Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #96: Folks Who’ve Made a Difference

It’s another T-SQL Tuesday! Thanks to Ewald Cress (b|t) for this month’s topic. Since our brains are full from PASS Summit, he asked us to give a shout-out to those in the community who have made a meaningful contribution to our life in the world of data. (If you’re looking for more background about T-SQL Tuesday, see Ewald’s invite or tsqltuesday.com.)

The timing for this topic couldn’t be better. It’s the month with Thanksgiving for those of us in the United States so I see this as a way of saying thanks to a few in our community.

I’ve decided to do a T-SQL Tuesday theme. I have done a number of T-SQL Tuesday posts since starting this blog. So I’d like to start by giving a shout out to all those who have hosted the months I was able to get a post together:

  • Michael Swart (b|t – #79 – June 2016)
  • Andy Yun (b|t – #84 – November 2016)
  • Kenneth Fisher (b|t – #85 – December 2016)
  • Kennie Pontoppidan (b|t – #88 – March 2017)
  • Kendra Little (b|t – #93 – August 2017)
  • Rob Sewell (b|t – #94 – September 2017)
  • And now, Ewald Cress (b|t – #96 – November 2017)

I feel the need to give a mention to Brent Ozar (b|t – #86 – January 2017). While I didn’t finish in time so I didn’t officially count as participating, I still posted it later that week so I should include him in this list.

If you look at the names on that list, this is a pretty impressive group of people who have hosted and there are a number of ways that they probably have helped all of us in our careers even if they didn’t host a T-SQL Tuesday. All of these folks are people you want to follow and learn from. And having met several of them in person, they’re just good people on top of it all.

But I feel the need to single a couple of these people out.

First, Michael Swart. His was the first T-SQL Tuesday I participated in. I have to say “Thank You” to the person who had a great topic for my first time participating. It may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it was a starting point for me.

Second, Kendra Little. My entry to her month’s topic is by far my most popular post to date. And I have to admit, I am pretty proud of that post. But I want to give a shout-out to her for a different reason as well. Kendra started a SQLWIT slack channel about 2 years ago. I made the impulsive decision to ask her to add me when I saw her initial tweet about it. Twitter and #sqlfamily are big communities. If you’re someone like me who can’t jump directly in the ocean but has to acclimate herself so slowly to the water that her friend mocks her endlessly about how long it takes for her to go swimming, it was a wonderful way to get to know some of the ladies of #PASSWIT in a smaller and less intimidating fashion. In fact, I believe that this group of women were the first ones I told that I started this blog. It’s not a busy channel but getting to know people on that platform led me to being more comfortable to responding or reaching out on Twitter and in person.

Third, Andy Yun. I pretty much knew that as soon as I wrote about getting out and speaking, I would do it. Andy took his own challenge seriously and followed up with people and encourage us to speak. Because of that, I’m not the only person who took his challenge and spoke over the past year; several other people also who participated also began to speak as well. By volunteering to speak, it led me to getting more involved in my local user group. I’ve also discovered that when you speak once, people want you to speak more. It’s almost overwhelming at times, but incredibly flattering and encouraging. Becoming a speaker in the community is probably one of the biggest things I can do to visibly help my career long term.

So why I’m focusing on the T-SQL Tuesday blog party for these thank yous? This is one of the many ways I can learn how to do my job better. In addition, blogging more has meant putting myself out there more, which is a scary thing. It’s made me more active on Twitter and despite the whole “Twitter being Twitter” thing for better or worse, it’s allowed me to connect to #sqlfamily across the world. Plus, through those three specific examples above, I can name at least one person who I’ve been able to connect with or has somehow supported me in ways that I wouldn’t have expected but also deserve separate shout outs and thank yous on their own. That’s a very special thing on many levels.

We don’t always get the opportunity or forget to thank those who have helped us along the way. And a lot of time, we don’t realize the impact we make on others. So to all those mentioned above and those who’ve been left out – a very sincere Thank you!

 

Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #94 – PoSH Goes Dynamic

TSQL2SDAY-150x150It’s another T-SQL Tuesday, folks! Rob Sewell (b|t) is hosting this month’s challenge. (Thanks for hosting, Rob!) The topic is to talk about PowerShell, or PoSH for those in the know. Check out Rob’s post for details about the challenge and T-SQL Tuesday in general.

I am by no means a PowerShell expert. I first started working with PowerShell a couple of years ago when co-workers introduced it as a way to create “installers” to deploy ETL packages to our clients. My understanding was that it was like the command prompt on steroids. You could execute basic commands like you did in a command prompt, but it had the bonus where you could extend its functionality with your own functions or modules.

Continue reading “T-SQL Tuesday #94 – PoSH Goes Dynamic”