What I Wish I Had Known Sooner…as a DBA

AttitudeYesterday I took a minute and to review some posts by some Data Professionals and in doing so I came across and article by Erin Stellato. She had been tagged by Mike Walsh who posted an article regarding 4 Attitudes I Wish I Had Earlier as a DBA

At the very end of Erin’s post she mentions “I’m not tagging anyone in this post by name, but if you’re thinking “I wish she had tagged me” then you’ve just been tagged.”

This spawned some thinking yesterday and last night; looking back I see growth, mistakes, resolutions, solutions, and much more that has brought me where I am today.  A lot has transpired; and I still have a lot more left to learn and understand.


I have been told throughout the years I do not have an off switch. My mind is constantly running on things that may have occurred throughout the day, solutions to issues that I or someone has experienced recently, answers to forum questions, multiple projects running at the same time, and the list goes on. With that said you have to have some form of balance; I’ve seen many people burn out of the years and it is something that I’ve had to continually work on throughout my own career. Am I there yet – nope; but that’s okay. I’ve come along way in that area and will continue to work on it.


I’m the DBA what I say goes; it’s my way or the highway. Yeah that syndrome will end catastrophically and fast. Being a DBA (or as I like to say Data Professional) you encounter and work with many people from all faucets of business. It is almost a fine art of communication (which can be a point in and of itself), learning how to work together with other teams. Does this mean that you should not stand your ground for your beliefs – nope. What it does mean is that you will always see a gap; there has always been one. The network guys will blame the DBAs, the DBAs will blame the developers and network guys, the developers will blame the DBAs. It’s a constant endless loop.

End of the day, all the groups under the blanket of a company are in the same fight and on the same team regardless of if you are in networking, DBA land, development, phone systems – whatever the case is. We have to find a way to work together for the common good of the company.

Wrote a piece awhile back on bridging that gap

Provide Leadership Through Service

Last year I came across and article that Grant Fritchey wrote around Providing Leadership Through Service. This is something that has really resonated with me more so now to which I wish I would have learned earlier on in my career. Whether you are a contractor, own your own business, or work in a shop full time view your efforts as providing a service to the company you are with.  It will change how you view and reflect on your position; we should be humbled and honored to work within an environment we’ve been handed, but at the same time be bold and provide that leadership that companies so richly desire and seek

Learn To Say “NO”

No is not a bad word; although at times we think it is. Early on in my career I wanted to fix and do everything I could to help people. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy helping people. If you don’t learn to say no you will soon spread yourself to thin. This is a constant struggle that I still endure sometimes as I want to help everyone I meet with questions, projects, etc. The growth that I have had over the years has taught me to do the helping more methodical. At times I do have to say no, and that’s okay.


Well there you have it; not very fancy but is from the heart and from a data professional who realizes he will never be perfect but will continue to grow on this SQL journey.

I’m not tagging anyone but offering the same avenue that I was given. If you’d like to blog about what Mike has presented then by all means; give it a go.

Thanks Mike for getting this started; brought back some fond memories for myself.

ISPACs – Got To Love Em

Being a DBA and working with various teams, I have become accustomed to deploying SSIS packages. I’ll even go back further and, dare I say, DTS packages (I hope everyone did not just fall on the floor while reading that). Now-a-days this Database Professional does more deploying packages than developing them; with that said I was pleased when 2012 came along.

When the newer version of SSIS was released it offered several new features, one of those features was building a deployment model thus producing an ISPAC file. I remember first coming across this and thinking, “Wow, this is all packaged up”. While I won’t go into the specifics of how to build the deployment I will show you the step by step process of deploying the ISPAC file.

Step 1

Locate the ISPAC file. Once located double click on the ISPAC file to gain entry into the deployment wizard.



Step 2

What kind of Integration Services project do you want to deploy? Since we are dealing with an ISPAC file on our local directory we will select the source path we found from Step 1. Simply browse to the path location and click ok.



Step 3

So you have your ISPAC file selected and you want to deploy it; where does it go? You have the capability to supply any Server Name for rapid deployment. The path reflects the SSISDB catalog which is required for SSIS 2012 packages to be deployed. If your SSIS package is already on the server you can simply choose to overwrite the existing file at deployment time.



Step 4

After you select the destination path; it is then time for review. The review section will provide you with a great overview of the Source path of the file being deployed and the destination location.


Step 5

Once verified and the deployment button is hit we are off to the races. The ability to have quick insight into the deployment and the methodology to save the report for future use is stellar. If your deployment did fail; at this step you would be able to dive into the error in the result pain on the right hand side.



Seems simple enough? The deployment method in SSIS 2012 has proved beneficial for myself and is a welcomed aspect. Earlier this year I completed a post on the utilization of PowerShell and how to deploy 2012 SSIS packages and that can be found here.

I tell you what; check out what my other colleagues have to say on something they learned recently around SSIS:


CollaborateImageOn a SQL Collaboration Quest

Four SQL professionals gathered from the four corners of the world to share their SQL knowledge with each other and with their readers: Mickey Stuewe from California, USA, Chris Yates from Kentucky, USA, Julie Koesmarno from Canberra, Australia, and Jeffrey Verheul from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They invite you to join them on their quest as they ask each other questions and seek out the answers in this collaborative blog series. Along the way, they will also include other SQL professionals to join in the collaboration.

And Just Like That….Three Years


Time is a constant. Anything and everything requires time it seems, and with that said I received a reminder today that three years have passed since I first started this adventure called blogging.


