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The Voice of the DBA

Programming

Technology is here to stay, and those of us working in this business probably realize more than most people how dependent and integrated our lives are with technology. Even in countries that don't have the infrastructure or economies of first world nations are using more and more technology in their lives. Mobile technology seems to be at the forefront of much of what we do, but I'd argue that data is fast becoming more important than the software itself.

The one thing I'm becoming more convinced of is that this article is right: programming is a core skill. It doesn't matter if you're a developer building mobile apps, or a contractor scheduling workers, or a homemaker that wants to balance a budget. While there is software that might help, it seems many people are quick to open a spreadsheet, add some data, and start building formulas. These days the jokes about people not understanding how to program a timer on a DVR are fading quickly as more and more non technical people are using technology to make their lives easier, or perhaps, more complex, as they manipulate data and software.

I suspect the fundamental skill of logically analyzing a problem and coming up with a set of steps to solve it is becoming more important all the time. In many businesses the ability of workers to think for themselves and handle a variety of situations is more desirable than the ability to follow orders. Even in industries where workers need to follow instructions, those instructions might be coming from computers more and more often. There will be a huge gap between workers that can think for themselves, perform data manipulation and make business decisions and those who cannot. That gap might take the form of compensation differences, more or less opportunities, or something else, but in many industries, those that can build their own programs, whether in code or processes they follow, will advance faster and further.

Not everyone will want to be a computer developer, but most everyone can benefit from understanding how calculations and instructions can be chained together to build a process or workflow. With newer generations becoming familiar and comfortable with technology from early ages, my vote would be that we should add programming to the three Rs for future generations.

Steve Jones

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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Featured Contents

 

An Automated Process to Archive Big Tables

Leo Peysakhovich from SQLServerCentral.com

Many databases have large tables with hundreds of millions of rows. However, many of these tables are simply keeping a log or history data that can be archived and kept outside the user database in a special archive database. More »


 

Understanding SQL Server Query Optimization Statistics

Additional Articles from SQL Server Performance

In this article, you will learn what query optimisation statistics are and how SQL Server query optimizer uses statistics. You will also learn how to create and manage statistics, and what are the different ways to determine when statistics were last updated in SQL Server. More »


 

From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Report from a Cube in Reporting Services

MikeDavis from SQLServerCentral.com

Data warehousing has become a staple of businesses to help make business decisions. From these data warehouses you can develop... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Naseer Ahmad):

What will be the result of this batch, assuming that Change Tracking is enabled on database?

Use ChangeTrackingDemo
GO
CREATE TABLE CT
(
ID Int,
Name varchar(10)
)
/****Enable ChangeTracking****/
USE ChangeTrackingDemo
GO 
ALTER TABLE CT
 ENABLE CHANGE_TRACKING 
GO

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Master the fundamentals of Transact-SQL—and develop your own code for querying and modifying data in Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012. Led by a SQL Server expert, you’ll learn the concepts behind T-SQL querying and programming, and then apply your knowledge with exercises in each chapter. Once you understand the logic behind T-SQL, you’ll quickly learn how to write effective code—whether you’re a programmer or database administrator.

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by pramod singla):

select concat(null,'testString') as a
     , null+'testString' as b

What is the output of the query?

Answer: "testString" for the first and null for the second.

Explanation: Unlike the + operator, the CONCAT function substitutes a NULL input with an empty string. Therefore the string is returned in the first column.

Ref: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh231515.aspx


» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

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SQL Server Transaction Log Management

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place. When things go wrong, however, a DBA's reputation depends on a deeper understanding of the transaction log, both what it does, and how it works. An effective response to a crisis requires rapid decisions based on understanding its role in ensuring data integrity.

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Featured Script

Get all fields names for all tables in SQL

Raymond Xie from SQLServerCentral.com

I recently worked on a project that needs to convert Notes database to a web project. The first thing is to export data from Notes DB to SQL. Since Notes is NOT a relationship database, after the export, I found the column names are very confusing, so the task becomes how to interpret the relationship between the columns. I decided that it is neccesary to find out every column name in every table and start the analysis from there. I was able to write a script to generate all the columns names and their tables names using this script, I hope you find it helpful.

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Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

SQL Server 2005 : Administering

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SQL Server 2008 : Security (SS2K8)

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SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 High Availability

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SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 Administration

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Career : Employers and Employees

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SQLServerCentral.com : Anything that is NOT about SQL!

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