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The Voice of the DBA

Informing the Internal IT Team

Somehow across the course of my career, I've morphed from a strictly technical guy to a publisher and teacher that also gets to do some technical work. I never expected this, though perhaps I should have. Despite my disdain for writing in formal schooling, I learned early on to always document and log what I did. In fact, a few times my notes and tracking ended up ensuring that we weren't chastised too harshly for our actions. Perhaps if even kept some people from being fired. I'm not sure, as I think it's hard to get fired, but having some reasoning and documentation can provide some insurance against the boss getting too upset.

In my career, I've had to send out status items at different times, with various purposes. As with many of you, I've often had to document my time and efforts for my manager. I've been a part of teams that adopted the stand-up practice of sharing your workload with others. I've had to summarize the work of my team for a director or VP above me. Some of those efforts felt valuable, but often it seemed I was going through the motions and wasting valuable time on something that was more of a cover sheet on a TPS report than anything else.

There was a post on publishing an engineering weekly newsletter that reminded me of the various status reports I've built. While I haven't had a weekly engineering letter, I have been in companies where a weekly or monthly newsletter was sent out. In fact, at one of my first jobs, we got a physical copy of monthly company newsletter delivered to our mail cubbies (anyone remember those?). While people would grumble about the contents or disbelieve them, I also noticed that many of them actually read the newsletter. I think it's natural for people to want to be informed about the company, even if they are skeptical about the data.

The idea of publishing a weekly newsletter for your staff makes sense. It's a good way to keep people on the same page, especially as your organization grows larger than a single team. I wouldn't expect everyone to read every part of each issue, but that's OK. They'll get something out of it. This is also a good way for someone to fill time during a short break, see who's out of the office, having a birthday, or changed positions. I think it's also a good reminder for items like on-call or project releases. Even if I don't have time to read it right away, finding information in a central place can be a hassle, and a quick search of email would let me check the person to call this week after hours.

Including technical content is always good, and allowing someone to peruse articles or new concepts on their own time, maybe even encouraging more learning subtlely, could improve the quality and morale of your staff. Of course, if you are an open, exciting company that employees enjoy, this works well. If management is oppressive and overbearing, then publishing a newsletter isn't going to fix your culture. You've got other problems to fix first.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 4.1MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Libsyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

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Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I run this command:

Backup-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance .\SQL2014 -Database sandbox

I then run this:

Backup-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance .\SQL2014 -Database sandbox -Incremental

If the default backup folder was previously empty, what files are now in the folder?

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

What keyboard shortcut can be used in SSMS 2016 to hide the results pane in the query editor?

Answer: CTRL+R

Explanation:

CTRL+R will hide or reveal the results pane.

Ref: SSMS Keyboard Shortcuts - click here


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Featured Script

Find all published tables with row counts and table size

Jim Youmans from SQLServerCentral.com

Sometimes you need to list all the tables that are being published on a server.  Once you have the list it is really nice to have the table sizes too (row count and total MBs for table).  This script will do the following.

  1. It looks at all the databases, finds the ones that are published
  2. Then if grabs the row counts and table sizes for tables in those databases
  3. Then compares that to the articles in the publications and gives you a nice easy to read report

Please Note: This assumes no filters on the publication.  If you have a very large table and are only replicating 5 of 60 columns, if will not see that and will give you the numbers for the entire table.

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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