T-SQL Tuesday #096: Folks Who Have Made a Difference

Invitation from Ewald Cress.

Because many of us have our brains fried after last week’s PASS Summit, I’m going for a non-technical subject: the opportunity to give a shout-out to people (well-known or otherwise) who have made a meaningful contribution to your life in the world of data.

I can certainly think of many candidates for my submission, and the hardest part may be narrowing down the options to a manageable set. You may opt to write about a single incident, let rip with a mini-biography, or anything in between. And if you want to contextualise it with juicy technical detail, be my guest!

Since I’m hosting, I get to jump the queue at this point by thanking Adam Machanic. His blogging and writing has provided me with much food for thought over my SQL Server career, and I loved that one chance I got to attend a one-day precon with him a few years ago. He is a total rock star, and I mean that in the nicest possible sense.

Adam has created and gently managed this particular medium of T-SQL Tuesday, which has given me a few much-needed writing deadlines and an opportunity to connect with people I wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Exhibit A: Deb Melkin and I killing time with conversation in the airport last Saturday. We had never met before, but had participated in T-SQL Tuesday together – my first one IIRC – which was pretty much the extent of our prior acquaintance.

He has also helped me in a more direct way. A few months ago, I was considering submitting a session for SQL Saturday, and found myself staring at his great blog post on writing abstracts. Feeling the need to bounce some ideas around, I emailed him with a few simple questions. His very detailed response was helpful in getting my thoughts crystallised, but the interaction also gave me the courage to go for it. So thank you, Adam.

You get the idea. Find a person or several people to pick on, and tell us a shareable story or two about how they have made a positive contribution in your life.

T-SQL Tuesday #095 – Big Data

Invitation  and roundup from Derik Hammer.

This month’s topic: Big Data

Big data is both a buzzword, or phrase, and a booming area of technology. Technical professionals and companies alike are investing a lot in big data and I want to hear your thoughts on the topic. Your post can be about; how big data affects the industry and our careers, how the cloud is enhancing our ability to work with big data, how you deal with big data in SQL Server on-premises, NoSQL, development challenges and strategies for working with internet of things data, or anything else you come up with. Big data has become quite large (pun intended) and should offer a lot of freedom for self-expression in this month’s posts.

The rules

  1. Write a post on the topic above.
  2. Schedule the post to go live on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 between 00:00 and 23:59 UTC.
  3. Include the TSQL Tuesday logo in the top of your post.
  4. Link the post back to this one and comment on this post advertising your post.
  5. Optional, but encouraged: Tweet a link to your post using the #tsql2sday hash tag on Twitter

Extra credit

Blend your topic with emerging technologies. Some examples:

  • Work with big data in Microsoft’s new Azure Cosmos DB.
  • Show how new SQL Server 2017 features impact big data in SQL Server.
  • Show how R and Polybase can use big data for predictive analytics.

T-SQL Tuesday #093 – Interviewing Patterns & Anti-Patterns

Invitation and advice from the community from Kendra Little.

What advice do you have for people preparing for or going throughn interview?

Feel free to be creative on this topic. Take whichever approach you like best:

  • You may focus on patterns to follow for success
  • You may list anti-patterns, too: things that might seem like a good idea, but are a recipe for disaster
  • You can write about your own highs and lows as a candidate or as an interviewer
  • Be as specific as you want for interviewing for or hiring for your given skillset, whether you’re a developer, DBA, manager, consultant, or something else entirely

Whichever route you take, it’s probably a good idea to disguise the identities of past employers, candidates, etc.

Personally, I’m going to take the approach of writing about an interview for a SQL Server position that I completely bombed as a candidate, and why it ended up being one of the best learning experiences of my life (although it was painful at the time). It taught me a lot about successful interviewing patterns.

I can’t wait to learn about YOUR interviewing patterns and anti-patterns as well.

Get ready, get set, get blogging!

T-SQL Tuesday #091 – Databases and DevOps

Invitation  and roundup from Grant Fritchey.

Implementing DevOps with databases presents a unique set of challenges. However, just because something might be hard doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done.

