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The Voice of the DBA

Time is Precious

I'll hear people constantly say they don't have time to work on their career. They can't attend a UG meeting to network. They can't spare a minute to go through a Stairway Series. They have family commitments, kids, hobbies, volunteer activities, spiritual needs, and more. That's not even counting all the work they need to get done as a part of their job. When can they spend time on R or Machine Learning or CosmosDB or anything else?

I get it. My life is chaotic as well, with deadlines and a pile of work that never goes away. I sometimes dread travel and vacation because that means my work piles up on either side of those events. This is on top of commitments to keep up on chores at home (I have cooking and laundry), fix things at the ranch, spend time with kids, get date nights with my wife, and still get to the gym. Most weeks feel like a crazy treadmill for me.

In my life and career, I've learned a few things. One of which is that I need to prioritize what's important to me. That often helps me decide when to do X instead of Y. I regularly make choices between opportunities, but I also try to evaluate the relative importance of events. I rarely miss family events or kid activities, but sometimes I do. I know that there are times that I feel my work is more important in the moment. However, I try to balance those out to be sure I remember that family is more important overall.

I've also learned that I can find time for things that are important. I have to adjust priorities and scheduling. It is important to not just overload myself with more work, which is easy to do. I find that if I try to get more done in a week, I can't do that for long. Like a big project at work, I'll burn out without balance. Instead, I've learned to let something go a bit, or cut back on some part of my life to make a little time.

Everyone can spare some time. Especially those of us in the technology industry. We need to learn and grow, even if it's just for ourselves. We need to keep our brain's active, and on a regular basis, we should try something new. Other professions can do this, and we should as well.

I know you can't dedicate a half a day a week to a class, but maybe you can spend 30 minutes or so working through a book. I know you can't make the user group every month, but you can make one or two meetings a year if that's something you enjoy. You can't go through all our Stairways, or maybe not even all of the Indexing levels in that series, but you can start learning a bit more with one. Perhaps you can't make SQL Saturday this year in your area, but is it worth a bit of your day to watch a presentation from the SQL Bits archives?

I bet it's possible, and I bet you can find a little time every month or two to grow a bit as a technology craftsman. Make sure you take care of yourself, and actively work on your career, in balance with the rest of your life.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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Stairway to SQL Server Agent - Level 2: Job Steps and Subsystems

Richard Waymire from SQLServerCentral.com

SQL Server Agent jobs are made up of a series of one or more Job Steps. A job step is assigned to a specific job subsystem, which identifies the kind of work the job step is going to perform. Each job step runs in a separate security context, although each job also has an owner that determines who can modify the job. More »


Free eBook: Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for the Accidental DBA

Press Release from Redgate

Three SQL Server MVPs (Jonathan Kehayias, Ted Krueger and Gail Shaw) provide fascinating insight into the most common SQL Server problems, why they occur, and how they can be diagnosed using tools such as Performance Monitor, Dynamic Management Views and server-side tracing. The focus is on practical solutions for removing root causes of these problems, rather than "papering over the cracks". More »


Webinar: how to cut time & disk space for database provisioning by 99%

If you’ve ever worked in a team that uses a single, shared database for development, you know how time-consuming and frustrating it is to provision copies of production databases for development work. In this webinar on October 17, you’ll see how SQL Clone cuts out the pain of provisioning development databases. More »


Network Configuration of SQL Server Always On Availability Groups in Azure

Additional Articles from Database Journal

Implementing SQL Server Failover Clustering in Azure virtual machines differs in several aspects from its on-premises implementations. These differences reflect some of the unique characteristics of the storage and network infrastructure services in the Microsoft cloud environment. In this article, Marcin Policht looks at the networking aspects of clustered deployments of SQL Server 2016 in Azure. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Setting a Processor Affinity in SQL Server – the (unwanted) Side-Effects

Klaus Aschenbrenner from SQLServerCentral Blogs

(Be sure to checkout the FREE SQLpassion Performance Tuning Training Plan - you get a weekly email packed with all the... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Automate Parameterising SSIS Connection Managers

Richie Lee from SQLServerCentral Blogs

Hello! Back when SQL Server 2012 was known as Denali, one of the new and exciting features released was that all... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I've got this dataframe:

> print(marvel)
       characters                     movies releaseyear
1        Iron Man                   Iron Man        2008
2      Spider-Man      Spider-Man Homecoming        2017
3            Thor       Thor: The Dark World        2013
4            Hulk                       Hulk        2003
5  Doctor Strange             Doctor Strange        2016
6 Captain America Captain America: Civil War        2011
7     Black Widow               The Avengers        2012
8         Hawkeye    Avengers: Age of Ultron        2015
9         Ant-Man                    Ant-Man        2015

I want to just return the row of data for Spider-Man. How can I do this?

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Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

The event counter target is used to count the number of times each specified event occurs. How does this processing occur?

Answer: Synchronously


The event counter target processes synchronously, but this is usually not an issue as there is little processing that occurs.

Ref: Targets for Extended Events - click here

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

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