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The Voice of the DBA


Information Technology is a place that I think could be a very good career for many people. Our working conditions are good, the pay is above average, and we can continue to do this job for most of our lives. We have flexibility to work in many locations, and at different hours. There are downsides, as each of those advantages can work against us. We can be expected to work all hours, and in all places, including while on holidays. We don't have the excuses of not being in an office, and with today's small machines, we can be asked to carry our work with us wherever we go. How you handle those challenges and achieve balance in life is up to you, but I will say that it can be a burden to do so.

When I first started to work in this business, I came from positions that required more physical labor and onsite work. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I preferred an office environment, especially as technology became more important and workplaces evolved into casual, even fun, places to spend my day. I've appreciated the growing flexibility as bandwidth has increased and remote work became first tolerated, and then accepted. In some cases, it's even preferred. As my children have grown up, one of the great benefits for me has been the flexible schedule that allowed me to share many moments in their lives. The flipside is that I've also had to work many hours while they're at home, at all hours of the day and night and many weekends.

When I started working in this field, I had no idea what life would be like, and I bet that many people that are learning about computers are similarly naive. When I've spoken with students, or even adults seeking training for a new career, I find that the environment in education, not to mention the tools and techniques, are very different from that of most jobs. I'm regularly reminded of this while talking with my son, who is studying some computer science in university. He's learning concepts and skills, but missing some of the very basic, practical items that I think academic training ignores.

I think we can do better. I read Iris Classon's post about her day, where she covers some of the tasks and flow of her workday. I'm looking forward to reading more about how her life as a developer goes, but I'd also like to put out a challenge to those in the SQL Server community. I think we can help others learn what it's like to work in our field, either inspiring them to study harder and build more skills, or warn them of the dangers and downsides.

If you have a blog, I'd like to ask you to write four posts. These could be four days in a row, or one day a week for a month. Once a month is probably too little, but if that's the time you have, then do that. Let us know how your day goes, what tasks you undertake, the challenges, maybe even a little about the problems you solve. If you enjoy blogging, you'll get ideas for even more posts. If you don't, you'll still build some communication skills. If you like your job, maybe you'll get excited to share the things that are fun. If you don't, then you might stop and think as you write about how you can make changes in life. You might even teach yourself something about your own career.

Either way, you'll learn something. I'll ask that you tag these posts on your blog and any sharing you do as #SQLCareer. That way we help others get a sense of what it's like to work in the Microsoft Data Platform space. If you want to write more, that's fine, but set a reminder now, and schedule out a few posts about what your job is like.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 4.6MB) 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.

SQL Monitor

What’s the top challenge faced by SQL Server professionals in 2018?

Learn how 626 SQL Server professionals monitor their estates in our new report on the State of SQL Server Monitoring. Discover the challenges currently facing the industry, and what is coming next.  Download your free copy of the report

SQL Prompt

Become a more efficient SQL developer with SQL Prompt

Learn how to write SQL faster and more efficiently with these exclusive short videos from Data Platform MVPs and SQL Server experts. With SQL Prompt you can strip out the repetition of coding and write SQL 50% faster. Check out the tips

Featured Contents


Creating Compound Interest Calculations in SQL

Adam Aspin from SQLServerCentral.com

This is the first article in a short series of SQL Server query challenges to test and expand your SQL Server querying skills More »


Moving from application automation to true DevOps by including the database

There is a growing motivation, in many organizations, to integrate database changes into a DevOps process. In this article Tom Austin explains the different methods of getting the database under source control, either by storing per-object state, or migration scripts, or usually both. More »


Using Parameters for SQL Server Queries and Stored Procedures

Additional Articles from MSSQLTips.com

One of the benefits of SQL is the ability to write a query and use parameters to dynamically act upon the resultset. Depending on the situation, there can be benefits to parameterizing queries, but it is not always clear when or how to do this. In this tip we look at different ways to pass in values as parameters to queries and the advantages and disadvantages. More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Filtering Tables, Procedures, And Other Objects In SSMS

Bert Wagner from SQLServerCentral Blogs

While the text of this post contains good information on SSMS object filters, I highly recommend watching this week’s video... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Mastering Index Tuning–Day 1

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral Blogs

This is a short series of posts on the courses I took with Brent Ozar. I actually completed the courses... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I have an Orders table that contains the CustomerID and the CustomerTypeID columns. There are 4603 values for CustomerID and 12 values for CustomerTypeID.

Which column is more selective?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.

We keep track of your score to give you bragging rights against your peers.
This question is worth 1 point.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux

This comprehensive guide shows, step-by-step, how to set up, configure, and administer SQL Server 2017 on Linux for high performance and high availability. Written by a SQL Server expert and respected author, Microsoft SQL Server 2017 on Linux teaches valuable Linux skills to Windows-based SQL Server professionals. You will get clear coverage of both Linux and SQL Server and complete explanations of the latest features, tools, and techniques. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

I run this code in Python:

>>> a = "Happy"
>>> b = "Independence Day"
>>> a, b = b, a
>>> print( b, a)

What is returned?

Answer: Happy Independence Day


Python allows multiple variables to be assigned at the same time with the a, b = c, d syntax. This will do

a = c

b = d

This also allows the reversal of values and will indeed switch the values of a and b with the a.b = b, a syntax.

Ref: From SO: click here

» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

Featured Script

Create Database using dynamic SQL

Shridhar from SQLServerCentral.com

Create database using dynamic SQL

Script creates a database,picks up the default locations for data and log file placements from server configuration, Give it a go!!

Useful in scenario's where your DBA doesn't like you and doesn't tell you that he doesn't like you!! So give him this script and ask him to trust you for creating the database, ill soon post something to create tables dynamically, Lets test your DBA's

More »

Featured Script

User access management on DB & object level

Subhash Chandra from SQLServerCentral.com

Check the current users DB access at Individual level and manage as per the need and change of role.

It will work on object level also.

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.

SQL Server 2017 : SQL Server 2017 - Administration

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SQL Server 2017 : SQL Server 2017 - Development

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SQL Server 2016 : SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL

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SQL Server 2012 : SQL 2012 - General

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Migrating data from one server to another - Hi Is there any way other than export and import where we can migrate data from one server to another. Thanks

SQL Server 2012 : SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL

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SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server 2008 - General

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SQL Server 2008 : T-SQL (SS2K8)

stop delete trigger firing when i'm doing an "admin delete" - Sometimes I don't quite have the right words to google or ask for help with …. please bear with.  I am...

SQL Server 2008 : SQL Server Newbies

Inner query returns more than one row - Hi folks, I have a problem that I don't know how to solve: the subquery returns more than one row....

Reporting Services : Reporting Services

HTTP 500 Internal Server Error after Windows Update - We finished a recent update to our server and ever since then our SSRS default instance has stopped working. We...

Highlighting of changeable data using a "colour table" - I am a lone, and originally accidental, DBA, so would very much appreciate feedback on a solution I have come...

Data Warehousing : Integration Services

SSIS; Why would the "The expression for variable "FileLocation" failed evaluation." error appear, but the package succeed? - Hi, Hope you can help! I have a .dtsx package that drops a flat file off in a folder. I'm using a...

Career : Employers and Employees

Dilemma between Microsoft BI developer or Application Developer - I am stuck in a dilemma; at my workplace I have to choose my career track between as Microsoft BI...

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