T-SQL Tuesday #109: Influence Somebody

Invitation from Jason Brimhall.

T-SQL Tuesday 109: Influence Somebody Invite

In November 2017, Ewald Cress (b | t) invited everybody to talk about and basically give thanks to people that have helped impact their careers or lives. Check out the roundup here.

In December 2017, Mala Mahadevan (b | t) invited everybody to set goals for themselves. These goals were supposed to be about learning. But when you get down to the nitty gritty, anything that helps build character and career really comes from something that must be learned. It all starts with a bit of introspection. It is this introspection that I ask you to use as a building block for the party this month.

Lastly, in May 2018, Riley Major (b | t) asked everybody to reflect a bit on the theme from Ewald. This time though, the task was to give back to the community. Pay it forward, if you will, given that you had previously benefited from the kindness of somebody else.

Invitation

Building on the work of these three fine individuals, here comes the difficult task. You have been the benefactor of some awesome help from somebody else. You even wrote about it and in a way, told that person how they impacted you, your career, or both. You have set goals for yourself to become a better you after some personal reflection, meditation, introspection. Then you have given back to the community in some way.

I am not asking you to be braggy, just aware and cognizant. What have you done to impact somebody else in the last 13 months?

How do you know you have impacted them? This is really the hard question. I want stories of how you impacted somebody else for the better. This may mean you will need to talk to some people and have a little retrospective with them.

Why?

This past year we lost some real juggernauts in the SQL Community such as Robert Davis (blog). We all know he impacted many people. We can also assume that he knew he impacted peoples lives. How great would it have been to sit down and have a personal discussion with him to let him know for certain how he impacted your career?

At PASS Summit, I had the opportunity to have such a discussion with somebody completely out of the blue. I know how much that meant to me. I also know that I was rather unaware of the influence I had on this individual.

How?

If you have not already had the opportunity to discuss your influence, make the opportunity. If you have mentored somebody, have a chat with them. If you work with somebody that you might have influenced, have a candid chat. Ask them directly if you have been able to be a good influence to them. Ask them how you might be able to better help them.

I know, this gets us all out of our comfort zones – but we need to do things like this. It is a method of both giving thanks as well as just giving (it is the season).

If you are reading this and don’t feel you have influenced somebody, then talk to somebody that has influenced you. Let them know how you influenced them.

Then, after having this candid chat, please write about both the experience (even the awkwardness), anything you learned from the conversation, as well as some details around what it is you did that impacted said individual.

Doing this little exercise will not only help you to become a more involved team member, community member, and leader it will also help you improve on some of the interpersonal skills used for networking as well as public speaking.

T-SQL Tuesday #108 – Non SQL Server Technologies

The invitation and summary is from Malathi Mahadevan.

Non SQL Server Technologies

This is also the week of the PASS Summit – the one conference that is still the largest gathering of folks active in the SQL community.  For people like me, who have done the yearly trek to the summit more than a dozen times, it is literally like a family reunion. Aside from these sentiments – what has changed significantly about PASS Summit is that it is no longer a conference entirely dedicated to just SQL Server. There is so much more there – DevOps, Data Science/Machine Learning related, CosmosDB, PowerBI/data visualisation, Entity Framework, Micro Services, on and on. What it indicates is how much data world is expanding and how necessary it is for us to keep up with that. There was a time when I personally wanted to do MCM and retire a SQL Server guru – the MCM went away and right now I know for sure that just insisting on being a SQL Server Guru will not take me very far. I am actively learning how to work with DevOps, PostGres, ElasticSearch, and a number of other things.

So the challenge for this T-SQL Tuesday is – pick one thing you want to learn that is not SQL Server. Write down ways and means to learn it and add it as another skill to your resume. If you are already learning it or know it – explain how you got there and how it has helped you. Your experience may help many others looking for guidance on this.

T-SQL Tuesday #107 – Death March

The invitation and roundup is from Jeff Mlakar.

The Death March

There is a famous book in our field written in the 2000’s by Ed Yourdon called “Death March“. In it he details the phenomenon in project management of death march software projects. He observed a trend in organizations who plan software projects to estimate so poorly that completion becomes overwhelming and unlikely.

More companies than ever before could be considered “software companies”. Project planning hasn’t gotten much better over time and we still have terribly managed projects. The best reason to explain this I found on Quora – Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3? In particular, read the answer by Michael Wolfe midway through the page. It is both a humorous and scary analogy.

