Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

I am curious as to how other DBA’s handle changes to your environments. Specifically changes to your databases.

Say for example that you have an application that has been designed in house. A development team develops the application, the services and the database changes that are required to support those changes. As an operational or “Production DBA” that is not involved in the development process is held responsible for the performance of not only the SQL Server configuration (mirroring, configurations, and the such) but the hardware and the database (locks, indexing and the such) as well.

Goals of the development team are to develop software to support services or product lines that add to the company’s operations.

Goals of the operational team is to ensure availability and stability while maintaining a level of recovery.

The development team works with the agile development methodology and releases once every couple weeks. The stress point that I find in this scenario is as a “Production DBA” the organization has an expectation level that each of the changes are reviewed and approved before release. The speed of the release cycle creates a window that is a very small point in time for these change reviews. We have attempted to make adjustments as to where in the process the DBA does the actual review itself, even when it is done at different stages of development, any changes that the “Production DBA” has creates a serious delay to the release. The goals of the 2 different teams or roles are different, yet both are aimed to the success of the organization.

There is at least what I believe, an obvious point where the “Production DBA” can be involved from the start of the development task. However, the lines of development and production are then blurred. The development staff would prefer to make the decisions on the architecture without this input.

  1. As a Production DBA, do you review or approve of changes?
  2. As a Production DBA, how involved in each “Story” are you?
  3. Where is the line drawn on who makes what decisions?

I know the question is really vague, and that I have not provided a number of specific pieces of information. I did this because I would like to get a range of answers. Each situation is different, and sure it depends… but it depends on what?

Thanks, for any feedback you provide.

I was at SQL Saturday in Phoenix last week and had a number of sidebar discussions with a solider that is transferring out of the Army lifestyle and over to the civilian world. This is a transition that I have done before, and I recall it well. I have not thought about it much over the last 15 years or so, but I do recall the nervousness that I had when I made the jump from the Marine Corps to the workforce as I know it today. When I made the transition I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to take a class my last week in the corps to help me with the many changes I was about to experience. I debated not taking the class because I didn’t think it was going to be that different, but I sure am glad I did. So as I reflect on this experience I thought I would share a few tips that might make it a bit easier. If you have any that you think would fit well send them over to me and I will see what I can do to add them to the list.

  1. Stay away from acronyms on your resume – There is a good chance that when someone is reviewing your resume that they did not serve in the military. With this being a fact, consider how many terms you use on a day to day basis that you consider normal knowledge. If someone is vetting your resume and does not understand all the terms you are using they may disqualify you simply because they don’t understand what you are trying to relay. My tip here is find a friend or a relative who does not know the military life and have them review your resume, if you use terms such as MOS or OD duty chances are they will catch it and help you explain more.
  2. Chain of command – This was a difficult one for me. The chain of command is pretty simple to understand; even people in the civilian world use it. However, in the military I was taught that anything and everything in your life was important to your chain of command. In a time of high stress such as a situation where you are in battle and bullets are being fired at you this is completely understandable. Assume you are in a fighting position, and one of your troops had a pretty serious breakup via a “Dear John” letter. This is something you would want to know, but in the civilian world many supervisors get a little creped out when they know so much about you.
  3. Your opinion – Many think that the military is a group of young people that are trained to not have and opinion. When the commanding officer says take that hill, he does not need to hear a bunch of people arguing about the right way to do it, or if you should even try to do it. Granted, these discussions on the best way may arise. In the civilian world, most employers want to know if you think that something is not being done in the best way. The secret here is understanding the line between open discussions on the best way to do things and just doing them with no opinion at all. With that being said, it is still critical to know that as a solider you don’t always know all the information that is relevant, in the civilian world that is the often the case as well.
  4. Networking – In the military if you wanted to get the best equipment it never hurt to know someone in the supply area, well it’s true in the civilian world as well. Who you know can help you, use your contacts well, and as you make the transition understand you need to make as many contacts as you can.
  5. YES SIR – A few years ago I had interviewed someone who was coming out of the Navy, when I talked with him the answer to everything was “Yes Sir“. When the candidate spoke it was not a yell, nor a bark but very direct. It is not critical to speak in such a formal way, however respect should always be paid.
  6. Volunteer – I have heard the joke more times than I care to count, in the military you become a volunteer when everyone else steps back faster than you. I was told many times before boot camp that you should never volunteer for anything. In the civilian world, I cannot stress enough how important it is. Not only do you have the opportunity to stand out, but you have a chance to learn something new. Be the person your boss knows they can go to when the need to get something done. Be the person they can count on, the type of person you want on your team.