I had the opportunity to work with a team of developers, database developers and DBAs under a management team that all agreed on the common goal we had, delivering more, better performing applications, faster. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were doing DevOps.

DevOps gets a bad name because, well, the problems that DevOps sets out to solve, poor communication, bad teamwork, dysfunctional development and badly configured and maintained processes, are  done by the same team that attempts to implement DevOps. However, they look on it as a purely mechanical switch that they throw, assign some poor person to the role of DevOps Coordinator (or something) and then maintain the status quo in regards to their culture and approach to software. Shocking that implementing this doesn’t work.

Then, toss in databases with the whole issues around persistence, and things go nuts.

This then, is my choice for T-SQL Tuesday. How do we approach DevOps as developers, DBAs, report writers, analysts and database developers? How do we deal with data persistence, process, source control and all the rest of the tools and mechanisms, and most importantly, culture, that would enable us to get better, higher functioning teams put together? Please, tell me your DevOps stories.

T-SQL Tuesday #090 – Shipping Database Changes

Invitation and wrap up from James Anderson.

I was once asked to add a new feature to an application. It was installed on multiple SQL Server instances across multiple physical sites. The problem was that different instances of the application had different database schemas. New code may work on my local schema, but it could fail on the different schemas in live.

To develop the feature, I knew that I needed one universal version of the database schema.

I merged the schemas into a version that met the requirements of all environments and redeployed. Once in source control, this schema became the single source of truth that all future deployments were built from.

Not only did this solve my problem, it served as the foundation for the automation of builds, tests and deployments.

I’ve been interested in Continuous Integration and Database Lifecycle Management ever since. For more details, check my series of posts that start with SQL Server & Continuous Integration.

For this T-SQL Tuesday, I’d like to hear about your thoughts or experiences with database deployments.

Read the rules below and join in by publishing a short post about database deployments. If you develop or deploy database changes, I want to hear about it.

Your post can cover anything related to database deployments, but if you need inspiration, feel free to cover any of the topics below:

T-SQL Tuesday #088 – The daily (database-related) WTF

Invitation from Kennie Pontoppidan.

The daily (database-related) WTF

Be inspired by the IT horror stories from http://thedailywtf.com, and tell your own daily WTF story. The truly original way developers generated SQL in project X. Or what the grumpy “DBA” imposed on people in project Y. Or how the architect did truly weird “database design” on project Z

One of my favorite dailyWTF stories is the on about the BIG red button.

Could be that someone from within Amazon will tell that the true story of the AWS glitch last week was a T-SQL dynamic query gone bad.. Or that the HSBC online banking outage last month was as simple USE (wrong) database mistake. Or whatever you guys (or that guy over there) did.

2017 T-SQL Tuesdays

February – T-SQL Tuesday #87Fixing Old Problems with Shiny New Toys (roundup)

What I’d like to see from the blog responses for this T-SQL Tuesday is how you’ve used a “new” Microsoft data platform toy to fix an old problem. We’ll define new toys as something from SQL Server 2014’s release date until now. We’ll even accept a SQL Server vNext response if you’ve got one!

January – T-SQL Tuesday #86SQL Server Bugs and Enhancement Requests (roundup)

Find the most interesting bug or enhancement request (and it can be your own), and write a blog post about it

T-SQL Tuesday #87 –Fixing Old Problems with Shiny New Toys

Invitation and roundup from Matt Gordon.

While the SQL Server ecosystem is constantly evolving, it seems like that evolution has sped up considerably in the last year or two. From the constant improvements in Azure, to the rapid changes in Power BI, to the powerhouse release of SQL Server 2016 last year, those of us whose professional life resides within the SQL Server world have a multitude of new tools in our toolbox.

What I’d like to see from the blog responses for this T-SQL Tuesday is how you’ve used a “new” Microsoft data platform toy to fix an old problem. We’ll define new toys as something from SQL Server 2014’s release date until now. We’ll even accept a SQL Server vNext response if you’ve got one!