On this month of Halloween we are going to discuss our death march project horrors!

Mission Directive

Ed Yourdon's Death March

I invite you to share a story about a project you worked on or were impacted by that went horribly wrong. You do not have to have been a developer. Any role you played whether it was a sysadmin, DBA, business analyst, systems analyst, project manager, consultant, QA, etc. is entry requirements for this.

A word of advice – please change the name of the company unless you want to burn that bridge. For example: instead of saying “I worked for IBM…” you could say “I worked for a large technology consulting company”. I’m not trying to get anyone fired here!

Tell me your project horror stories – the worse the better.

T-SQL Tuesday #106 – Trigger Headaches or Happiness

Invitation from Steve Jones

Triggers, for fun and frustration

I’ve been working with SQL Server and T-SQL a long time, and across many jobs, I think I’ve ended up using triggers in 0.01% of my tables or less. They can be a useful and helpful construct, but they can also be problematic and difficult, especially in the age of changing business models and rules.

Since I’ve found triggers to be both helpful and hurtful, I decided to ask you to write about an experience you’ve had with triggers. Either good or bad, but let me know this month what stands out in your mind.

T-SQL Tuesday #105 – Brick Wall

Invitation and WrapUp from Wayne Sheffield.

Brick Wall

Tell me about a time when you ran up against your own brick wall, and how you worked it out or dealt with it. Did you start working on a project only to find a brick wall that had been hidden? Was your brick wall:

  • A technological hurdle to overcome?
  • Brought about by your not having sufficient knowledge of the product?
  • A person?

Whatever you choose, tell us about a brick wall that you ran into and how you dealt with it (did you get help from someone/someplace? Wake up in the middle of the night with the solution?).

Most importantly, publish your post sometime on Tuesday, 2018-08-14 UTC time.

Request to Host T-SQL Tuesday

Note: Organization of the T-SQL Tuesday blog party has changed to Steve Jones as of July 2018.

In order to manage the hosting, I’ve set up this page to allow  you to leave a comment  contact me and request a date. Ping me on Twitter (@way0utwest) as that’s the best way to find me. Use either a mention or a direct message.

If you request a chance at hosting, you must abide by the rules for T-SQL Tuesday. I do maintain a list of banned hosts, and if you do not abide by the rules, you will be banned from hosting in the future.

I would also request that if you are selected, you do the following:

  • Set a reminder for either the first Monday or Tuesday of your month to post the invitation on your blog.
  • At this time, post a note on Twitter that the invitation is live
  • Ping me when you post the invitation
  • Set a reminder for the second Monday and/or Tuesday of the month to send some reminders on Twitter about your invitation and ask that others post (or pre-schedule a few)
  • Set a reminder for sometimes the day after (second Wednesday) through that next Saturday to review posts and write a roundup/summary
  • Set a reminder for the third Tuesday of the month to be sure you’ve posted a roundup
  • Ping me when you post the round up / summary

If you are selected, I will also ask that your topic be ready a month in advance in case the previous host has issues. In that case, I’ll move your month up.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you host in the future.

Steve Jones

 

T-SQL Tuesday #104 – Code You Would Hate To Live Without

Invitation and Roundup from Bert Wagner The next invitation should be released on August 7.

Code You Would Hate To Live Without

Before modern online programming communities, finding good code samples or sharing your own code was challenging. Forums and email lists (if searchable) were good, but beyond that you had to rely on books, coworkers, and maybe a local meetup of like-minded individuals to help you work through your programming problems.

Check out this month’s T-SQL Tuesday invitation in visual form!

Today, accessing and using code from the internet is second nature – I almost always first look online to see if a good solution already exists.  At the very least, searching blogs, GitHub, and StackOverflow for existing code is a great way to generate ideas.

For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, I want you to write about code you’ve written that you would hate to live without.

Maybe you built a maintenance script to free up disk space, wrote a query to gather system stats for monitoring, or coded some PowerShell to clean up string data.  Your work doesn’t need to be completely original either – maybe you’ve improved the code in some open source project to better solve the problem for your particular situation.

There’s probably someone out there in the world who is experiencing the same problem that you have already solved; let’s make their life a little easier by sharing.

And don’t worry if your code isn’t perfect – just explain how your solution works and if you are aware of any caveats.  If it’s not an exact solution for someone else’s problem, at the very least it may help them generate some ideas.

