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Burning Out

We tend to work a lot of hours as data professionals, developers, even IT management. It seems that we often are in the office at night, on weekends, and anytime there is a crisis. Even when we don't have down systems, it seems the pressure to continue to build new features, functions, and ensure systems are operating well leads many of us to work longer hours than the expected 40 hour week. In fact, there are no shortage of companies that expect IT employees to work more than 40 hours every week.

This isn't limited to IT. Doctors, lawyers, and plenty of other professions put in extra hours at work. Even teachers often do work at home. I've seen this first hand this past year with my oldest son teaching 5th grade. He spends a fair amount of time doing work at the kitchen counter, not unlike what I used to do when I worked as a DBA in a few companies.

I have an amazing job. Along with Grant, Kathi, and Kendra, we all have good positions. We work for an amazing employer, Redgate Software, and we get to travel around, speaking at various events and meeting lots of you in the SQL Server community. We also all work from home, which is becoming more common, but it still a luxury for many. In the era of double, or triple, digits of minutes to commute to an office, that's a blessing.

Recently, I saw this note from Kendra, and I get it. I've been there and I have a tendency to work too much. I like my job, and I've enjoyed both being a DBA and Developer, as well as running SQLServerCentral. I enjoyed it so much that there were a number of years where I struggled to take much vacation, much to the dismay of my wife. Even while on vacation, I'd be checking email and the status of the site. Early on, I was afraid to take any time away from this site, scheduling time to log on, answer a few questions, write an editorial, and even edit a submission on weekends and during vacations.

I got better over time, balancing out work, though a few years ago, I was where Kendra is now. I had made too many commitments and really, too much travel.  I've felt what Andy described here, feeling tired and short tempered. I re-read some of my own thoughts and eventually talked with my manager. I scaled back travel, found a new hobby coaching, and I've felt much more balanced across the last year. Life is still chaotic, but it's a variety of things I enjoy. Plus, I still have trouble sitting still for more than a few days.

Working hard feels good. There's a sense of accomplishment from completing tasks and solving problems. Many of us enjoy this, but it's easy to become unbalanced with work and life. It's also easy to allow your boss to overwork you when we feel pressure to stay employed. Those are hard situations in which to find yourself, and I can only advise you that you can push back to find some balance. Most bosses, even bad ones, don't want to fire people. It's disruptive, expensive, and makes a bad situation even worse.

Remember, we work to live, not the other way around. Keep that advise close by in times of stress and learn to take time off, enjoy time with friends and families, and ensure you have something outside of work in which you can sink some passionate time.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

Redgate SQL Monitor
  Featured Contents

Setup SSIS Catalog Retention Policy and Partial Cleanup Strategy

Oscar D Garcia from SQLServerCentral

Learn how you can configure clean and size management for your SSIS catalog database.

Oracle for Absolute Beginners: Problem-Solving as a New Developer

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

Learning programming logic and syntax is just the beginning. In this article, David Njoku talks about how to debug and troubleshoot errors as a new developer.

Bloor scores SQL Provision 4.5 out of 5 for test data provisioning

Additional Articles from Redgate

In this independent review of SQL Provision, the Bloor analyst finds that SQL Provision’s combination of database cloning and data masking stands out with “clear advantages over competing approaches, such as data subsetting or synthetic data generation.”

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - When Your Options Are Limited

@DBA_ANDY from SQLServerCentral

In my role I am still on-call several times each month, and many of the escalations that come are simply things that newer DBA's and Help Desk staff have...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Always Use Roles–#SQLNewBlogger

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from SQLServerCentral

Another post for me that is simple and hopefully serves as an example for people trying to get blogging as #SQLNewBloggers. Which of these is more complex? GRANT SELECT...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by rVadim):


Delete offline database

I'm low on disk space. I see there is a database that was taken offline some time ago and now can be deleted. What will happen after I execute DROP DATABASE?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.


Redgate University


  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Getting the Max

I've loaded a dataframe in R with some procedure execution times from SQL Server. The dataframe looks like this:

> head(procs)
                ProcName cputime   reads
1           GetCustomers   27784  312165
2        GetCustomerList   43170  627272
3 CalculateMonthlyTotals   48868 2705414
4 CalculateMonthlyTotals   25868 2922859
5 CalculateMonthlyTotals   38206  862347
6           GetCustomers   49426 3449650

I now want to get the maximum values for cputime and reads, in order to decide which procs might need tuning. How can I do that?

Answer: apply(procs, 2, max)

Explanation: The apply() function can be used with the dataframe to apply a function to columns. To do this, we use a "2" as the second parameter. A "1" for this applies the function across rows. Ref: Apply() -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

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Development - SQL Server 2014
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Amazon AWS and other cloud vendors
increase size instance RDS - Hello everyone I would like to create an RDS instance I will create my instance with an initial size of 20G0 if tomorrow I will need to increase space dedicate will it be possible to thanks  
Analysis Services
Need to perform leaf level aggregation - So I have a DW with  a table with some pre-aggregated scores (not my choice) and the counts of animals separated by breed and a date. To calculate the average score across breeds, I need to the following calculation: ([AverageScore]*[CountOfAnimalsForBreed])/TotalCountOfAnimals The problem is that when the cube rolls up for a specific date, it is […] Announcements
Status Update 17 May 2019 - It's been a week, and a hectic one away from SSC, so I've delayed posting until I could check on a few things. We have had full development staff this week, but we lose one today as we ramp down and catch up on things. Highlight of things fixed this week: resources migrated from old […]
SQL Server Agent
Unable to stop SQL Server Agent Job showing "In Progress" status - I am using SQL Server 2014 and I have a job (let's call it JN5) scheduled to run at a specific time on a daily basis. The job runs an SSIS package and has 11 steps in it. Looking at the Job History in SSMS, the job seems to be stuck at Step 9. It […]
SQL Job failed - Hello Team, I am getting the below error while running the new job.Help me to  resolve  this issue. Error Message : Starting copy... SQLState = 22001, NativeError = 0 Error = [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver]String data, right truncation. Using below bcp command when  i am trying to run the job : bcp PatsDB.dbo.Sharepoint in Sharepoint.txt […]


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