Did you work around a database design/performance issue by using memory-optimized tables and natively compiled stored procedures (brought to us in SQL 2014)? Did you use Power BI to present data visualizations to a client in a way you couldn’t have previously? Did you use SQL 2016’s mobile reporting ability to extend SSRS reports to a mobile client and solve an issue that way? Did you solve an archival issue by stretching your database into Azure? Basically, did you solve a data problem with a cool new Microsoft data platform toy?

I think many of us settle into old habits when it comes to solving problems with our data, so I can’t wait for the responses to this topic to see what cool new things people are doing to solve some old problems.

 

T-SQL Tuesday #86 – SQL Server Bugs and Enhancement

Invitation and roundup from Brent Ozar.

I know this is going to come as a stunning shock to you, dear reader, so you may want to be sitting down.

SQL Server isn’t perfect.

It’s okay. Deep, calming breaths. We’re going to get through this together, and here’s how:

  1. Go to Connect.Microsoft.com, the place where we file bug reports and enhancement requests
  2. Use the Search to search for your favorite commands, or keywords like error or incorrect results
  3. Realize that the search function is incredibad, and instead switch to using Google to search for terms or bugs marked as won’t fix
  4. Find the most interesting bug or enhancement request (and it can be your own), and write a blog post about it (including a link to the Connect item so that folks who agree with you can upvote the item)

The Connect item doesn’t have to have anything to do with T-SQL – it could be about the engine, SSRS, R, the installer, whatever. Now, more than ever, Microsoft has started to respond to Connect requests and get ’em fixed not just in upcoming versions of SQL Server, but even in cumulative updates for existing versions.

It’s an incredible rush of a feeling when you see that Microsoft closes one of your favorite bugs as fixed. It’s happening fast these days – and I want you to enjoy that feeling too. So it’s time to get to know Connect!

2016 T-SQL Tuesdays

December 2016 #85 – Backup and Recovery Rollup Backups are one of the most common things DBAs discuss, and they are at once one of the simplest and most complicated parts of our whole job. So let’s hear it for backup and recovery!
November 2016 #84 – Growing New Speakers  Roundup  For T-SQL Tuesday, I am giving differing topics if you are currently a Speaker or have never have spoken.If you are a presenter, help new speakers. If you have never spoken, start thinking about your first presentation.
October 2016 #83 – We’re Still Dealing with the Same Old Problems  Roundup I offer two fill-in-the-blank topics:

  • In the years I have been a database professional, we’re still dealing with
  • In the years I have been using SQL Server, we’re still dealing with
September 2016 #82 – To the Cloud… And Beyond! When Adam asked me if I wanted to host another T-SQL Tuesday, I immediately knew a topic I wanted to talk about: The cloud, and (if you want to) specifically about Azure SQL database.
August 2016 #81 – Sharpen Something ()  Roundup  This month I am asking you to not only write a post but to do a little homework – first. In other words, plan to do something, carry out that plan, and then write about the experience.
July 2016 #80 – My Birthday  Roundup  Treat yourself to a birthday gift and come up with a present for yourself SQL related – no limitations.
June 2016 #79 – It’s 2016  Roundup  SQL Server 2016 went RTM this week and so naturally, we’re going to write about it.
May 2016 #78 – Learn Something New I’m challenging you to learn something new and blog about it!
April 2016 #77 – Favorite SQL Server Feature  Roundup The topic is: What is My Favorite SQL Server Feature.This can be anything from Reporting Services as a report creating tool, down to the Columnstore Indexes. Anything goes!
I selected this topic precisely to illustrate the breadth and depth of what SQL Server has evolved into over the last decade+.
March 2016 #76 – Text Searching/Processing Wrap-up  If you’re using SQL Server Full-Text Search, I’d love to hear from you. But I’d also love to hear from anyone using any other kind of text searching or processing methods.
February 2016 #75 – Power BI roundup – 11 responses Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to create and publish your very own Power BI report!
January 2016 #74 – Be the Change roundup – 11 responses How do you track changing data? How do you do your ETL? How do you clean or scrub your data? Anything related to changing data.