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The Voice of the DBA

Infect Your Colleagues with the Learning Bug

Today we have a guest editorial as Steve is away on sabbatical.

If you’re reading this you’re in the habit of investing some time in your career. You scan the SQLServerCentral.com newsletter, read things that are interesting, and at least occasionally give the question of the day a try. You probably supplement that with a book or two, some favorite blogs, some free online webinars, and maybe even a conference like the PASS Summit when funding can be had. You’re investing in you.

I’d also wager that you put more effort into extra learning than your colleagues. Why is that? Maybe you’ve learned the value of investing in you from being promoted or getting a new job or getting a raise for your abilities. Or maybe you learned from the mistake of not investing in you and struggled to find a new job. Or maybe they have adopted the practical yet cynical view of learning what they need to know when they need it and not spending time learning stuff they may never use. Or, maybe, they read some bad articles or got some bad advice or just can’t see the good stuff because of the noise.

Should we encourage them to learn more? And if so, why? The unselfish reason is that a relatively small investment of learning can help them stay employable and maybe even earn a bit more. The selfish reason is that if they learn they’ll push you to learn more and to do more – an upward cycle to be certain. Note that some people just won’t buy into extra effort and if they don’t, that’s ok, it’s not our place to bully them into doing it our way. The big win, if it works out, is that you change the culture of your team toward learning, and that leads to all kinds of good things.

So you want to encourage them to learn more – how do you do that? I’ve had a lot of success with sharing interesting and relevant links via email. If they choose to read it they get something with zero noise. If they respond, I’ll ask them what they think, or mention that the author has written good stuff on other topics, or maybe mention someone else who has written on the same topic. It’s a slow trickle of email, not even one a week when I do it, because I want it to be really relevant or interesting. Email isn’t the only way. I’ve taken colleagues to user group meetings and met up with them at SQLSaturday, suggesting topics and speakers that I think they will most enjoy.

It’s soft sell and slow sell, if you can call it selling at all. What I try to offer is a window into a world where there is a lot of interesting stuff to learn that can make work easier and more interesting. It’s showing that while the search engine of your choice is good for answering a question, the kind of learning you and I do is to learn the questions. It’s modeling life-long learning and what I llike best about it is that it’s humble – it’s a way of saying here is yet another thing I didn’t understand or know well enough.

I’ll close by saying that you can lead the horse to water at best. Don’t get frustrated when a colleague is less enthused than you. You’re not at the same place in life or career and pushing will just frustrate everyone. Do what you do, share lightly and specifically, and what to see what happens.

Andy Warren from SQLServerCentral.com

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


As Corrupt as it Gets

Data recovery at its best

With Paul Randal and the DBA Team

Read the free article

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Data Mining: Part 11 XMLA and the automation

Daniel Calbimonte from SQLServerCentral.com

In this lesson we will learn the basis about XMLA and we will execute the command line to create DM objects. More »


SQL Server Analysis Server (SSAS) KeyColumn vs NameColumn vs ValueColumn

Additional Articles from MSSQLTips.com

What is the difference between the KeyColumn, the NameColumn, and the ValueColumn for a dimension attribute in SQL Server Analysis Services? When should you use each one for a dimension attribute? Check out this tip to learn more. More »


SQL Monitor Metric: Memory used by ad hoc queries running once

Press Release

This metric measures the amount of memory used by the total number of ad hoc queries in the plan cache that have only run one time. This value is only accurate for the instant the query is run, and the value can change radically from one capture time to the next. More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Gary Varga):

Given the following PowerShell script:

$databaseName = "DB1"

Function CheckConnection1
 Write-Host $databaseName

Function CheckConnection2
 Param ($databaseName)

 Write-Host $databaseName

$databaseName = "DB1"

Function CheckConnection1
 Write-Host $databaseName

Function CheckConnection2
 Param ($databaseName)

 Write-Host $databaseName

Function CheckConnection3
  $databaseName = "DB3"

 Write-Host $databaseName

 Return  $databaseName

Function CheckConnection4
 $databaseName = "DB4"

 Write-Host $databaseName

Function CheckConnection5
 Param ($databaseName)

 $databaseName = "DB5"

 Write-Host $databaseName

Function CheckConnection6
 Param ($databaseName)

 Write-Host $databaseName

$databaseName = CheckConnection1 $databaseName
$databaseName = CheckConnection2 $databaseName
$databaseName = CheckConnection3 $databaseName
CheckConnection4 $databaseName
CheckConnection5 $databaseName
CheckConnection6 $databaseName

What is written to the console?

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Mitesh Oswal):

What will be output of the following select statement


        @NVARCHAR NVARCHAR(10) = 'ABC'






Answer: 20,6,3,3


In order to get the number of characters excluding trailing blanks we would use the LEN() function, For all other purposes we'd use DATALENGTH().

Trailing spaces are not taken into account for the LEN function,



» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

Featured Script

Physical Server or a Virtual Machine?

sreekanth bandarla from SQLServerCentral.com

Simple T-SQL Script to know whether your SQL Server is running on a Physical box or a VM. Note: This Script works only on 2008R2 SP1 and above.

More »

Database Pros Who Need Your Help

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

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TV:::?????????? ??????????????????·???·????????? - ??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14?. Live stream online ??? ?????? ????????? HNK ????????????????????????????????????????????2014?? ?????????:???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ?????????????????????????????????????2014 ?? - ????????????????????????????????????2014 2014?7?9?. [url=http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/]http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/[/url]

TV:::??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14? - ??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14?. Live stream online ??? ?????? ????????? HNK ????????????????????????????????????????????2014?? ?????????:???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ?????????????????????????????????????2014 ?? - ????????????????????????????????????2014 2014?7?9?. [url=http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/]http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/[/url]

?????????? ??????????????????·???·????????? - ??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14?. Live stream online ??? ?????? ????????? HNK ????????????????????????????????????????????2014?? ?????????:???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ?????????????????????????????????????2014 ?? - ????????????????????????????????????2014 2014?7?9?. [url=http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/]http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/[/url]

??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14? - ??? ?????? ???????? ???????? ?? ?? ??? 2014?7?14?. Live stream online ??? ?????? ????????? HNK ????????????????????????????????????????????2014?? ?????????:???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ?????????????????????? ;-)???????????????2014 ?? - ????????????????????????????????????2014 2014?7?9?. [url=http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/]http://watchsoccerlivetv.blogspot.com/[/u

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