T-SQL Tuesday #103 – Azure SQL Database – Challenges, Pros and Cons, Issues

Invitation and review from Bjorn Peters.

Write what you think about Azure SQL Database

So this is my call for the June 2018 TSQL Tuesday:
Tell me/us if you or your company has already started testing of Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance or if you’re already using it.
Tell us all about it:

  • What was your migration tool?
  • How did you plan that migration?
  • Were there any assessments before the migration?
  • Which problems occurred during your test-phase?
  • Which problems occurred during your migration?
  • Was there any automation around the migration?
  • Which scripting language was used for what? Powershell or Azure CLI?
  • Is there any automation right now during normal operation?
  • Any issues, special requirements or anything else around using Azure SQL Database?
  • How do you monitor the database?
  • How do you do database maintenance?
  • Do you use the builtin tuning options?

Simply write about all of your experiences with Azure SQL Database or Azure Managed Instance. Even if you don’t see a future for Azure SQL Databases write about it everything is welcome!

T-SQL Tuesday #102 – Giving Back

Invitation and wrap up from Riley Major.

Giving Back

A few months ago Ewald Cress asked you to share stories about people who have made a difference in your professional life. Dozens of you wrote about who impressed you, inspired you, taught you, helped you, and guided you. It’s a testament to the Microsoft data community that so many were recognized by so many– that we have those willing to give of their time and those who are publicly appreciative of it.

Now I will give you an opportunity to give back. Everyone reading this has benefitted from their fellow data professionals. And that benefit puts you in a position to share alike. You’ve learned something, so you can teach. You’ve been supported, so you can help. You’ve been led, so you can lead. But you don’t have to do it alone. We’re all going to do it together.

So here is my call. Pick some way you can help our community. (Ideally, this would be our technical community, but if you’re passionate about some other type of service, that works too.) Then, make a plan– a real plan, with specific steps and dates. Just like Mala Mahadevan asked you to do with your learning goals for this year. Then, and this is the important part, you’re going to write it down for the world to see.

Back when I was still toying with the idea of speaking, it was specific persuasion and public accountability which gave me the push to make it happen. So now I’m giving that to you. I am specifically asking you, dear reader, to make and publish this plan, and I’m going to help make it a reality by gently holding you accountable. You will set your own goals and I will check-in to see how things are going. I will offer what encouragement I can. And I will celebrate your accomplishments.

And if you think there is nothing you can contribute to this community, I am excited to tell you that you are wrong! Some ideas:

Pick something. Tell us why. Tell us how. Tell us when.

We’ll ask “are we there yet?” and give you a high five when we are.

Now to be fair, many #tsql2sday contributors already pour boundless energy into the community. And some might simply not be willing to step up publicly. So for those who still want to party, I submit the alternative topic of your favorite improvement in SQL Server 2017. (If none of the new features excite you, tell us how you successfully used something new from 2016.)

Update 2018-05-02: For those who routinely give back to our community, thank you again for all of your service. I’m not asking you to give any more. A better angle for you on this topic would be to tell us how and why and you started. How did you discover the community’s need? How did you figure out what your role would be in helping? How did you learn the skills you needed to contribute? Where did you find the confidence to take the leap? How would you recommend others proceed? Thanks again and hopefully this provides a better avenue for you to participate this month.

T-SQL Tuesday #101 – My Essential SQL Server Tools

Invitation and roundup from Jens Vestergaard.

The Essential SQL Server Tools in my stack

Besides SQL Server Management Studio and Visual Studio Data Tools we all have our own set of tools that we use for everyday chores and tasks. But how do we get to know which tools are out there, if not for other professionals telling us about them? Does it have to a fully fledged with certification and all? Certainly not! If there’s some github project out there, that is helping you be double as productive, let us know about it. You can even boast about something you’ve built yourself – if you think others will benefit from using it.

Basically I think, that by establishing awareness about what kinds of tools that are out there, new professionals will not have as steep a curve getting the pace up, as they would have had. But I suspect that even some veteran guys could have an “a-ha” moment from reading the summary.

Additionally, you can (read: should) share how you came to depend on said tool – and of course you are encouraged to give credit, where credit is due in terms of making you aware of the tool.

Another approach for this topic, is to approach it as kind of A Day in the Life of kind of blog post, as has been done before by Erin Stellato (b|l|t). Writing with the specific angle to describing how your everyday is made easier by the use of your tool stack.