 

 

A recent presentation I gave about Interviewing Tips provided me with a number of great questions that I thought I would expand on. One that I get often looks a lot like this:

I was curious if you had any suggestions or tips on how to get one’s employer to pay for the PASS summit.  I’ve made proposals many times over the years to have my boss pay for professional training. Sometimes they’d pay, other times not. But, it just seems over the last few years’ employers have become less keen on paying for employees to further their tech skills.


Any thoughts you have are most appreciated.

 

A few thoughts come to mind quickly…

  • When you are getting ready to ask for a conference such as the PASS Summit. Make a list of some of the challenges you have been facing, or maybe a list of some of the things that you want to make sure you learn about. When you list specific goals you now have a means of measurement to determine success of the event. Sure it is great to just go and sit to absorb as much as you can, but a clear defined goal always helps.
  • If you have been to an event in the past, consider the items that you have learned in the past. If you can show how it has helped you and helped the company I think your chance of success is much better.
  • I am not sure if I am making this point as well as I would like to… In your discussions be sure to stress the things you cannot learn until you know you need to learn them. Let me give you an example. If you were to turn around and try to implement database mirroring and you had never done that before. You will find a number of awesome check lists, some in blogs, with a lot of detail in books on-line. However, if you we sitting down over lunch, I would be sure to bring up things such as making sure you sync jobs and logins. I would mention how you might want to look at a custom index plan if you were on a maintenance plan. Could you find this elsewhere? Maybe, but it takes a bit of research and a lot of time. It is better to know what potential obstacles you may run into well before you find them in your production environment.
  • Inform the company that the event is going to help you build your network. I can’t tell you how many people I know that are strong in areas of technology where I am week. I am not just referring to SQL Server, it is amazing once this network is built on how many people can help you. I am a DBA, I don’t do a lot outside of SQL Server but when I asked my network about RDP Management tools, I found Remote Desktop Manager.
  • If I sat and thought about it I bet there are many more examples I could come up with…

What if the issue is cost? Some companies don’t always have the budget to do these things, I just recently learned of a company whose health costs have gone up each year the last 3 years by 20% a year. Yet the company has not passed this along to the employees. There are ways that you can help lessen the impact and to be honest the time to start is now.

  • Have you considered rooming with someone? This is a big cost, if you can split in half or even thirds would this get your company to send you?
  • Have you considered working with your local users group, or volunteering for PASS? There are many ways to get the basic conference fee covered if you are helping out.
  • Do you have any vendors that are planning on going? Sometimes they are willing to sponsor people to attend the event.
  • Sign up early, the sooner you do the better the price gets. If I remember correctly when you are at a summit, you can sign up for next years at a big discount. The closer you get to the Event, the price normally goes up. As I write this, the cost is $1300 http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2013/default.aspx. If you were to sign up before Jan 1st time frame I think it was about $1,000.00.
  • Frequent Flyer Miles if you have them.

If all else fails… Remember you are a resource to a company. If they can’t invest in you to make you a better resource for them, should you be investing in you to make you a better resource?

I hope I have passed along a few ideas.

I started a series of blog posts a few weeks ago where I wanted to focus on my lifestyle and how it relates back to work and SQL Server. The short of it is that I live and work out of my 40 foot camper, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In my first post I was really curious on how many people really wanted to hear more about this topic and what sort of information did people want to get from it. I was overwhelmed by the number of people that responded and the questions that came out of it. So for my first follow up post, I want to directly address Brent Ozar’s (T|B) questions. Here is a portion of what Brent had to say:

“How often do you hook up the trailer and move to another site?

Are you able to focus on work when your wife’s in the trailer, too? I have a tough time telecommuting when I can see/hear Erika, so it works really well when she’s at her day job. Once she’s home, I have to quit (or head out to a coffee shop).”

