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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).

My First Board Meeting

Parents, you know that feeling you get after you’ve brought home that brand new baby (or in my case, babies) where you suddenly say to yourself, “Oh damn. What have I done?” Yeah, that’s my feeling after my first board meeting. But let me give you a run-through of how… Read more

1 comments, 45 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 January 2015

Understand the True Source of Problems

There’s an old joke that goes, “Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this.” While the person in question swings their arm over their head. The doctor’s response is, “Don’t do that.” Problem solved, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s take a quick example from life. I do crossfit (yeah, I’m… Read more

6 comments, 109 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 January 2015

Two Weeks on the PASS Board

The one absolute promise I made about serving on the PASS Board is that I would let you know what I was doing there. Well, we’re two weeks in and I figured now was a good time for a report.

Next week is my first board meeting (and I will… Read more

10 comments, 90 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 January 2015

Common Table Expressions Are Not Tables

There’s power in naming things. Supposedly some types of magic are even based on knowing the correct names for things. The name for the T-SQL clause Common Table Expression (CTE) is actually pretty accurate. It’s an expression that looks like a table and can be used in common across the… Read more

10 comments, 6,209 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 January 2015

I Am Grateful For

A while back I wrote about saying “Thank you” to people. Last night I was listening to NPR on my ride home from a great New England SQL Server User Group meeting (yes, I listen to NPR). Two different reports came on during my ride that got me… Read more

5 comments, 110 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 January 2015

Execution Plans, Performance Tuning and Rum

This is me on the last cruise

In just a few more weeks I’ll be setting sail on the first of two SQL Cruise events this year. I’m honored beyond my ability to appropriately express it to be included as one of the Technical Leads for both the cruise in… Read more

5 comments, 197 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 January 2015

Speaker of the Month: January 2015

I love it that my first post of the new year is going to be Speaker of the Month. I’m really enjoying doing these because I’m getting to attend a lot more sessions at the events I go to in order to get choices. But, please, don’t bug me. If… Read more

5 comments, 96 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 January 2015

“Pretty Plans vs. Performance” or “Grant Gets Pwned”

If you get an execution plan that looks like this:

I wouldn’t blame you for immediately thinking about query tuning. Especially if the code that generated it looks like this:

SELECT  soh.OrderDate,
        sod.OrderQty,
        sod.LineTotal
FROM    Sales.SalesOrderHeader AS soh
INNER JOIN Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod
        ON sod.SalesOrderID = soh.SalesOrderID
WHERE   soh.SalesOrderID IN…

Read more

19 comments, 5,217 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 December 2014

Speaker of the Month: December 2014

For the month of November I was at the PASS Summit and Live360, so I didn’t get to find new speakers to see (heck, I didn’t get to see any sessions at Summit this year). But, that didn’t mean I didn’t get to see great speakers. I did (Rimma!… Read more

3 comments, 145 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 December 2014

Speaker of the Month: November 2014

I have been very remiss in my blogging of late. Apologies.

One thing I haven’t blogged about is Speaker of the Month. I’m behind. So, I’ll be posting two of them over the next few days in order to catch up.

First up, Speaker of the Month for November.

I… Read more

1 comments, 137 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 December 2014

PASS Summit 2014 Speaker Idol

For the first time ever at the PASS Summit, a competition was held to select a speaker for the 2015 Summit. This competition was organized and run by Denny Cherry. You can read all about what he thought of the event right here. I was asked to take part… Read more

3 comments, 139 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 13 November 2014

I’m Still Not on the Board

I’m just back from the PASS Summit 2014. What a great event. But this year, it was a little different. I did a lot of the usual things, presented a pre-conference seminar to about 130 people, helped out at the Red Gate booth, presented a session on execution plans on… Read more

1 comments, 143 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 November 2014

PASS Summit 2014: WIT Luncheon

Since I’m starting on the board in January, I’ve stopped taking part in the bloggers table during keynotes. First time since they had a bloggers. But, I am going to blog through the Women in Technology (WIT) Luncheon because I just love getting to take part in this amazing event. Read more

7 comments, 134 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 6 November 2014

Database Lifecycle Management

There are lots of people who talk about Application Lifecycle Management. But, the database is a major part of every application and if you do a similar search, there aren’t very many people talking about Database Lifecycle Management at all. Why not? I’m positive you’re deploying a database with… Read more

4 comments, 5,591 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 20 October 2014

Why Haven’t You Changed Everything?

The first in what I hope will be many regular reports on what I’m doing on the PASS board.

To answer the question that I’ve already been asked (who had 47 hours in the pool?), first, I’m not on the board yet. I was elected to it and my term… Read more

7 comments, 167 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2014

Query Performance Tuning in SQL Server

I have a pre-con coming up at the PASS Summit. You can read about it here. I named it “Query Performance Tuning in SQL Server 2014″ because it seemed like a good idea to bring out the aspects of 2014, and we will. But, I need to tell you,… Read more

0 comments, 170 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 October 2014

Thank You: #passvotes

The results are in and it seems that I’ve been elected to a place on the PASS Board.

Thank you.

I will strive to be worthy of the position you’ve placed in my hands. I will do my best to make a difference on the board. Watch this space for… Read more

8 comments, 143 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 October 2014

Navel Gazing

I love negative feedback. Well, not really. I love constructive feedback. I love the feedback that gives me things to think about. Am I presenting the right material? Am I presenting it in the right way? Can I improve? But, in order to get constructive feedback, people have to tell… Read more

0 comments, 5,865 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 October 2014

Speaker of the Month: October 2014

I saw a whole bunch of great sessions last month. I was all over the place from Las Vegas to San Diego and then Antwerp and Utrecht at Connections, two different SQL Saturday events and SQL Server Days. The speakers just seem to keep getting better, making this more difficult.… Read more

0 comments, 168 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 October 2014

The PASS Board: #passvotes

Ever been in a fight? Ever been in one that’s not completely going your way? I’ve done this and seen this in the martial arts and, unfortunately, on the street. As you start to lose the fight, you tend to fold in on yourself. It’s a natural reaction. You’re protecting… Read more

3 comments, 133 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 October 2014

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