Every year, I finish up by emptying out my list of blog post ideas. It’s a freeing feeling, letting go of these ideas that I just couldn’t find a way to flesh out, and lets me feel better about new ideas in 2015.
Here’s the ideas I just couldn’t hit Publish on in 2014:
Database Administrator Warning Labels – you know those big cigarette warning labels in black and white print? Wouldn’t it be cool if Books Online carried similar warnings on certain pages? WARNING: TRIGGERS MAY CAUSE LONG, PAINFUL TROUBLESHOOTING.
How to Publish Scripts – whenever you put a script online, include the author name, date, version number, URL to get the latest version, and the license. No, it’s not enough to say “open source” – that means different things to different people. ChooseALicense.com makes it easy.
Cool SQL Server Features – DBAs on other platforms sometimes ask me, “Why would you ever use Microsoft SQL Server?” I’d love to have a short list of some of the amazing stuff we can do that other platforms struggle with. Stack Overflow’s list of hidden T-SQL features is a good start.
SQL Server Cheat Codes – in the spirit of the Konami code, fake keystroke combinations that trigger SQL Server back doors. “If you need brief power-ups for urgent queries, go into SSMS and hit up up down down left right left right B A, and your query will be granted higher memory and CPU resources than other queries.”
Consulting Lines updates – these were my favorite blog posts, and I wanted to write a few more about lines I’ve seen other consultants use successfully.
Backups have nothing to do with high availability. If your failover plan involves human beings manually restoring a database or running setup.exe, that’s not a high availability plan – that’s a disaster recovery plan.
What’s Your Budget? – no, not your company’s budget, your own personal budget in investing in your skills. Who’s going to make sure you can get your next job or move up the corporate ladder? Most companies only pay lip service, not money, to this concept. You’re going to have to invest your own time and money every year in your skills. Put it down in writing and figure out what’ll get you the most ROI.
The Voices of SQL Server – I’ve long wanted to write a series of posts using a completely different voice, masquerading as a series of guest posts:
- Weatherman – with a weather report about a 70% chance of high CPU, with a blocking storm rolling in from the west
- Insanity Wolf – and if you don’t know who he is, he is not safe for work.
- Policeman – “Do you know why I pulled your query over?”
- Fire-and-brimstone preacher – “If you don’t change your indexing ways, you’re gonna burn in hell!”
- Whiny kindergartener – “I don’t wanna share! I want my own machine!”
- Sportscaster – a play-by-play announcement of two queries racing to the finish line, culminating in a deadlock
- Feng Shui advisor – with guidance on how to arrange servers in your data racks for optimal flow and energy (which sounds like I’m making fun of them, but Erika’s been practicing at it for a few years now, and I’m actually really impressed with the results)
- Game show host – running Press Your Luck, a game about dirty reads
- Miss Cleo – because that woman surely knows why your database is slow
If you enjoyed that, here’s the 2013, 2012, and 2011 equivalents.
I recently spent 45 minutes on the phone with a vendor who accused me of having wildly fragmented indexes, and a server that hadn’t been rebooted in a dangerous amount of time, only to find out inserts were failing because they had three triggers that called stored procedures full of functions on the table.
Erik – hahaha, ouch. Well, we’ve all been there – on both sides of that!
What are the odds of being able to convince you to put the “more consulting lines” idea back on the pending-blog-idea list?
Those were the most valuable non-technical posts I’ve seen on your site or anywhere really. And non-obvious too.
Michael – thanks sir, glad you liked ’em! I really liked ’em too, and I think to some extent they’ll always be in the pending list, but it’s just a matter of experience. I want to feel like I know the ins and outs of a particular line before I blog about it, and I haven’t yet felt like I can add 4-5 new posts with solid expertise. I want to have several chained together before I open that series up again. Will do it sooner or later, though.
Recently heard Richard Campbell say he has a hate hate relationship with triggers. You should do a RunAs Radio episode titled “how I hate triggers, let me count the ways.”
A little more seriously, a couple of years ago I was dabbling with F#, and functional languages in general. I was interested in the no side effects aspect of functional languages. Triggers look and quack like side effects to me.