Well the first question is pretty easy to answer, or at least up to this point. How often do we move, well at this point it is only twice a year. We have what I am calling is my home base, that is Mountaindale located just south of Colorado Springs, Co. The campground itself has a really awesome history, and there is so much to just see and do, but that is a post for another time. This winter we choose to go Blythe, Ca. to a place that used to be a KOA and is now called the RivieraRVResort. We came here in the Fall about mid October, and we will head back to our home base in Colorado by April 1st. For the future, well not too sure yet. There have been some challenges with coming to Blythe, the biggest one as it relates to working from home is the internet connection. The service out here is done by accompany called SuddenLink. I have had non-stop issues with them not being able to keep my connection on-line and at the speed I pay for. In the future, I am going to have to do a lot more in depth research on internet connections before we set out on a new destination.

Brent’s second question is the one that I have really be thinking about a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean really thinking about it. One of the reasons that this questions was so hard was I really felt that for me to answer it properly I need to do a very truthful evaluation of myself.

Let me start by saying that the only way that this lifestyle works for me and my professional career, is get as much done here at home or in the camper, as I would sitting in an office. It sounds like a pretty easy thing to do, if you get a certain amount of work done in one location, no matter how you determine to measure it, that same amount if not more needs to be completed when I work remotely. I don’t think I am having too much difficulty doing that, I do think that I get more done when I work remote than when I am in the office. There are a few issues that I am working on solutions for, such as hallway architectures. When you are in an office, often you will get stopped in the hall, or in the break room, and discussions are had. Some of these are really valuable. I am working on this and I think I am making headway, there are a lot of shorter emails, instance messages, and phone calls then I had originally planned for. To directly answer the question that Brent asked, do I get distracted. You bet, there are times when I have to go kill the occasional spider, or help move a lizard out of the way so he doesn’t get hurt. Just a few nights ago, I was working on something and we heard a loud hoot noise, I spent the next hour running around watching a great horned owl. Even with those distractions, I find that I am spending more time in front of a computer than I ever have before. My concentration level has gone up, and I have been able to find the time to get some of those projects done that I have been wanting to do for years.

With that being said… I find there is a big swing in the other direction of this discussion. Because we are so limited on space, the kitchen table is my office, I have my laptop there and my wife has her laptop there. When it is 8:00 PM and dinner is done, the dishes have been cleaned and some mind numbing TV show is sucking my brain cells dry, I can see my laptop not 20 feet from me. If you are at all like I am, when you have a problem or challenge that you are working on, it is always there on your mind. It sits there when you are eating, going to sleep and even when I should be relaxing. These are the moments that distract me the most. I can see the laptop, the ideas are flowing, and it is just so easy to walk by the computer, sit down and start working on something. Next think I know, I have been sitting in front of my computer for 3 hours, the wife has gone to bed, the dog wants to go for a walk and the precious me time is gone. I think my outside of work life is impacted more than my work like.

There is a balance for sure, I have to make sure that I take time to go out to dinner, or go to the local race track for some entertainment. I have started taking a lot of pictures, and I want to really grow in the hobby, but this means that I need to set specific time for work and then for me and for my wife. The nature of what I do for a living will always have me working around the clock at time, this is something we know and expect, it happens sometimes I have to really focus to make sure that I know it is ok that if I got a good days’ worth of work in that I need to stop working, and start doing other things. When you are in an office, and you leave for the day, sure you may go home and fire up the laptop, but that specific action of leaving the office is a great mental separator between work and home. So far I think I am going well with managing this balance. Could I be better, sure. These distractions, go both ways for me. I am sure they do for Brent as well.

Wow, I could not think of better timing for the question today being presented and hosted by a personal friend Chris Yates (T|B). Chris wants to know what the SQL Community means to me. Sure I agree that the end of the racing season is never a good thing, I did however miss the opportunity to go to the race last Sunday, and I am really regretting it after catching up with what happened (Chris Yates made mention that this time of year is difficult for those of us seeing our sport seasons come to an end). The timing for me however is spot on here because of a number of situations that I have been faced with over the last few weeks…

