In this issue:

Vendors/3rd Party Products

Tech News : Data Mining/Warehousing

Tech News : General Interest

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Microsoft News : Events

Microsoft News : General Interest

Microsoft News : Patches, Bugs

Hardware News

Blogs : Administration

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

Blogs : Big Data

Blogs : Career

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

Blogs : Hardware

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Articles : Administration

Articles : Testing

Database Weekly - www.databaseweekly.com

The Complete Weekly Roundup of SQL Server News

Hand-picked content to sharpen your professional edge

SQL Server News for 2013-06-03

Deployment Manager How to automate your .NET and SQL Server deployments
Deploy .NET code and SQL Server databases in a single repeatable process with Red Gate Deployment Manager. Start deploying with a 28-day trial.
SQL Backup Pro Want faster, smaller backups you can rely on?
Use SQL Backup Pro for up to 95% compression, faster file transfer and integrated DBCC CHECKDB. Download a free trial now.
SQL Compare Compare and sync databases with SQL Compare
“SQL Compare is fast, extremely easy to use, full-featured and affordable. I wouldn't bother messing around with anything else.” Adam Machanic, SQL Server MVP. Download a 14-day free trial.
Editorial - How Do We Learn?

It must be rare to be in the position shown in this article, where you’ve been able to try out enough languages, frameworks, or just the job roles to really objectively say “this is what I really like to work with”. Even the fastest learner is unlikely to see as much time as they would like in their career to dedicate to that sort of broad skillset. Still, with so many DBAs coming to the role from having previously worked as a developer or otherwise falling into being an “accidental DBA”, there can’t be that many people who work solely with databases. Most people will have had to make a shift to stay relevant, especially in technical fields.

Corporate requirements being what they are, no one is going to want you to write something in a language few people know, like Go. It could create the most beautiful, cost-effective and efficient code ever seen, but if it can't be maintained by anyone other than its originator, it's no use. The balance between pushing your career in the direction you want it to go and satisfying what’s required of you in your job can therefore be tricky to strike.

Personally, most of what I’ve learned in my career has been through necessity. Broadly, the new skills have been adjacent to something I’ve been doing already, and so picking up a new skill is more pragmatic than planned. Increasingly though, I find myself going out of my way to pick up new things, and this is largely down to the ever-widening availability of free and cheap courses for virtually anything. If I want to brush up my language skills, I can use the remarkably in-depth Duolingo – and granted, this isn’t as good as going to France and immersing myself in the language, but it’s pretty good for something that I can spend 20 minutes a day on in my dining room. Similarly, if I learn a new language or framework on Treehouse isn’t as good as working on a system with a group of people, learning to use version control, finding out what goes wrong, beating the dreaded “works on my machine”, and learning from that experience, but it’s far better preparation for that work than reading a book and jumping in. They’re even gently insistent about things like code commenting and indentation, so hopefully people using this sort of setup will be gently brainwashed into being the considerate coworkers of the future.

I’m hugely keen on these online courses. I have precious little free time, so the idea of adding a journey to a classroom has little appeal, and flexibility in when I can study is a huge bonus for me. The fact that they include testing and reiterate key points makes me feel like the core of what I need to know is being properly drummed in. The downside is that the flexibility can quite easily turn into putting something off almost indefinitely – especially if it’s something I don’t need to immediately apply to something I’m working on. It’s also tough to really make something stick without the reinforcement you get from actually using it.

It seems fairly safe to say that nothing is going to replace actual workplace experience, with the iteration and reinforcement that comes with that. But getting a decent grounding in a new technology or skill has never been simpler, and like forum posts or a Github repo, it's an online monument to what you know - something potential employers can always check out.

Do you find that you push yourself to learn new things, or do you wait for them to crop up? And would you feel comfortable using one of these courses to learn something you needed to push yourself further in your career?

» Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums


The Weekly News

All the headlines and interesting SQL Server information that we've collected over the past week, and sometimes even a few repeats if we think they fit. These headlines are gathered throughout the week and are posted in real time at the website. Check there for information throughout the week or enjoy this weekly summary of the SQL Server world.


Vendors/3rd Party Products

The Essential Guide to Database Delivery - Best practices for application development are equally relevant to database delivery and management. This is Red Gate’s short guide to the essentials – version control, continuous integration and automated deployment. ...(more)

Tech News : Data Mining/Warehousing

The Machine-Readable Workforce - Xerox is screening tens of thousands of applicants for low-wage jobs in its call centers using software from a startup company called Evolv that automatically compares job seekers against a computer profile of the ideal candidate....(more)

Tech News : General Interest

When Google and Microsoft feud, customers pay the price - The long-running war between Google and Microsoft may never have a winner, an analyst has said, but it definitely has a loser: customers....(more)

Tech News : The Lighter Side

Geeky Americans Not Shy About Waving the Nerd Banner - A survey of nerd culture also indicated public perception of geeks continues to improve year over year....(more)

Vitamin Tablet Makes Your Whole Body an Authentication Token - Motorola has unveiled a prototype vitamin tablet which enables your entire body to function as an authentication token....(more)

Trained on Jeopardy, Watson Is Headed for Your Pocket - Watson, the IBM computer system that attracted millions of viewers when it defeated two Jeopardy champions handily in 2011, is finally going to meet its public....(more)

The Weird Stuff Warehouse is where old tech goes to retire - Tucked neatly between Yahoo! headquarters and Lockheed Martin is a row of unmarked warehouses. To the common passerby, it's nothing more than an office park surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns. But to those who are in on the secret, there's a place full of technology treasures waiting to be unearthed. It's called the Weird Stuff Warehouse....(more)

