Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 
        
Home       Members    Calendar    Who's On


Add to briefcase ««1234»»»

Calling Out Bad Advice Expand / Collapse
Author
Message
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:17 AM


Ten Centuries

Ten CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen Centuries

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 5:32 PM
Points: 1,045, Visits: 2,722
I did just that a week or so ago on Twitter (maybe the incident to which you're referring Tim?) because the advice was so blatantly misleading from such a widely read blog - it would have had many DBAs struggling to figure out why their system wasn't exhibiting the behavior specified.


Paul, this editorial was written a few months ago, so any similarities to recent events is purely coincidental :)

But you're right - the same method doesn't work for everybody. Nobody wants to hear that their baby is ugly, but some people respond to it better than others. It's a fine line to walk, knowing how to gently correct without alienating a well-intentioned writer.




Tim Mitchell, SQL Server MVP
Independent Business Intelligence Consultant
www.TimMitchell.net
@Tim_Mitchell

Post #1038262
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:21 AM
Grasshopper

GrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopperGrasshopper

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, July 31, 2014 8:09 AM
Points: 20, Visits: 158
lenne_dk (12/22/2010)
Most true professionals due a good job of self-screening,


Not here, it seems

A correction is due, if you do not mind...


I got a good chuckle out of it myself. I found it especially ironic on that particular sentence.
Post #1038264
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 8:58 AM


SSCommitted

SSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommittedSSCommitted

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Yesterday @ 7:45 PM
Points: 1,521, Visits: 3,037
OCTom (12/22/2010)
My 2 cents worth:

When correcting/criticising someone:

1. Don't make it personal.
2. Make it about the code and/or advice.
3. Use positive instead of negative terms.
4. Give an alternative and explain why it's better.

When being corrected/criticised:

1. Don't take it personally.
2. Remember it's about the code and/or advice.
3. If you are wrong, accept the criticism/correction gracefully.
4. If you are not wrong, use the first four steps above to correct the corrector.

And, for both, remember there are many ways to accomplish a task or solve a problem. Your way may be just one of many and it may not work in all installations.

Excellent advice ( ).

One way to keep the conversation about what was written is to request clarification. It's usually much better received to say something like "I don't quite understand how this works....", rather than "This doesn't work."
Post #1038325
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:23 AM


Ten Centuries

Ten CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen Centuries

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:49 PM
Points: 1,082, Visits: 540
I'm a reader of all this wonderful advice this community puts out. I always make sure that I've read several articles on whatever topic I'm researching, just to double/triple check that there is general consensus. When I see ego's clash or fighting over a topic, I tend to move on to the next website where more rational discourse is taking place.

Just remember what Tom said above. And what your Mama taught you. Be nice. Play nice. If you don't have anything good to say, then keep your mouth shut.

And for those of you who remember, it's now time to sing the Grandmother Song by Steve Martin. 1,2,3... Be courteous kind and forgiving...
Post #1038345
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:03 AM


SSCoach

SSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoachSSCoach

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Friday, June 27, 2014 12:43 PM
Points: 15,444, Visits: 9,596
I have to say that my response to bad advice depends on where it is, what it is, what it's about, the tone it's delivered in, and the history of the person writing it.

If, for example, I see a minor error in a piece of complex code, in reply to a poorly written request for help, I'll just suggest a correction and nothing more.

On the other hand, if I see something posted that could result in serious data loss, posted in an authoritative manner, without clarification that it will result in data loss (I see this pretty regularly), I'll jump on it a little more harshly. Since that's the kind of thing that can result in losses for companies and job-loss for the DBA affected, I treat it a little more seriously.

When corrected myself (happens more often than I like), I take my error personally, but not the correction. If I posted something that will cause a problem for someone else, that's serious to me, even if it isn't to anyone else. That's certainly not a flaw in the person correcting me.


- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
Property of The Thread

"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon
Post #1038372
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 11:19 AM


SSCrazy

SSCrazySSCrazySSCrazySSCrazySSCrazySSCrazySSCrazySSCrazy

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Today @ 7:23 AM
Points: 2,349, Visits: 2,694
tpepin (12/22/2010)
lenne_dk (12/22/2010)
Most true professionals due a good job of self-screening,


Not here, it seems

A correction is due, if you do not mind...


I got a good chuckle out of it myself. I found it especially ironic on that particular sentence.


I noticed the typo, too, but silently corrected it and thought to myself that it didn't fall into the category of bad advice. Rather, it was a case of the classic foible of writing a little too phonetically (there/their, your/you're, etc.). Although worthy of correction, I think that is less of an issue than the one mentioned in the editorial -- advice that may be correctly spelled, nicely formatted, and confidently stated -- but wrong. I have seen many examples of corrections that were too harsh (especially when those corrections themselves turned out to be wrong), but on the whole, the initial advice in this thread -- a simple "I believe that's not correct" and a URL reference or link, seems to be the norm. And it seems to me a good way to offer the correction.