Currently I am faced with a number of design questions, questions that often are only answered by experience, trial and error, along with testing. Questions like best way to store images with the database, or should a PK have the name of ID. I am also working on the fine line between being flexible, and standing my ground when I believe that something could potentially impact a database. These are just a few of my recent challenges. A great source for helping me navigate many of the pitfalls that surround implanting such things is the SQL Community. If there is a something that I have not had the opportunity to see in production then I know I can always count on my #SQLFamily to be a great sounding board. I often come back to this train of thought, even last week when I tweeted…

There are certain things or emotions that you just cannot explain, things like love, or in an easy reference point for something us Jar Heads call esprit de corps. Words like brother, cohesion, family, morale, and support all come to mind. In my own words I explain it as the brotherhood with Marines who have come before and will come after me. It is the all for one and one for all attitude with the never ending support and trust because when your face is in the dirt and the enemy is over the hill right in front of you. Your trust and your safety lie with the Marine that is next to you. You count on them to watch your back as you sleep and they count on you to watch their back as they sleep.

The SQL Community is a group of people who have gone so far beyond just having the same career path as I do, they help me when I fall or when I need someone to cover my back. When my family is in need, the SQL Community has helped me. When I am not sure if I have the right approach to a problem, they talk it out with me. When they have a question or are looking for work, I hope they count on me for help. We raise a glass together and share the great times, we laugh together when we can. We work side by side, when the mountain is too tough to climb alone.

Outside of the Marine Corps, I have never run across a better group of people. So when it comes to my Marine brothers and sisters, sleep tight, I got my watch and you can count on me. When it comes to my SQL Family, move ahead without fear, not only will I watch behind you, you have the support of thousands of SQL Professionals around the world… United we stand and divided we will fall. Some may only see the next task as a failed job, or a slow running query. I see these as situations where a community member needs assistance, and I will be there because I know when I need assistance they will be there as well.

 

 

Welcome to the 2012 PASS Summit.

So you made it, and you may have even gone to the Frist Timers meeting, or you might not even be a first timer (no matter how long you have been here, what suggestions do you have). Now that you are here, make sure you make the most of your time.

Bring business cards…

Hand them out, and make sure you ask for them. Take it one step further, bring a pen. As soon as you walk away from meeting someone new, jot some notes on the back of the card. There are so many people to meet that notes can help you remember who they are.

Read what others have said, these are just a few I grabbed really quick

http://www.mssqlgirl.com/first-timer-experience-at-pass-summit-2011.html

http://wcompute.org/2012/01/22/first-time-pass-summit-2011-attendee-so-how-was-my-experience/

http://markvsql.com/2011/10/pass-summit-2011-top-ten-list/

http://professionaldevelopment.sqlpass.org/Blog/entryid/393/Summit-First-Timer-Follow-Up.aspx

http://clarkcreations.net/blog/2011/11/14/post-sqlpass/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Twitter

Really? Do we really need to talk about why? It is so cool to have this community. Follow #SQLPASS

Meeting People

Pick  just a few names out of the people that you want to meet, speakers or authors and even Microsoft guys and Gals. Force yourself to go shake their hand, I challenge you to not just go meet them, but tell them why they are on your list. There is so much work that goes into speaking, writing and well it is not very often that as a presenter, or as an author has the honor of knowing what we did to help individuals. I can tell you that the people who have shared with me how I helped them encourage me, and motivate me to do more. Tonight someone mentioned they went to a session I did a while back, and the applied what they had learned in one of my sessions and their salary increased because of it. The way he told me about it was, hey… you made me $14,000.00.

Most speakers have hobbies or interests outside of SQL Server. This is a great way to talk with people that you may feel odd going up to and talking with, watch what people tweet about that is outside SQL Server. Do you have something in common, and if so use that as a way to strike up a discussion. You can always ask me about my friend, sparky…

If we have meet in the years past, and I don’t remember your name I am so sorry. It does not indicate that I didn’t enjoy talking to you, but I do try to meet as many people as I can and well I never was really good about matching names and faces. But if you remind me of past discussion I bet I will recall.

The More you Put Into It

The more you will get out of it. Get involved, and step out of your comfort zone. Is it scary? Yes it is, I was a first timer once, and I was nervous about many of the things you may be. I still am… But today I bought a Kilt and I even went out a cut a rug a little, very little but I did it. Will stepping out of your comfort zone always turn into a great experience, maybe I can’t tell you, but you won’t know until you try.

