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Day 2–#SQLCareer

This is a series of posts on what my day is like. I don’t do a lot of production technical work, but life as an evangelist is interesting, so here goes. Join the #SQLCareer movement and post about your day. Just a random day, not one that is anything special.

I’m actually looking back a few days. I’m on holiday, which might be interesting to some, but isn’t a part of my career. Here’s a look back at July 18, the day before my last post.

3:20am – get up to throw clothes in the dryer. I fell asleep last night after they went in the wash, but I need a Redgate shirt done. Not sure why I woke up now, but since I did might as well get something done.

5:28am – wake up for real. I have an early flight and need to leave the house by 6. I like to set a random time, so rather than 5:30 or 5:25, it’s 5:28 today. I get up, get clean, and double check my packing. I have a bag always packed with running shoes, toiletries, phone cord, and a day of clothes. Since I travel regularly, I just keep this ready. If it’s more than a 2 day trip, I add stuff, but today I just go get my Redgate shirt from the dryer and load it.

I’m also forgoing my laptop bag since I’m just doing slides with someone else, so I toss my laptop and charger in the bag. I load the car and I’m out the door by 6:05.

Arrive at the airport and it’s packed today. PRE only has 2 people scanning and it’s a busy Wednesday in Denver. The line must be 100 people deep, which is still much better than the 300-400 people in the main line. I scan emails on my phone while waiting and in 5-10 minutes they add a few more staff members and things go smoothly.

I ate a protein bar on the drive in since I wasn’t sure I’d have time at the airport. I didn’t, so I’m glad. I get on the flight, and surprisingly, no one is in my row. I watch a bit of the Bosch series on Prime that I’d downloaded. Once we’re in the air, I pull out the laptop and go over my presentation since I’m supposed to rehearse today with others.

9:00 local – arrive in Vegas. No checked bags, so I walk out and schedule and Uber as I’m walking through the terminal. I get to the garage and 2-3 minutes later my ride takes me to the Mandalay.

9:30 – I’ve walked through the hotel to the convention center. Everything is big in Vegas, including the walks. I’m rolling a bag with me, navigating by guess. It’s day 3 of the conference and there are no registration crowds. I go up and there’s no badge for me. Since I’m replacing someone else at the last minute, I expected this, so I go to the help area.

Microsoft has a privacy policy, and they can’t confirm the other person from Redgate is or isn’t registered, but also need written proof to move a registration. It’s a bit of a catch-22, though I’m not annoyed. I’m sure it will get straightened out. I text my Microsoft co-speaker and he says he’s on the way.

He arrives and tries to get information. He apparently has no more pull than I do. After talking with the registration staff for a bit, we realize that this isn’t working. He tries to search for some email that might let him slip me in while I start pinging people at Redgate.

10:00 I finally get a Slack call from a product manager at Redgate who helped put this together. Slack is great here, and quick. A chat turns into a phone call without the hassles of exchanging international numbers and hoping they go through. Plus there are no expenses this way.

I chat with him and he tries to find some way of getting proof that I can take someone’s place. He’s pinging IT to try and get an email delegation and also trying to contact the original person that was supposed to speak, but who is on holiday.

10:30 – Finally get authorization from the person sent in an email. Registration looks at it and says, yep, that’s fine. They check and say the person never registered.

Hmmm, this is getting better.

Another phone call and more email searches. I get the original invite from Microsoft, but when I try to register, it’s locked to the original email account. Another phone call and I have that person try to register, since the event company says they’ll switch it.

10:45 – I get a phone call from Redgate. It’s $2400 for the conference, and it ends in about 26 hours (Thur after lunch). What do we think? I don’t know. I’ve got friends at Microsoft pinging me to come to the Bruno Mars concert that night. I was thinking to sit in a few sessions and see what other partners see. My Microsoft contact says he can’t do anything. If they didn’t send a code for a free registration, there isn’t one.

However, that’s a lot. I’m delivering part of one session and that doesn’t seem right. I check with registration and it’s $995 for a Wednesday pass, $495 for a Thursday one. As much as I’d like to see friends and Bruno Mars, it’s not worth $1000. I’m sure Redgate would be fine, but it feels like a poor use of money. At this point, I’ve spent over 90 minutes trying to get registered for the conference, on the phone, pacing on a hard concrete floor. I check with the young lady to be sure she’ll be around Thursday as I need the speaker badge. She will be, so I thank her and tell me Microsoft co-speaker that we can practice later. He says he’s gotten busy and doesn’t have time, but we can meet Thursday am.

I head back through the convention center to Starbucks. I feel like at 11:20, I’ve gotten nothing done. I sit down with a cup of coffee and open my laptop. At least I can get something done.

11:30 Part of my job is helping customers at times, or the salespeople. In Slack, we find a customer having concerns about a tool working with temporal tables. We have some smart engineers, but they don’t always know the intricacies of how SQL Server works. Grant, Kathi, and I often help out. Since I’ve gotten nothing done, I take this up.

I tell them there shouldn’t be an issue here, but let me check. While sitting in Starbucks, I plug in headphones and start setting up a temporal table and then work with our product. In this case, I need to disable the system versioning, do something, then enable it. I mess with this for an hour, where it seems that disabling system versioning and turning it back on see to not track changes. I search for reports of issues.

1:00 – I need lunch. I know some of this works, but I’m missing something. I head over to a nearby place, order, and then start checking SQLServerCentral and reading a few threads to make sure things are fine. I do a little phone browsing on temporal tables and it hits me. When I disable system versioning, the link to the history table is broken. Unlike most features, if I turn things off, I can’t just turn them on. If I want the same history table, I need to relink it.

1:30 – Rather than go back to Starbucks, I decide to see if my hotel will check me in. It’s two blocks away, so I decide to walk. Enjoy the day.

I head out and walk to the Luxor and then start slightly regretting this. It’s 106F in Vegas, and I’m rolling a back down a street with no shade. To make things worse, I’ve passed the tram and it’s about as far back to it as it is to the parking garage for the Tropicana. I press on. It’s not that hot.

2:00 – I spend a few minutes chilling in the AC and watching some people gamble in the early afternoon. I don’t get gambling, but that’s me.

Since I travel a lot, I have status with some companies. The hotel company is one and they let me check in early. I go to the room and continue to work on my PoC. I immediately get things working and then start to write up a summary as a blog. I run through the demo a few times and be sure the code looks OK and then publish it. I send the link to the sales engineers to forward to a customer. If you’re interested, you can read it here.

That done, I close out some work for the day. I’ve been needing to finish editing an article, so I do that and check on the schedule of content for SQLServerCentral. Since I’m leaving on holiday, I need to get ahead of the game. I get a few newsletters scheduled and then hit the gym.

6:30pm – After the gym, I work a little longer. I rehearse the presentation a few more times to be sure I know what I’m saying. This was dropped on my less than a week ago, and I want to deliver it smoothly.

I’m debating about what to do. Alone in Vegas, friends all at a concert. I’m considering a comedy show in the Tropicana. I like those, and it would be a nice break. I decide to get dinner.

8:00pm – I’ve finished a dinner in the Robert Irving Public House restaurant and had a couple beers. They made it seem really nice on the hotel site and that reservations are needed. They aren’t on a July Wednesday. I sat at the bar, but the place was almost empty.

I’m beat and it’s been a long day. I’m glad I didn’t get into Inspire today and that I didn’t buy tickets for a show. I’m going to bed.

9:15pm – After reading a little for pleasure, I’m done.

That was my day. A little stress, but nothing major. The plan went sideways, but I recovered and made it a productive day.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

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