Category Archives: Encouragement

Making A Difference

MakeADifferenceA father was awoken by his wife to check on their son who was asleep but making noises that they could hear through his room monitor. The father, half a sleep and thinking his son was dreaming, wondered into his room and called out to his son only to find that his son wouldn’t answer him. The dad stumbled over to his son’s bed to find that his eyes were rolled back in his head and he was stiff as a board. Panic set in, the worst scenario for the parents was coming true. The son, who had type 1 diabetes, had gone into a diabetic shock – his blood sugar had dipped to low while sleeping. The father feeling for a pulse; scooped the son up and rushed him down stairs to apply an emergency Glucagon shot while the wife called for an ambulance.

Why am I sharing this you may ask? Simple, the father of that boy is me and from that night on he has been my hero which leads me into this article…….

I was fortunate and blessed to attend my first PASS SUMMIT in 2011. After getting passed the complete awesomeness and the many renowned speakers I found myself wanting to ask questions and kicking myself in the tail for not asking them. Come on, let’s be honest, you’ve been there with various things in your life. You don’t want to ask questions because you don’t want to feel not as smart, or you see someone who has years’ experience and think why would they want to waste time on what I think. I know I felt that same thing and then it all kind of just clicked in my head.

I got to thinking about my boy while at that PASS Summit and the inspiration he had given me that night, then sitting in a session and looking over and seeing Brent Ozar in the class actually learning (floored me; in my eyes this guy knows everything SQL related), or Paul Randal sitting in on a session a few seats away, or asking advice from Chris Shaw on a presentation he did on Utility Databases. I found out a few things at the Summit about myself that otherwise I would have stayed in my shell.

  • The people that you look up to in the industry are 9 times out of 10 the most down to earth people you would ever meet and are willing to offer advice if you ask.
  • Step out of that comfort zone; this blog was started based on attending the PASS Summit and thinking if I can help one person along my SQL journey as a DBA then it is all worth-while.
  • Speaking – never thought I’d do it but found out I truly enjoy it and helps me interact with a lot of faces and people.
  • Learn from the SQL Community as a whole; have you been to any forums, blogs on a regular schedule?
  • Not one question is a dumb question; everyone learns so go ahead and ask that question  you are hesitant about.
  • Hard work – it does pay off. Don’t short cut anything – dig in, dive in, and give it all you got.

If you have thought about stepping out and starting your own technical blog – DO IT

If you have thought about going up to someone and asking them for advice – DO IT

If you are at a conference and you have a question but the speaker is what you call a Master Jedi in our industry – DO IT

It takes one to make a difference in someone’s career, it takes one to make a difference to someone who might not yet be comfortable in asking the question to solve the problem, it takes one to encourage the person just starting out to get the most out of their potential.

For those of us who have been in the SQL industry for years; when is the last time we put away our ego’s and  helped the one starting out? Or maybe we have a wealth of  knowledge and need to step out and be a voice in the SQL Community.

It takes one ~ will you be that one?

Success Is Journey Not A……

I’ve ofSuccess or Failureten heard the quote “Success is not a journey, but a destination”. Over the course of the last few weeks that quote has taken on a life like form in many fashions. To name a few things that have come to light to make this quote a very real thing are the MCM retiring, having a VMAX overloaded by maintenance plans across the board, upcoming DR Testing, planned Power outages (better than non planned ones eh!).

All these things as I look back on them screams to me that Success is a journey, not a destination. For SQL Data Professionals our jobs are ever changing and growing as we grow with it. Each day is an opportunity to learn something within SQL that you or I didn’t know yesterday, each day presents it’s own opportunities to reach resolutions that you or I didn’t know yesterday, and each day represents that during our failures we can discover the true desire for success.

To the beginner who is starting out who doesn’t know about the sp_configure, the proper use of ORDER BY, or what Table Scan vs. Indexing; the answer is not to just ignore or give up. Dig in and discover what that solution is; it’s how we learn.

To the seasoned SQL Data Professional vet who has been putting off getting on the speaking circuit, taking a newbie under your wing and mentoring them, or simply are just comfortable; challenge yourself. Step outside that normal box and tackle new things head on.

When you have that replication issue that goes awry and you don’t have that big enough wrench to fix it (I use this analogy all the time thanks to Robert Davis a.k.a. SQLSoldier (B|T), stay the course and work your way through it.

I get asked a lot of questions when speaking, email traffic etc., where individuals feel defeated in the problems they are facing within SQL. Every problem has a solution; every solution is waiting to be found it’s up to us as SQL Data Professionals to buckle down and find the answer.

If you are not active in the community I’ve listed some of what I call top tier SQL Data Professionals on the right of this blog site that I follow who have helped me in my DBA career. Forums are also a great place to increase ones learning…to name a few you can check out these:

One last note; when is the last time you just said a simple thanks to someone who has helped you in your career? This past week that has weighed on my mind greatly. A former boss, a mentor, a person who you get newsfeeds from…..I fall in the boat where I get wrapped up in the work I do; I often overlook the simple thank you that in reality goes a long way.

Tackle obstacles, Tackle your fears, and Tackle the solution head one.

Being Hectic With The Thrill

thrillIt happens every time anyone goes to an amusement park. The one park that sticks out to me is Disneyworld just because I was there on a recent family vacation. You know what I’m talking about – the crazy rides, the masses of people, the running to and fro. Vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time yet when you get into a park of any sort, at times, one can get caught up with the hustling and bustling – I know I’ve been there done that. While being on vacation a couple of things stuck out to me so much so that I think it does apply to the DBA life or any data professional for that matter. Below is a representation of what thoughts flowed through my head.

The Hectic

Have you ever noticed when you are in an amusement park people are rushing around as fast as they can to get to the next ride before the other person? While on vacation I was enamored to watch the bustling and running of people almost to the point of it being comical. I would watch the dad’s pushing the double wide strollers around basically at a run with the two kids in the stroller and one on his shoulders as they rushed to the next ride. The families that would run as soon as the park opens to get the famous “fast pass” to secure a time frame that they would not have to wait in line for hours on end.

How does that pertain to the DBA life? Easily enough the DBA life can at times be very hectic with several things going on all around them. It is just not one thing we focus on but a multitude of things that more times than not seem to go awry all at once. How do you react when those situations arise?

The Thrill

A long with the hectic aspect comes the thrill. You get to the that ride you’ve been waiting to ride and you’re next. You get on the ride and off you go down an 80 ft. drop or into that dark tunnel you never think  you’ll come out of. The unknown aspects and the thrill of the ride keeps you coming back for more.

As I am a SQL DBA, I think that same thought process can be applied. The thrill of solving that problem that has been unknown, working with other teams to find common ground to push forward on a project, getting that new index in place that takes a process running 45 minutes down to 10 seconds. It’s the thrill of the game that keeps you coming back for more.

The End Game

Have you taken inventory lately? When you get to work are you excited about your work? Do you always have that continuous desire to improve yourself as a data professional? Is that thrill still there like when you solved your first issue and you said, “I think I can do this!” If not recapture that fire you once had – enjoy what you do. There are a lot of people that would love to have the opportunities that we as data professionals have. Enjoy the time you have with it!