Stop taking notes

Go ahead give it a try. OK maybe this is a little drastic, take very few notes. The idea I am trying to pass along is that there is so much more to most topics than what will fit into the time slots. Chances are if you are going to move a new technology into production and you are using the conference to give you a little information on it, then you are going to be doing some more research before you roll it out. If this is the case, is your time better spent focusing on the speaker and what the talking points, or is it better to take as many detailed notes as you can? Don’t miss the big picture because you are so focused on making detailed notes.

Big Data?

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Career, SQLServerPedia Syndication

This time of the year, a common question that I am asked not only at User Group Meetings, but over email and such is why I am such a big fan of the PASS Summit and why I believe this is a must attend event for everyone. This year I even have the opportunity to have an answer posted on the TechNet SQL Server Blog, that I think is being posted later this week. There are so many reasons as why to attend PASS, but a big one for me is the opportunity to have visibility into SQL Server features that I haven’t had the opportunity to work with. If you are at all like me, my time researching is spent looking at things that will make my current or known future projects even better. I am not spending time like I should learning about features that don’t impact me today, I would love to but I just don’t have all that time.

One of the really neat things about the PASS summit is the ability to attend sessions, make notes on features that I use for reference at a later date, when that information is more relevant to the projects I am working on. Here is a great example; I am really looking forward to attending this session by David DeWitt. A great speaker with a lot of good information, this session will give me some great insight that I might be able to use in the near future.

Big Data Meets SQL Server [DBA-410-S]

During my “Big Data” keynote at the 2011 PASS conference, I introduced the concept of an “enterprise data manager” – a new class of database systems capable of executing queries against both traditional structured data stored in a relational DBMS and unstructured data stored in HDFS, Hadoop’s distributed file system. In this talk I will describe the progress we have been making on this concept at the Gray Systems Lab. Extending the Query Processor in SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse by adding a new table distribution type for data stored in HDFS, we give it the ability to query data stored in HDFS without first having to load the data into PDW. By leveraging a database QP, we can perform real optimization – transform selections, projections, aggregates and other operations on HDFS files into MapReduce jobs and execute them on the Hadoop cluster as part of the query execution plan it generates.

So anyway, this is just one other reason why I really believe the PASS Summit is a can’t miss event. I hope to see you there.

Heavy Heart

Posted: September 24, 2012 in Career, News, SQLServerPedia Syndication

About 12 years ago I sat down with a couple of the guys that I work with. We had an in depth discussion about starting a User’s Group in Colorado Springs, I am not sure if we knew how big it would get, or what we really expected. But we knew we wanted to give people who do the same SQL Server work we did the opportunity to learn and share ideas, experience’s and just overall network together. Over the course of time I have been a leader of this group, for all but a year or two, I have been the President and the Vice-President of events, most recently a Co-President. I can tell you I have gotten just as much from the group as I have given it. If you have ever considered starting a group or joining a group I cannot tell you how much I recommend it.

My wife and I have always dreamed of living in our 5th wheel full time. There is nothing like waking up with the deer hanging outside your door when you get up each morning and going to bed each night after I hang out with the Foxes. About 6 months ago, we were able to make this dream come true. The other aspect to our dream is to stop dealing with the snow, and for me the pain that comes along with the snow. As of October 15th this year we will be spending our winters in warmer weather. Seeing that we will be out of state close to 6 months a year, I do not feel like I can contribute as much to the group as voted in board member. I will not be seeking reelection for the Colorado Springs SQL Server Users Group.

Does this mean I won’t be back? No.

Making a decision like this has been really difficult for me, I am so vested in the group but I can rest assured knowing that the current leadership is some of the finest I have ever worked with and I have a lot of hope with the group and the group’s future.

What about being a Regional Mentor?

I have not been doing a very good job on keeping up with posting everything that is going on, here on my blog. I have accepted a role to be one of two RM’s for PASS for Canada. I am really excited about this and many aspects of it are well under way. This will continue, and there is no plan for it not to as we complete our travels.

What is coming my way?

  • In November I will be at the PASS summit, and I think this one is starting to look like this one will be the best yet.
  • In October I will be headed over to the SQL Saturday in Nebraska.

