Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Redgate
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 


Calling Out Bad Advice


Calling Out Bad Advice

Author
Message
Tim Mitchell
Tim Mitchell
Ten Centuries
Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1247 Visits: 2943
I did just that a week or so ago on Twitter (maybe the incident to which you're referring Tim?) because the advice was so blatantly misleading from such a widely read blog - it would have had many DBAs struggling to figure out why their system wasn't exhibiting the behavior specified.


Paul, this editorial was written a few months ago, so any similarities to recent events is purely coincidental Smile

But you're right - the same method doesn't work for everybody. Nobody wants to hear that their baby is ugly, but some people respond to it better than others. It's a fine line to walk, knowing how to gently correct without alienating a well-intentioned writer.



Tim Mitchell, Microsoft Data Platform MVP
Data Warehouse and ETL Consultant
TimMitchell.net | @Tim_Mitchell | Tyleris.com
ETL Best Practices


timothypepin
timothypepin
Grasshopper
Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)Grasshopper (22 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 22 Visits: 161
lenne_dk (12/22/2010)
Most true professionals due a good job of self-screening,


Not here, it seems :-)

A correction is due, if you do not mind...


I got a good chuckle out of it myself. I found it especially ironic on that particular sentence.
john.arnott
john.arnott
SSCommitted
SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1526 Visits: 3059
OCTom (12/22/2010)
My 2 cents worth:

When correcting/criticising someone:

1. Don't make it personal.
2. Make it about the code and/or advice.
3. Use positive instead of negative terms.
4. Give an alternative and explain why it's better.

When being corrected/criticised:

1. Don't take it personally.
2. Remember it's about the code and/or advice.
3. If you are wrong, accept the criticism/correction gracefully.
4. If you are not wrong, use the first four steps above to correct the corrector.

And, for both, remember there are many ways to accomplish a task or solve a problem. Your way may be just one of many and it may not work in all installations.

Excellent advice ( :-) ).

One way to keep the conversation about what was written is to request clarification. It's usually much better received to say something like "I don't quite understand how this works....", rather than "This doesn't work."
Alan Vogan
Alan Vogan
Ten Centuries
Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.1K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1107 Visits: 585
I'm a reader of all this wonderful advice this community puts out. I always make sure that I've read several articles on whatever topic I'm researching, just to double/triple check that there is general consensus. When I see ego's clash or fighting over a topic, I tend to move on to the next website where more rational discourse is taking place.

Just remember what Tom said above. And what your Mama taught you. Be nice. Play nice. If you don't have anything good to say, then keep your mouth shut.

And for those of you who remember, it's now time to sing the Grandmother Song by Steve Martin. 1,2,3... Be courteous kind and forgiving... Hehe
GSquared
GSquared
SSCoach
SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)SSCoach (15K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 15789 Visits: 9729
I have to say that my response to bad advice depends on where it is, what it is, what it's about, the tone it's delivered in, and the history of the person writing it.

If, for example, I see a minor error in a piece of complex code, in reply to a poorly written request for help, I'll just suggest a correction and nothing more.

On the other hand, if I see something posted that could result in serious data loss, posted in an authoritative manner, without clarification that it will result in data loss (I see this pretty regularly), I'll jump on it a little more harshly. Since that's the kind of thing that can result in losses for companies and job-loss for the DBA affected, I treat it a little more seriously.

When corrected myself (happens more often than I like), I take my error personally, but not the correction. If I posted something that will cause a problem for someone else, that's serious to me, even if it isn't to anyone else. That's certainly not a flaw in the person correcting me.

- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
Property of The Thread

"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon
webrunner
webrunner
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)Hall of Fame (3.2K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 3198 Visits: 3781
tpepin (12/22/2010)
lenne_dk (12/22/2010)
Most true professionals due a good job of self-screening,


Not here, it seems :-)

A correction is due, if you do not mind...


I got a good chuckle out of it myself. I found it especially ironic on that particular sentence.


I noticed the typo, too, but silently corrected it and thought to myself that it didn't fall into the category of bad advice. Rather, it was a case of the classic foible of writing a little too phonetically (there/their, your/you're, etc.). Although worthy of correction, I think that is less of an issue than the one mentioned in the editorial -- advice that may be correctly spelled, nicely formatted, and confidently stated -- but wrong. I have seen many examples of corrections that were too harsh (especially when those corrections themselves turned out to be wrong), but on the whole, the initial advice in this thread -- a simple "I believe that's not correct" and a URL reference or link, seems to be the norm. And it seems to me a good way to offer the correction.

Just my two cents,
webrunner

-------------------
"I love spending twice as long and working twice as hard to get half as much done!" – Nobody ever.
Ref.: http://www.adminarsenal.com/admin-arsenal-blog/powershell-how-to-write-your-first-powershell-script

"Operator! Give me the number for 911!" - Homer Simpson

"A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and says 'Can I join you?'"
Ref.: http://tkyte.blogspot.com/2009/02/sql-joke.html
GilaMonster
GilaMonster
SSC Guru
SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)SSC Guru (53K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 53970 Visits: 44623
GSquared (12/22/2010)
I have to say that my response to bad advice depends on where it is, what it is, what it's about, the tone it's delivered in, and the history of the person writing it.