With this blog you will not find perfection, instead you will find a Data Professional who has grown more over the last three years of his career than he did the first ten. Is it by sheer circumstance? No, I don’t believe so. Don’t get me wrong; learning my first ten years was ongoing; I just wasn’t prepared for what the last three years had in store for me. Looking back I see phenomenal people who took a chance on me both from my career standpoint and from a community standpoint. People who pushed me never to give up when things didn’t necessarily go the way I would have liked for them to; or the countless hours of advice I would seek out from people who graciously pointed me in the right direction.


Attending PASS Summit 2011 was the career changer for me. Inspiration and collaboration ensued when I arrived back home and it has been an enjoyable ride. The blog has morphed from infancy (The SQL Corner) to what it is today (The SQL Professor). With steady growth over the past three years I’m pleased with the reception it has gotten and look forward to the future and what it holds.


I used to get discouraged at the quantity I was producing; I quickly realized that it isn’t quantity it is quality and that content is key and cannot be substituted. One of my favorite blog posts wasn’t even a technical post; no it was one of influential people that have helped me in my career and more so in the past three years. Investing time in others, writing, and continual learning will be my focus this upcoming year; focusing a lot more on the quality of content.


It’s an honor and privilege to blog about my SQL adventures as a Data Professional. I won’t always be perfect, but as with anything you’ll get a Data Professional who will give a 110% and try to provide solutions to everyday issues that are incurred in work life situations. I recently re-read an article by Grant Fritchey (Blog|Twitter) – Leadership Through Service; this is something that has resonated with me and is a thought that is a good basis for a strong foundation. I want to view this upcoming year as such “Leadership Through Service”


 I would be amiss if I didn’t thank Chris Shaw (Blog|Twitter) and John Sansom (Blog|Twitter) for investing time in me and pushing me to continue to grow and get better. I could easily throw an additional 10-12 people in there  but the two I mentioned have stood by me. They’ve seen me grow, stumble, fall, picked me up, and encouraged me along my journey. Is that not what our Community is about? If we continue to reach one person and that person reaches one person the SQL Community will continue to grow and thrive.


Time is a constant. Time is passing by. What will you make of your time?

T-SQL Tuesday #57 – SQL Family and Community

SQL-Tuesday.jpgMaybe it is just me, but these monthly block parties seem to be coming around quicker and quicker as time continues to fly by. My good friend Jeffrey Verheul (Blog | @DefJef) is getting the opportunity to host this month and he wants to know about “SQL Family and the Community”.

If you have been around SQL long enough you will find out that the terms SQL Family and Community are mentioned often. For me, and my experiences, it is a close knit group of data professionals that are willing to share their life experiences, everyday issues, problems solving skills, idea bouncing, and much more. I have been involved with SQL for over 14 years now and only the last 4 years have I been active in the community; not because I didn’t want to, but I was not privy to the magnitude of how far the SQL Family and Community reach is.

It’s no secret for those who know me. I’m sports oriented; having played baseball, football, soccer, and basketball my whole life and then college basketball I’ve been around team oriented methodologies my whole life. That background has it’s pros and cons, but the disciplines and insights I garnered from those experiences has fit nicely with being a Data Professional.

Having those days behind me for the most part (yes I am an avid runner still and do partake in a good game of basketball at times) my team now is the SQL Community.


Preparing for a big game you have to look at the whole picture. Countless hours of practice, repetition, running play after play goes into a season not to mention conditioning. The camaraderie built during those times with your teammates enables you to trust them on the court. Guess what, being a data professional you have to be all in. To me that means continuous work day in and day out to help hone your skill set, and part of that work has been working with the SQL Community and Family.

The Game


The day of the game is here and it’s go time. You look at your teammates (SQL Community) and you are in a huddle right before tip off. The opponent is huge, a foot taller than your tallest guy, yet you are determined. This is what you’ve prepared for. Will you rise to the challenge?

  • You will get assists in your career where you were stumped and didn’t have a clue; then someone from the SQL Community will provide you with that spark that enables you to get over the hump.
  • You will grab that rebound when someone, other than you is stumped, and pick that person up when they need help.
  • You will block that shot when a someone is wanting SA rights to your server.

When your number is called to come into the game (becoming active in the SQL Community) will you answer the call? Will you come into the game with an attitude of we got this? Have you prepared?

Outcome of Game

A team is just that; a team. I remember vividly to a point in time when we were in the off season, but conditioning. We had already completed multiple wind sprints and were wrapping up running intervals. Getting to the finish line we looked back and one of our teammates was struggling. He was to the point of running then stopping; did we leave him out there? A resounding NO – the ones that finished ran back out and surrounded our teammate. He was part of our team and no way were we going to let him struggle alone, and hopefully; we could give him the confidence to finish. That to me epitomizes the SQL family and community. Sure we are a finicky bunch at times, frustration occurs, and we don’t always get along. That happens on every team; however at the end of the day we have each others back. We win as a team and lose as a team.


If you are not active in the SQL Community then you are missing out. It’s time; the horn has sounded and the game is on. Time is ticking down; will you get in the game? A saying that a coach told me a long time ago has stuck with me ~ “Somewhere someone is practicing getting better; what will you be doing?” Let’s make this Community the best we can.

What is T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday is a recurring blog party, that was started by Adam Machanic (Blog | @AdamMachanic). Each month a blog will host the party, and everyone that want’s to can write a blog about a specific subject. If you are interested and have been blogging for a bit drop Adam a line.