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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

Speaker of the Month: February 2016

I’ve been a little remiss on this. I just haven’t been getting out to see people speak for a while (no travel is nice). However, I’m back in the airplane seats again, so these blog posts are off and running again.

Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Jason… Read more

0 comments, 102 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 February 2016

Positivity

I’m sitting in the classroom of SQL Cruise listening to Tim Ford (b|t) explain mechanisms for monitoring indexes. It’s a great class. Earlier in the week I got to hear Jes Borland (b|t) talk about extended events and do a session on… Read more

1 comments, 155 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 February 2016

Learning R: Happy With My Book Choice

This is just a quick update. I wrote about the two books I’m using to learn R. Well, I’m extremely happy with my choices, especially with the Using R for Introductory Statistics book. It has problems at the end of each chapter. No, unlike our elementary school math books the… Read more

0 comments, 131 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 February 2016

PASS Board 2016: Update #1

Hello everyone. Just because I’ve moved on to the executive committee doesn’t mean I’m walking away from these reports. I will continue to communicate all that I can about my role as EVP throughout the year. One of our commitments this year is providing greater insight into each of the… Read more

0 comments, 150 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 January 2016

The Importance of a Full Backup in SQL Server

This is the first of 12 posts this year in support of Tim Ford’s #iwanttohelp initiative. These will be completely 100 level, introductory blog posts meant to help people that are just getting started as data professionals. I’ll try to cover several different topics over the year, but felt I… Read more

2 comments, 155 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 27 January 2016

Finding Your Query in Query Store

Query Store is pretty amazing. I’m loving working with it. I think it’s likely to change how query tuning will be done in the future. Lots of people are probably going to just use the reports and tools in SQL Server Management Studio. However, a pretty healthy chunk of us… Read more

1 comments, 1,496 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 25 January 2016

Removing All SQL Server Query Store Data

While setting up example code for my presentation at SQL Cruise (which is going to be a fantastic event), I realized I wanted to purge all the data from my Query Store, just for testing. I did a series of searches to try to track down the information and it… Read more

2 comments, 124 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 January 2016

Learning R: Hitting the Books

I’ve been using a series of web sites while I was starting the process of learning R. I’ve highlighted several of these in previous posts. While people will claim to learn better based on a single source-type, studies have found that you actually learn best by a multitude of methods.… Read more

10 comments, 187 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 January 2016

“Applies To…” in the MSDN Documentation

Quick little post. I just wanted to share how happy I am with the new “THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO” infographic. An example here:

I think it makes things much more clear when you’re attempting to figure out what’s up with some T-SQL syntax.

Well done Microsoft and thank you.

Side… Read more

0 comments, 130 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 January 2016

Restoring a Database in Azure

One of the many small things you don’t have to worry about any more when working with Azure SQL Database are those pesky backups… Ha-ha-ha! Yeah, I can’t keep a straight face when I type it. Microsoft takes on the role of DBA and creates backups and log backups for… Read more

9 comments, 741 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 January 2016

Learning R: Hard Lessons

I’ve always found the best way to learn a new programming language is to start building stuff, solving problems, using the language. Even if you do things badly or inefficiently, you’re figuring out how to put the language to use. I tried the same thing with R.

Fair warning, there… Read more

8 comments, 368 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 December 2015

Speaker of the Month: December 2015

The hardest presentations I’ve ever given in my life were not to large audiences or in big rooms. They weren’t even when I had to present in front of people that I respect and admire (although presenting in front of Paul Randal (b|t) & Kim Tripp… Read more

3 comments, 165 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 December 2015

Benefits from Data Lifecycle Management

I spend a lot of time talking about the need for automation within your databases, especially in support of development, deployment, and through process management. It’s because I learned the hard way just how important this stuff is. It took a pretty strong developer (in the sense of abilities, he… Read more

2 comments, 1,370 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 December 2015

One More PASS Board Update for 2015

Remember that post I wrote about taking on SQLSaturday events as my new PASS portfolio?

Never mind.*

Instead, it seems I’ll be involved with a completely different role. Starting on January 1, I’ll be moving onto the executive committee of the PASS Board and taking on the role of Executive… Read more

4 comments, 834 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 December 2015

Promote Community

When I present at any given event, I generally assume that the people attending have heard of the event that I’m at. For example, I don’t need to ask people at SQL in the City, “Who here has heard of Redgate Software?” Same thing goes for a SQL Saturday event… Read more

5 comments, 165 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 10 December 2015

PASS Board Update: First Year

This represents my 12th month on the board so I thought I would recap my time there so you know what I’ve done, haven’t done, etc.

A year ago I took over Chapters as my area of responsibility, what’s known as my Portfolio. Wendy Pastrick had been ably running it… Read more

3 comments, 160 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 December 2015

Learning R: Foundations

Learning a programming language is largely an act of using that language to do stuff. Done.

However, the big thing about R is the mathematical and statistical analyses that can be easily run against your data sets. This means, part of learning this language is learning another, that of data… Read more

0 comments, 633 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 December 2015

Changing Course On Learning

With all the new stuff on the Microsoft Data Platform, it’s really hard to keep up with it all. I had announced my plans to charge down the DocumentDB road to try to get the basics of that in my head along with learning some JSON so I could get… Read more

4 comments, 181 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 3 December 2015

It’s Not Too Late

You know you want to go on the SQL Cruise. You can. You just have to convince the boss that it’s worth doing. It is. I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it as necessary, SQL Cruise changes peoples lives. I’ve watched people go on the cruise with a… Read more

0 comments, 148 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 December 2015

Speaker of the Month for November 2015

A great benefit that I get with my job is that I get to travel all over the place to see people present. This means I can expand out beyond my own country to see good speakers. That’s the case this month. My Speaker of the Month, with all the… Read more

2 comments, 132 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 November 2015

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