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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: December 2015

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, 686 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

4 comments, 336 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, 1,604 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, 1,095 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, 368 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, 358 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, 968 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, 363 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, 367 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 December 2015