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The Voice of the DBA

Why Change?

I was reading Change is Hard from Jeff Hackert and I started to think about the ways in which I both change and resist change. I then started to think about the ways in which I ask people to change what they're doing. I do this both at work and in life, with mixed levels of success. The one thing the article got me to think about was the idea that in asking someone to change, I'm implying they are doing something poorly, or wrong, already.

In some cases, that's true. When I coach volleyball, I am often telling someone they are not practicing a technique correctly, and they need to change. The trick here is showing them what they are actually doing, since many of us don't realize when we are moving our body incorrectly. We think we're doing what we were told, and often it's only with video evidence do we realize what we're doing wrong. Once we do, it becomes easier to make corrections.

In technology, this is often more nebulous. There isn't often a set way that we should write code. Requirements vary, our schemas and data differ, and we almost always have disparate (and often not enough) indexes. Asking someone to change could very well mean asking them to admit they built something incorrectly. Sometimes we may do that, but often we have confidence in our work. Asking someone else to change how they build or develop software can be hard.

What can even be harder is getting management to change. We often feel pressure from management, who usually see our systems working well enough. While we may see sub-optimal performance, they see business getting completed. While we see stress and long hours, they see work getting done at the same cost. Changing priorities to improve our applications often becomes secondary when potential new features and functions exist. Telling management they're wrong is not only difficult, it's often fruitless.

Change is hard. Most humans like the status quo to continue indefinitely, even when we know that things can improve with some alteration in our routine. Inspiring others to join in and invest for the future is a skill. It's one that I'd encourage you to develop, both with peers and management.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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


Why the database is at the heart of DevOps success

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Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steve Jones):

I use this code to set a value for a key in my session context:

EXEC sys.sp_set_session_context @key = N'SupplierKey', @value = 7

Now I want to change this value from a string to a numeric. What happens when I run this code?

EXEC sys.sp_set_session_context @key = N'SupplierKey', @value = N'Acme'

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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 want to change the collation of my SQL Server on Linux. What should I do?

Answer: Run mssql-conf with the "set-collation" parameter


The mssql-conf utility can be used to change the collection of your instance on Linux.

Ref: Change the SQL Server Collation - click here

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