     

As a new chapter starts and an old chapter closes I can’t help but reflect on friends, events and all the great people and things that we have done with the group. There is more to come and I am really looking forward to the new focus and the future.

 

 

 

I am getting such a kick out of the question this month, I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked what I do each day, or how did I get started with SQL Server and databases. For someone considering this career field I spend a lot of time recommending training, or conferences. All my recommendations have been directed to learning the SQL Server skills, but there is so much more to become successful. So when I saw this question, I thought wow, this is going to be telling but I never guessed my day would turn out like it did. At the end of the day, I did however sit back and start to review what I had done and I compared it to my normal day, boy was surprised at how common this day was, minus a few notable events. So have fun with the answer, I hope you enjoy.


This month’s T-SQL Tuesday post is about you and your job. Specifically, on Wednesday July 11th or Thursday July 12th, track what you do for an entire day and then write about it. Hopefully one of those days is a “typical” day and not a vacation day (if it is, then just pick another day or do your best), but ideally, everyone writes about what they did on one specific day. The host of this month’s question is Erin Stellato (B|T) . Be sure to check out Erin’s blog for not only good SQL Stuff, but look at the comments to the question. How does your day compare, is it that different?

5:00 AM – Time to start the 2 hour drive to the Littleton office. (I do this for a couple days a week, and then work from home or out of the Xtivia Colorado Springs office for the rest of the week.)

5:10 AM – Go back because I forgot something.

5:45 AM – Ok I need food.

7:17 AM – Whew made it to the office, time to get started. I hit my daily checklist that is in my inbox, I want to make sure none of the servers are feeling sick, and I have the process automated. I updated my project list, made updates and found some coffee.

8:05 AM – The afternoon before a developer had sent me an email asking me to review a couple tables, and a stored procedure to ensure that everything was running as well as it should. I had worked on it 2 hours the night before I had documented the average run time of the stored procedure at less than 1 second and also saw there was about 22 logical reads per execution. Not a prime candidate for the cause of a performance issue, but I moved ahead because this may get slower over the course of time, the developer had a reason to ask me to do it, so off to it. I did notice there was a cluster index scan, so there is something I can do for sure.

9:00 AM – The poor soul in the cube next to me walked in and asked me if I live in a forest (we often discussions start like this), she proceeded to show me a number of bug bites on her neck and seeing that I live in the mountains, I guess that makes me the official office expert on Bug Bites. So I did what all of us Entomology experts of my level do. I goggled it. I was able to have a little fun and convince her that it was a bed bug, and that she might want to seek assistance from the medical field. But eventually I realized I should let her off the hook, and I was back to performance tuning about 10 minutes later.

 

10:30 AM – I had a foreign key that I had found I needed to add, and in addition a covering index to make the hash a lot less intrusive, with my code in hand that I was so proud of I wandered over to the developer to share the good news. It was then I learned that the chances are this table will never grow by all that much, so the 4 hours to this point I had spent on tuning this has saved about 20 logical reads an execution, at 500 executions at most a day times the 2 tenths of a second that I trimmed off the execution time, for a total of 10 seconds a day on saved performance. I revisited my action plan and determined that they next time I did a performance tuning task, I need to spend a little more time understanding the total impact of the stored procedure to determine of the if the tuning time involved, would make a bigger impact. There are some true side benefits that came out of this, but impact on the system will not be noticed.

10:40 AM – A client sent an email asking if he was being changed for some data that I had sent the night before. After talking to a couple people I was able to determine that a different consultant that the client had hired, was looking at trying to add some work to the contract they were on. The client was not aware that the discovery the other consultant was doing would include engaging some of my time.

10:50 AM – Back to work, looking at results of a Database Mirroring failover test, to see what items I need to make sure get corrected and what items we were expecting. The test had a couple issues that we had anticipated, end result was future tasks and projects are going to resolve these issues. I could not have been much happier with the results we saw, and I am overjoyed at how fast we were able to move all of our databases over 21 miles with only 2 20-second outages (Moved the data, and then moved it back).

12:30 PM – Had lunch planned, I had a few discussion points around the client I mentioned before. It sounds like the information is going to be passed along to the other consultant, and corrections will be made.