Just my two cents,
webrunner


-------------------
"Operator! Give me the number for 911!" - Homer Simpson

"A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and says 'Can I join you?'"
Ref.: http://tkyte.blogspot.com/2009/02/sql-joke.html
Post #1038410
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2010 12:13 PM


SSC-Forever

SSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-ForeverSSC-Forever

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Today @ 7:54 AM
Points: 42,768, Visits: 35,867
GSquared (12/22/2010)
I have to say that my response to bad advice depends on where it is, what it is, what it's about, the tone it's delivered in, and the history of the person writing it.

If, for example, I see a minor error in a piece of complex code, in reply to a poorly written request for help, I'll just suggest a correction and nothing more.

On the other hand, if I see something posted that could result in serious data loss, posted in an authoritative manner, without clarification that it will result in data loss (I see this pretty regularly), I'll jump on it a little more harshly. Since that's the kind of thing that can result in losses for companies and job-loss for the DBA affected, I treat it a little more seriously.


Pretty much how I handle it too. Just if I see someone who's repeatedly dispensing bad advice (especially the same bad advice) I'll be a lot harsher than if it's a first time.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1038439
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2010 10:11 PM


SSC Veteran

SSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC VeteranSSC Veteran

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:29 AM
Points: 214, Visits: 647
Interesting post, Tim, and timely, just about the time that I was "debunked" and "called out" in a "game-on" fashion just today. I appreciate the reply, Jonathan, but 1) you still misunderstood what I was investigating, and 2) while you did a splendid job on your post about how the transaction log works - admittedly yourself no new information in your posting and readily accessible in BOL - you seemed to spend more effort to reinforce something that I did not write clearly about, even in my updated conclusion. Moreover, your tone and verbiage seemed to want to call out something to elevate yourself or belittle my intentions maybe more so than actually help others, or at least that is the perception that you leave.

Let me provide an example of how I might add to a discussion in a positive and constructive way; if you peruse my blog on Forward Records located at: [url=http://www.texastoo.com/post/2010/11/16/Another-way-to-get-Forward-Records-in-SQL-Server.aspx][/url] you will note that I choose to indicate additions to the writer’s post rather than demean or otherwise discredit. The likelihood of obtaining forwarded records from an ALTER statement would probably occur less frequently than my offering, however I do not choose to diminish his suggestion, but rather add to the discussion in a creative, positive, and beneficial manner to the reader.

Back to my blog - I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion. I'm a consultant and I happen to jot down things that I observe based on the given constraints and variables at-hand; should these change, then a hypothesis or assumption may or may not change. And these notes just happen to end up on my blog. Again, no information ever put there is designated as a be-all, end-all conclusion. After all, I didn't write the SQL engine. No SQL Police here.

That being said, I enjoy blogging and will continue such; I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet. I always tend to write things down as if I am in a laboratory setting with a "results may vary" caveat to everyone who visits my blog. After all, I'm doing research, experimentation, and fun as I note on my "sigline". And, if I am able to help someone out along the way, then I'm grateful for this and appreciate the opportunity. Finally, most of what we all blog or write about is not new. Sure, there are new features that come out no doubt, but whether or not there is information (such as what I was posting about) “well known”, my inquisitive nature will always drive me to "find out for myself" as opposed to taking whatever I read as written word, regardless of whether it is widely-known, or even if there may be a de-facto expert among us.

Thank you for correcting me where I was incorrect and unclear, and I look forward to reading great things from you on your blog the future.

Best Regards,
Lee Everest MS














Lee Everest

Post #1039018
Posted Friday, December 24, 2010 7:47 AM
SSC Rookie

SSC RookieSSC RookieSSC RookieSSC RookieSSC RookieSSC RookieSSC RookieSSC Rookie

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Monday, August 11, 2014 5:16 AM
Points: 44, Visits: 168
I would rather see the comments on posts or blogs that point out when something is wrong and why it's wrong. I'm not a dba, and sometimes that "bad advice" someone gave is something my company is practicing. Reading the Why of not doing it that way helps me to change bad practices, plus I can learn from others mistakes, and can (hopefully) avoid making a mistake in the future.

In my opinion, many of the 'mistakes' I see written are common misconceptions that haven't been challenged. I seem to see the same mistakes repeatedly blogged about, or done in the workplace. Seeing some one else challenged for a practice you're currently doing can be a huge eye opener for some.

From a different point of view, this article has good concepts that can be applied to work place problems too. When coworkers are practicing methods that you know are harmful, it contains good suggestions on how to confront them.
Post #1039114
Posted Friday, December 24, 2010 12:17 PM


Ten Centuries

Ten CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen CenturiesTen Centuries

Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:05 PM
Points: 1,334, Visits: 3,068
I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion......I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet.


Lee, I could not have said it better myself and I applaud you for saying this and this goes back to my point earlier in this post that this happens on blogs and forums. No one is immune from it, so people need to just relax and take things in context. No one knows everything in SQL Server, except maybe Paul Randal. But I would be willing to bet that even the great Paul has on occasion been wrong himself. But like you say, that's ok because we ALL should understand that this can and does happen, It's just not that big of a deal.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1039157
« Prev Topic | Next Topic »

Add to briefcase ««1234»»»

Permissions Expand / Collapse