Microsoft News : Events

Get Ready for TechEd North America 2013 - TechEd North America takes place next week, June 3rd – 6th in New Orleans, Louisiana. While the city promises good times, gumbo and Po boys, you can expect a whole lot of technical goodness to come your way from the conference itself....(more)

Microsoft News : General Interest

Hear the SQL Server 2012 story on DotNetRocks - Carl and Richard of the DotNetRocks podcast talk to Kevin Kline about the latest features in SQL Server 2012. The conversation starts out talking about the new features that developers will love, like windowing - no need for cursors anymore, you can request a window of records from a set and move easily window-to-window....(more)

Microsoft News : Patches, Bugs

Hey, Microsoft: It's the apps, stupid - Microsoft have revealed some of the changes in Windows 8 due to reach customers in a month, but didn't address what analysts called the biggest barrier to the OS's success....(more)

Continuing the Windows 8 vision with Windows 8.1 - The first substantial upgrade for Windows 8 is nearly here, so here's a roundup of the confirmed features and improvements that will be in Windows 8.1....(more)

Hardware News

How Design Can Save the Average Data Center More than $1M - Every choice in the area of data center power system design has an impact on data center efficiency and availability, writes Peter Panfil of Emerson's Liebert AC Power....(more)

Blogs : Administration

Looking for Buried Treasure in the Transaction Log - Questions come up quite regularly asking how to determine who performed some action such as deleting data, changing logins, or disabling jobs. The first reaction may be that if you aren’t auditing for the specific action, you’re out of luck. With a little digging, however, you can find some interesting things in the transaction log....(more)

The Myth that DROP and TRUNCATE TABLE are Non-Logged - There is a persistent myth in the SQL Server world that both the DROP TABLE and TRUNCATE TABLE commands are non-logged. They’re not. They’re both fully-logged, but efficiently logged....(more)

Blogs : Analysis Services / BI

SSIS Deployment Strategy for SQL Server 2012 - SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is the extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tool of choice for many organizations. Although the tool is great for such tasks as moving data between multiple data sources and applying transformations, there have been some problems dealing with how to deploy and configure the packages....(more)

Business Intelligence Requirements Gathering - James Serra looks at the best way to go about identifying users' real needs from a BI project, and identifies some key questions to help get the most useful information from them when speccing-out a BI project....(more)

Blogs : Big Data

Data Scientists Don't Scale - Andrew Brust argues that "Data scientist" is a title designed to be exclusive, standoffish and protective of a lucrative guild. The blocker to broad adoption of Big Data analytics isn't a shortage of data scientists; it's our current dependency on them....(more)

The Dictatorship of Data - Big data is poised to transform society, from how we diagnose illness to how we educate children, even making it possible for a car to drive itself. Information is emerging as a new economic input, a vital resource. Companies, governments, and even individuals will be measuring and optimizing everything possible....(more)

Blogs : Career

How Do You Learn a New Framework? - Being a professional in the fast paced IT world we constantly have to learn something new. In the beginning, you probably learn your first frameworks in a classroom setting with a professor or instructor working off of an established syllabus, but this pattern does not hold for long....(more)

Branching Out (How to be a More Effective DBA) - It's often the case for a technical analyst to have occasion to reach beyond their original job description to solve problems. Perhaps, though, no more so than a database administrator, who is tasked with managing what is often the focal point of a business -- data -- a point where every technical discipline can converge....(more)

Words DBAs Should Never Say to Developers - Brent Ozar provides some linguistic advice to help defuse DBA / developer tensions....(more)

Bad DBA Job Detector Test [Video] - Occasionally you check out job listings and wonder, “Could I have a better job?” If you’ve been working as a database administrator for a few years, it’s time to learn how to tell a dream job from a potential nightmare. Join Kendra Little for a 30 minute guide on how to read hidden messages in job listings and find the right next step for your career....(more)

Blogs : Computing in the Cloud

Exploring a Database in Azure - With SQLServerCentral.com and Red Gate having taken on the running of the public Azure Adventureworks database from Jamie Thomson, Steve Jones takes a look at how he got started exploring the Database in Azure....(more)

Top 7 Things You Want To Do In Windows Azure SQL Database, But Can’t - Thomas LaRock is a huge fan of Windows Azure SQL Database (WASD). Unfortunately there are always a few folks that tend to focus on what is “missing” from WASD....(more)

Blogs : Database Design, Theory and Development

Add Identity Column to Table Based on Order of Another Column - One of Pinal Dave's readers asked if he could figure out a way to add an Identity Column to a table based on the order of another column....(more)

Blogs : Hardware

Tornadoes and data centers are OK in Oklahoma - If the question about tornadoes comes up at his Oklahoma City data center, as it sometimes does, Todd Currie, vice president of operations and general manager at Perimeter Technology, has answers. He even has cutout sample of his roof to show how it is built....(more)

Blogs : Performance and Tuning

Stored procedure debugging in SSDT and LocalDB - Stored procedure debugging is a feature that has existed in SQL Server Management Studio yet not many folks make use of it, indeed many folks aren't even aware it exists....(more)

Articles : Administration

Swart’s Ten Percent Rule - SQL Server has a number of limits and restrictions. Most of the time these restrictions don’t feel restrictive at all. I get the feeling that if you need over 10% of what Microsoft restricts you to, then you’re probably doing it wrong....(more)

The SQL of Parts Explosions - Parts explosions present a classic IT problem. How can one calculate such things as weight or cost  of assemblies in SQL? Joe Celko shows how it can be done using nested sets, with not an IDENTITY or GUID in sight.....(more)

Articles : Testing

Software Testing - Chris Shaw made a huge mistake that he's am embarrassed to admit to. What did he do? He didn't test a new piece of software before installing it on a server where it could impact his monitoring tool....(more)


Administrative