Musings of an Accidental DBA

SQL Server Developer

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

When it comes to SQL, you are a N00b!

You are such a N00b!  My 14 year old son’s favorite saying.  Atleast I swear I hear it coming out of his mouth on a more than regular basis.  He has become quite the MW3 fanatic.  But it is interesting how that phrase has really rung true lately.  I had lunch with John Morehouse (@SQLrus) and John Barnes (@Riskworks) this week, and our topic of conversation was along those same lines.  SQL knowledge, not MW3.

How much do you really know about the technology you are in?  Back in August, I attended the first SQLSaturday event here in Omaha.  It was amazing.  And eye-opening.  If you had asked me, before that day, my level of expertise in SQL, I would have told you on a scale of one to ten I was an eight.  After that day, I consider myself more of a six.  Youdon’t know what you don’t know.  I remember this occuring before, and I’m hearing it more and more.  The more you put yourself in a position to learn, the more you realize how little you actually know.

John mentioned being at PASS summit and sitting in on a 500 level session, and having Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randal enter and proceed to plant themselves in front of John.  If you don’t know who Kimberly and Paul are, you are truly missing out.  Omaha (me included) had the opportunity to sit in on a learning session that the two of them put together, and it was priceless.  The slide deck alone has given me amazing resources to accomplish things at my company.  This couple (married, by the way) are two of the brightest and most helpful people I have come across in SQL.  And again, if you aren’t on their ‘SQLskills Insider’ mailing list, you are missing out.  And if they find it important enough to keep learning from others, then who am I to think I know much of anything.

Steve Jones from the voice of the DBA podcast posted the picture above awhile back of Brent Ozar sitting in a seminar.  Again, someone you can really learn from (check out Brent Ozar PLF) getting further education on his subject of expertise.  If these guys are taking the time to learn more, what makes you think you know even a small part of it.  John Morehouse was referring to some interviews he assisted with, and the applicants stating they were an eight out of ten.  If you think you are an eight, who do you think is a ten?  Do you really have 80 percent of their knowledge?  And does that make Itzik Ben-Gan a 12?

Now this doesn’t just apply to SQL, or technology, or fitness.  No matter what you are doing right now, there is always more to learn.  Always!  Take the time to learn.  There are so many resources available to us as SQL professionals, it is mind boggling.  One of my goals for this year is to read.  Well, read more.  I’m making it a priority to read from BOL (Microsoft hosted SQL Books OnLine) every day.  I also currently have two books loaded on Kindle on my phone.  SQL MVP Deep Dives II, as well as SQL Server 2008 Internals.  I am getting a better understanding of how to do things in SQL, but I’m also learning more of why I do things a certain way, as well as the inner workings of how SQL does it.  It really is quite amazing.  If you need a place to get started, try the links to the right.  Now get out there and figure out what you don’t know.

T-SQL Tuesday #026 – Its 2012 already?

All right. It is a new year, and our first TSQL Tuesday event. “DO OVERS!”  Nice topic. So why am I picking ‘New Years Resolutions’, (I mean ‘New Years Goal’s’) when I don’t really believe in them. I agree with several other bloggers that I follow as far as ‘If it’s something worth doing, why aren’t you already doing it?’. Well, after reading @Buckwoody ‘s post about Valentine’s Day and Your Career, how could you not comprise a list?

It’s just like Valentines Day, it’s a Holiday created by somebody somewhere that really doesn’t have any meaning to it. So? Go thru the ritual anyway. It’s not going to hurt you, and in the long run, it will be good for you. So here goes.

#1. Read a book a month. This is something I’m taking from Paul Randal and Tony Gentilecore. I am going to have two books to read every two months (one technical, and one not) and get them read over those two months. I think it will set a good example for my kids, who in their generation, aren’t reading near enough (paper or otherwise).

#2. RTFM365. I like Jen McCown’s idea of reading from the SQL Server Books Online Daily. I’m in. I started something like this back in August, but fell away from it, after learning many things that I didn’t know yet. I certainly have more to learn.

#3. I need to spend more time with my wife and kids, more specifically, getting them back into being fitness oriented. I have taken the last two years, and gotten myself back into shape. Even with my athletic background, this has been quite a task, if not an unfinished one. My kids are growing up, and they need their Dad. All three of them. I don’t want them to be like the rest of their generation that is growing out instead of up. At least once a week, we are going to do something that gets them off the couch and away from their video games/TVs.

#4. I’m going to write on my blog at least once a week. This should be interesting with all the things I am adding to my schedule. Good thing I’m not an avid TV watcher.

#5. I’m going to train myself to be able to do a handstand. This has been a goal of mine. I’m commiting to it this year. This may seem weird to most of you, and I’m 6’5” and 280#. Why not? We should all be inverted more!

#6. I’m going to jump rope (at least 100 jumps) every day. I’m committing to losing 10#s before our trip to Disney World in March. I think this would be a good exercise that I can get into. Working on my doublejumps might be a good goal as well (6b?). An old friend and college teammate Tim Sinnett. He would jump rope to warm up before every game. He was the shortest on the team, but could jump out of his socks! I think it will do wonders for me. Might even get one of those mini-tramps (if I can find room in my house to use it!)

#7. I’m going to rebuild my computer network at home. This could be an interesting task. I haven’t done this since I was single (11 years ago?). I want to set up a server at home I can load SQL Server on, and get to know it better. I know this will help me in whatever direction I end up going (DBA or BI developer). I think it is important to understand what is going on inside.

#8. Make more friends. I’m really an outgoing person that isn’t shy. But I haven’t taken the time to make any new friends. Getting involved with SQL Saturday back in August was one of the greatest events of 2011 for me. I’m reminded that you are the sum of your five closest friends… and I need to make some more friends!

#9. I am going to get more involved in the SQL community. This kind of follows with the one above.  I hope John Morehouse reads this and takes a hint. I am volunteering!

That should be a good start, I think. This is almost a list of ‘what I should have done in 2011’, but that is for another blog post. I hope I have given you some good examples, so that your wheels are turning in setting up what you are going to do in 2012. Take some time right now, and figure out what you are going to do this year. Yes, right now. Leave your comments below.

Its going to be a great year!  Are you going to end up a year older, with nothing to show for it?  Or are you going to take action?

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