Is enough ever enough?

It can be really hard dealing with different people in the office.  I mean, there are so many different types of people that there's no way it can always go smoothly.  And then when you throw everyone's agenda into the mix then it...

03/07/2012

Microsoft MCM prep guide

I've recently been awarded the Microsoft Certified Master for SQL Server 2008.  And as a result I thought I'd give you my MCM prep guide.  Now, I'm going to be purposefully vague because we're not allowed to reveal any details about...

02/01/2012

The hidden cost of falling behind

Companies have long since gotten out of writing their own software.  Most think it's well worth the money to buy a package and either customize it or live with its shortcomings.  Now, whether they're right or not is a topic for...

12/28/2011

PASS Summit 2012 Day 3 Keynote

Today's keynote started with a lovely little song by Buck Woddy and Rob Farley.  It was a song of woe and a slow query.  I would sing it for you but I wouldn't do it justice. Then a tribute to Wayne Snyder who ended his speech...

10/14/2011

Rock the kilt

Here we are on day 2 of PASS 2011, and it's without a doubt the best day of the Summit. Not only is it the day after the event we, the MidnightDBAs sponsor, but it's also officially kilt day. A few years ago some people started...

10/13/2011

PASS 2011 Begins

I'm sitting here at the blogger table at the PASS Summit 2011. I got here Sunday, and it's already been an action-packed week. We spent the first 2 days on MS campus in MVP sessions and I'm already tired. So far the most...

10/12/2011

How long is your downtime?

It's always a fine line to walk how much you need to pad your downtime estimates.  The business doesn't want to be down forever, but at the same time they get upset when you run over for whatever reason.  I always pad my tasks...

09/09/2011

Forget innovation, get the basics down

As a technologist I'm always thrilled to be able to work with a computer whenever I go someplace.  However, it usually ends in despair because while everyone's trying too hard to make tons of money off of every click, nobody's...

08/23/2011

A case against third-party management tools

One of the biggest businesses in IT is 3rd party tools.  And the DB market has almost more than I can even count.  We've got tools for everything from backups to security and defrag.  It's amazing how many of those things there are. ...

08/22/2011

What does community mean to you?

How important is community involvement? I recently talked to a PR guy with one of the vendors who writes an entire suite of apps for SQL Server and he said that his company is trying to get more involved in community because it's...

08/18/2011

The new IT guys

Here I am on the tail-end of my first large company talk ever.  Sure, I've addressed business units, small groups, etc in meetings, but never before have I ever been called on to give a presentation to 100+ people in a company.  And...

07/27/2011

Trust nobody

I really can't stress the importance of doing your own legwork when it comes to doing server discovery.  And in this case I'm not talking about discovering the servers themselves, but discovering the setup of the resources of the...

07/14/2011

How important are unit tests?

A lot of the unit testing that gets done doesn't get done right.  Now, what I mean by that isn't that devs don't know how to test their own functionality (though that's really the subject of another post), it's that they don't know...

06/13/2011

The hubris of years: IT prowess can't be measured only by time on the job

I've been doing quite a bit of interviewing lately (again) and there's one thing that really smacks me in the face whenever I do this.  And that is how much everyone seems to prize how long they've been doing something over how well...

05/27/2011

Opening the door doesn’t mean giving away the keys

This is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion about.  To state the thesis directly, everyone wants DBAs to have an open-door policy when it comes to their processes.  Of course to them, having an open-door means giving...

05/16/2011

Take control of your servers

Today I'd like to talk about gathering evidence.  As a DBA you have to gather evidence for all kinds of things all the time.  Sometimes you're chasing a rogue query through the system, sometimes you're trying to find out which user...

05/10/2011

Should your DBAs be certified?

Should you require your people to get certs?  This is a topic that's been a near holy war for years now... esp with the Microsoft exams.  The problem is that it's really hard to protect an exam from cheaters.  So there are plenty of...

04/27/2011

The staged approach to troubleshooting database issues

I've had a bit of a time lately troubleshooting some database issues and I finally got them worked out so I thought I'd talk about my layered approach to pinning down issues on a busy box.The problem is simple.  You've got a busy box...

04/07/2011

The problem with numbers

IT has a horrible track record for keeping people.  You may remember a while back I wrote a post about mentoring and how companies will just throw you away when it suites them.  This is kind of a follow-up post in that it's on the...

03/18/2011

The reverse application pyramid

No matter what field you're in you have the same problem as any other field:  application sprawl.  It seems like there's almost no way to control the number of apps hitting your environment.  And while some of it is justified, I...

03/09/2011

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