1:45 PM – In the afternoon I had the opportunity to sit with some of the key players in relation to the DR failover, there were a couple issues we wanted to address, but the primary was keeping our reporting services install online when we do a mirroring or AlwaysOn failover. The reporting services configuration that is being used has one SSRS web server, there is a second one that the report deployment is kept in sync in the other datacenter. However, the 2 are not load balanced, and the data sources for the reports do not use the failover server in the connection string.

4:00 PM – Time to head home, for the first couple miles I ran into a couple traffic spots that slowed me down, but this is where the day gets a little odd, and out of norm for me. During the second traffic slowdown a Toyota had been weaving in and out of traffic because of the slowdown. Inside the car were 2 people but because of the sun I was not sure, either way they were dancing around in the car just having a good time. For the next 20 miles, I was amused by the activity. Around 4:30 or so, we reached the stoplight were I jump onto another freeway and the Toyota pulled up next to me. As I looked around the lady in the front seat waved at me to roll down the window. I was sure something was wrong with my truck and they were going to warn me. My eyes darted over to make sure the lap top bag and the iPhone was where it should be, because well I am the guy who likes to drive away with stuff on top of my car. They were pretty adamant about talking with me, but once I had the window rolled down, the only thing they had mentioned was they like my Truck. Man I love living outside of town…

5:45 PM – I talked to the wife a bit earlier and she had asked if I would pick up some Pizza for dinner. So when I stopped to pick up the order I had called in from the road, I was caught off guard when someone came up and asked me if I wanted to sign up to win cash, grass or gas. I guess some local radio station was promoting something over the summer and this was the contest, I usually don’t have much luck with this stuff, but the drawing was in 5 minutes, and you had to be present to win. I looked around and well I had a 33% chance of winning. They called my name, I ran up and gave the wheel a spin. Eventually when the wheel came to a halt, I learned I won some grass. What the heck is grass, they cannot be giving away what I think they are, are they? Thank goodness no, it appears that grass is grass seats for a local concert where BB King will be jamming.

6:30 PM – I got home, had some pizza pie, and then sat down to finish up some emails and work. I look back on my day, start this blog and at first I thought I had a crazy day. But the more I think about it, was it crazy? Na, this is just a day in the life of a DBA.

Exciting News

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Career, News

I mentioned earlier this week that I had some really exciting news. Today I have the opportunity talk a little bit more about that exciting news.

About a year ago someone had asked me what would my dream job was. I had given thought as to what jobs that I have done and what I liked, and then I thought a lot about the things that I don’t like to do. As I worked through the process in my mind I kept coming back to the same few points.

  • I like to work with SQL Server – This is the core of my career. I love this tool, and the community could not be better.
  • I like working with organizations, and creating solutions for HA and DR scenarios. My job is to see those obstacles, and then provide solutions.
  • I enjoy solving real world problems, being able to cross that hurdle of this is the problem we are having and here are the business limitations, now how do we accomplish this.
  • I really like to teach – It doesn’t matter if is at a conferences, classes or even one on one.

I was thinking about what my experience brings to the table as an industry trusted Microsoft SQL Server Professional I am aware of the challenges surrounding organizations in today’s marketplace when searching for effective database solutions. I enjoy helping organizations bridge that gap from databases are something needed to support your businesses to databases are a tool that can be utilized to grow an organization.

It was then I had an idea. I start to think about some of the projects I have done in the past, and some of the people that I have worked with and have trusted for many years. I looked for a company who has a great track record, and understands that working with a client is not just completing a statement of work, but it is helping them accomplish goals, solve problems, and prepare for the future. It is about customer service, it is all about doing the right thing.

I talked to a friend of mine, Mark. An idea emerged where I could help Xtivia and work with some of the organizations they work with and add to the benefits they bring to their clients. This was a perfect match because Xtivia is providing solutions and supporting those database management needs by helping organizations use Microsoft SQL Server. After some discussion and looking at some of the options, this looked like it could be a great fit. So on July 11th Xtivia and I have started working together, they have expressed that they support my desire to stay active in the community and they can see the benefits of working with SQL Server experts around the world.

I am excited because I have the opportunity to work with a great staff, and to help with creating some solutions. I look forward to helping them expand the benefits they bring to clients.