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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).

Opportunities To Talk

It’s weird being an introvert who likes to talk to people, but what can I do. I like talking to people. I have a number of upcoming trips, quite literally all over the world, that provide us with the opportunities to get together and have a chat.

First, I’ll be… Read more

2 comments, 216 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 17 March 2016

Leadership Lessons

Not for you, for me.

I’m sure you’ve heard the statement: Praise in public. Criticize in private.

I agree with this approach. However, I find it extremely difficult to do. It’s one of the fundamental proofs that all leadership, all life for that matter, is about constant practice and discipline.… Read more

1 comments, 1,487 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 March 2016

SQL Server Backups Are A Business Decision

Blog post #3 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel

Read more about Tim’s challenge here.

It’s very easy to think of SQL Server backups as a technical problem. You have so much stuff going on, BACKUP DATABASE commands, recovery models, BACKUP LOG… Read more

1 comments, 1,475 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 March 2016

Speaker of the Month: March 2016

I’m finally getting back out to community events so I should be able to avoid giving this gigantic honor to professional speakers for a month or two. My Speaker of the Month for February 2016 is Ron Dameron (b|t)

I saw Ron’s presentation Monitoring & Alerting… Read more

3 comments, 190 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 4 March 2016

Wait Statistics in Azure SQL Database

You need to be aware that you’re going to see differences when you’re working with Azure SQL Database when it comes to wait statistics. If you’re running a v12 Azure SQL Database (and if you’re not, go fix it), you can run a query against sys.dm_os_wait_stats. Here’s the output for… Read more

4 comments, 810 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 February 2016

Query Store and Recompile

One of the many advantages of SQL Cruise is the ability to have enough time during a presentation to be able to answer questions from the people there in great detail. One question came up while I was showing the new functionality of Query Store (available soon in SQL Server… Read more

5 comments, 226 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 24 February 2016

Why Is The Server Slow?

This is blog post #2 in support of Tim Ford’s (b|t) #iwanttohelp, #entrylevel.

If you haven’t been working in SQL Server for very long, you may not have got this phone call yet, but you will:

Hi, yeah, the server is slow. Thanks. Bye.

Let’s pretend… Read more

3 comments, 2,340 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 22 February 2016

Azure SQL Database Error

I was on SQL Cruise where I was scheduled to present a session on Azure SQL Database. I recorded all my demonstrations before we went to sea, but, I planned to attempt to try live demo’s. Yeah, yeah. Well, anyway, I got a unique error when I attempted to connect: Read more

4 comments, 213 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 18 February 2016

Loading Data into Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Ouch.

Let’s start with the level set. I’m not an ETL expert. In fact, I haven’t done any professional ETL work for several years. My skills are, at best, rusty. With this in mind, I knew I’d have a hard time extracting data from a local database in order to… Read more

10 comments, 683 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 15 February 2016

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, 225 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, 244 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, 245 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, 292 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, 264 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, 1,813 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, 226 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, 317 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, 225 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

10 comments, 896 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, 489 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 December 2015

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