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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).

Archives: October 2013

Query Tuning in Dallas

Let’s have some fun.

This Friday, November 1, 2013, I’m putting on an all day seminar on query tuning. It’s set up as a pre-conference event for SQL Saturday 255 in Dallas. It’s a 200 level course on understanding how the query optimizer works, the importance of statistics,… Read more

1 comments, 662 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 October 2013

SQL in the City, US Tour 2013, Recap

Red Gate visited three cities this year with our SQL in the City event; Pasadena, Atlanta and Charlotte. I just wanted to give you a quick assessment of how the events went from my point of view.

Overall, each and every one of these events was awesome. I can safely… Read more

2 comments, 830 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 October 2013

PASS Summit 2013: Women In Technology Luncheon

This year I was invited to attend the Women In Technology luncheon as a blogger. So I’ll be live-blogging it through it in the same way as I did the keynote.

The WIT lunches are a fascinating, and let’s face it, unique PASS-style event, that have been taking place for… Read more

1 comments, 838 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2013

PASS Summit 2013 Day 2 Key Note


Today we have to eat our vegetables and then get lots and lots of sweet desert.


Today we hear about PASS Finances as a part of the official annual meeting and then we get to hear Dr. David Dewitt speak (completely and utterly getting our nerd on… Read more

0 comments, 880 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 October 2013

PASS Summit 2013 Day 1 Keynote

I am liveblogging the keynote from the bloggers table at the PASS Summit again this year. Just keep scrolling.

Watching the introduction video as people trickle in. All the other bloggers are setting up. I get in early. I didn’t rearrange the seats this year. I see others doing it… Read more

0 comments, 794 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 October 2013

Monitoring Structure Changes

Most everyone I know works with environments that are carefully controlled and structured. All changes go through rigorous testing and full documentation. Absolutely nothing happens in a production environment that hasn’t been thought through, discussed, planned for and written down. But, there are a few, a very few, who work… Read more

3 comments, 2,269 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 October 2013

Do Be a Gatekeeper

I read this fascinating blog post called “Don’t Be a Gatekeeper” by Julie Zhuo. Please read that first.

It really resonated for me in a lot of ways. Everything she said is 100% applicable to our jobs as data professionals. Work to make things more robust. Create processes… Read more

2 comments, 2,681 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 October 2013

Azure Account and Spending Limits

If you’ve been working with Azure for a while you probably signed up before they had the ability to create an account with spending limits. Even worse, you couldn’t switch an unlimited account to a limited account. I have great news. Sometime between June (last time I was messing with… Read more

1 comments, 792 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 October 2013

Speaker of the Month, October 2013

This month I saw several good speakers talking on a variety of topics. Making this choice was hard. I’m really glad people don’t know who I’ve decided not to pick because I would be singularly unpopular.

The rules for speaker of the month are simple. This is an utterly arbitrary… Read more

4 comments, 1,129 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 October 2013