If, for example, I see a minor error in a piece of complex code, in reply to a poorly written request for help, I'll just suggest a correction and nothing more.

On the other hand, if I see something posted that could result in serious data loss, posted in an authoritative manner, without clarification that it will result in data loss (I see this pretty regularly), I'll jump on it a little more harshly. Since that's the kind of thing that can result in losses for companies and job-loss for the DBA affected, I treat it a little more seriously.


Pretty much how I handle it too. Just if I see someone who's repeatedly dispensing bad advice (especially the same bad advice) I'll be a lot harsher than if it's a first time.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass


ab5sr
ab5sr
SSC Veteran
SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)SSC Veteran (254 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 254 Visits: 701
Interesting post, Tim, and timely, just about the time that I was "debunked" and "called out" in a "game-on" fashion just today. I appreciate the reply, Jonathan, but 1) you still misunderstood what I was investigating, and 2) while you did a splendid job on your post about how the transaction log works - admittedly yourself no new information in your posting and readily accessible in BOL - you seemed to spend more effort to reinforce something that I did not write clearly about, even in my updated conclusion. Moreover, your tone and verbiage seemed to want to call out something to elevate yourself or belittle my intentions maybe more so than actually help others, or at least that is the perception that you leave.

Let me provide an example of how I might add to a discussion in a positive and constructive way; if you peruse my blog on Forward Records located at: [url=http://www.texastoo.com/post/2010/11/16/Another-way-to-get-Forward-Records-in-SQL-Server.aspx][/url] you will note that I choose to indicate additions to the writer’s post rather than demean or otherwise discredit. The likelihood of obtaining forwarded records from an ALTER statement would probably occur less frequently than my offering, however I do not choose to diminish his suggestion, but rather add to the discussion in a creative, positive, and beneficial manner to the reader.

Back to my blog - I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion. I'm a consultant and I happen to jot down things that I observe based on the given constraints and variables at-hand; should these change, then a hypothesis or assumption may or may not change. And these notes just happen to end up on my blog. Again, no information ever put there is designated as a be-all, end-all conclusion. After all, I didn't write the SQL engine. No SQL Police here.

That being said, I enjoy blogging and will continue such; I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet. I always tend to write things down as if I am in a laboratory setting with a "results may vary" caveat to everyone who visits my blog. After all, I'm doing research, experimentation, and fun as I note on my "sigline". And, if I am able to help someone out along the way, then I'm grateful for this and appreciate the opportunity. Finally, most of what we all blog or write about is not new. Sure, there are new features that come out no doubt, but whether or not there is information (such as what I was posting about) “well known”, my inquisitive nature will always drive me to "find out for myself" as opposed to taking whatever I read as written word, regardless of whether it is widely-known, or even if there may be a de-facto expert among us.

Thank you for correcting me where I was incorrect and unclear, and I look forward to reading great things from you on your blog the future.

Best Regards,
Lee Everest MS

Lee Everest


Core6430
Core6430
Valued Member
Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)Valued Member (51 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 51 Visits: 207
I would rather see the comments on posts or blogs that point out when something is wrong and why it's wrong. I'm not a dba, and sometimes that "bad advice" someone gave is something my company is practicing. Reading the Why of not doing it that way helps me to change bad practices, plus I can learn from others mistakes, and can (hopefully) avoid making a mistake in the future.

In my opinion, many of the 'mistakes' I see written are common misconceptions that haven't been challenged. I seem to see the same mistakes repeatedly blogged about, or done in the workplace. Seeing some one else challenged for a practice you're currently doing can be a huge eye opener for some.

From a different point of view, this article has good concepts that can be applied to work place problems too. When coworkers are practicing methods that you know are harmful, it contains good suggestions on how to confront them.
TravisDBA
TravisDBA
SSCommitted
SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)SSCommitted (1.5K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1534 Visits: 3069
I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion......I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet.


Lee, I could not have said it better myself and I applaud you for saying this and this goes back to my point earlier in this post that this happens on blogs and forums. No one is immune from it, so people need to just relax and take things in context. No one knows everything in SQL Server, except maybe Paul Randal. But I would be willing to bet that even the great Paul has on occasion been wrong himself. But like you say, that's ok because we ALL should understand that this can and does happen, It's just not that big of a deal. :-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Go


Permissions

You can't post new topics.
You can't post topic replies.
You can't post new polls.
You can't post replies to polls.
You can't edit your own topics.
You can't delete your own topics.
You can't edit other topics.
You can't delete other topics.
You can't edit your own posts.
You can't edit other posts.
You can't delete your own posts.
You can't delete other posts.
You can't post events.
You can't edit your own events.
You can't edit other events.
You can't delete your own events.
You can't delete other events.
You can't send private messages.
You can't send emails.
You can read topics.
You can't vote in polls.
You can't upload attachments.
You can download attachments.
You can't post HTML code.
You can't edit HTML code.
You can't post IFCode.
You can't post JavaScript.
You can post emoticons.
You can't post or upload images.

Select a forum

































































































































































SQLServerCentral


Search