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Don't waste this time

What are you going to do with the end of the year?

By Sean McCown on Fri, 12/03/10 - 11:21am.

As I sit here the week after Thanksgiving I just remembered that we're a month away from the end of the year.  And in most companies projects are winding down or being postponed until the beginning of the year.  Let's face it, people just aren't as enthused to work really hard as they are at other times of the year.  So that makes this the perfect time to get those nagging DBA projects out of the way that you've been trying to get to all year.  Sometimes it can be really hard to find time to get your house in order the way you want because you're pulled in so many directions at once.  Well, now's your chance.  Don't let this opportunity pass you by.  While nobody's pulling at you do something for yourself.  Go ahead and get that problem with your backup routine worked out, or expand it to include something more inclusive.  Better yet, take this time to wrap some powershell queries around your backup alerts.  You can also write some SSRS reports to help fill those customer requests you keep getting.  It's quite useful to have reports that show the last time DBs were backed up, or what the performance for the server has been for the past week, or even the growth rate of the DBs on the server.  These are all things that take up our time needlessly, so write some reports so your customers don't have to bother you.  Of course, we don't use them ourselves because we manage our servers through code, so we don't need end user reports.  But this is an excellent chance to make next year easier for yourself.

Here's what I'll be working on until the end of the year.  I've got problems with knowing which servers are tied to which applications so I'll be updating my server table in my management database so it better reflects my current landscape.  I'm also going to be pushing out a new version of my backup SPs to take advantage of some new changes I'm going to write.  And finally, I'd like to get around to cleaning up some of the powershell scripts I've written over the past few months.  Right now they're kind of disjointed because they were all written on the spot as things came up, but they're not part of a cohesive solution.  So I'm going to make some changes to standardize them all so that I can make changes or expand them easier.  I'll put all the common tasks inside include files and just call them from all the scripts so I can make centralized changes. 

All of these things are going to put me in a better position next year.  We're doing alright now, but we can always be doing better.  And trust me, as DBAs we really don't want to spend all of our time fulfilling little requests.  Those things can eat up your time more than anything and before you know it your whole week is gone and you haven't actually accomplished anything.  So take the time you've got now and solve your biggest problem so you'll have a good year next year.