Blog Post

Internals and Performance class in Dallas



At last, my blog is starting to pay real dividends. Not only do I get the opportunity to publish my thoughts about SQL Server - hopefully spreading any pearls of wisdom that I might posses throughout the wider SQL community - and have my work peer reviewed by them, but now SQLskills has presented me with the opportunity to win a place on their 5-day Internals and Performance class in Dallas, February 21-25.

And, all this when I only started my blogging career on Friday 3rd September 2010. I'd been thinking of starting for a while and had jokingly said that it would take a seismic shift to get me blogging. Imagine my surprise when a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit my home town of Chistchurch, New Zealand less that 24 hours later. And so after that little piece of synchronicity I find myself in full blogging swing, so to speak.

They'll be more "business continuity" and "personal readiness after natural disasters" later, but first to the job at hand - why I deserve a free place on the 5-day Internals and Performance class in Dallas, February 21-25.

The guys at SQLskills, not only seem to have SQL internals down to a tee, they seem to have so much knowledge that I wonder where they retain it all. This knowledge retention seems to be a skill in itself and I've noted from experience that having passion and enthusiasm for a subject will aid this process - and the guys at SQLskills seem to have it in large quantities for SQL SERVER.

If you've ever been in a room with anybody who has this much passion and enthusiasm for their chosen subject, then you'll know that before they even begin to talk about their subject that the room is filled with an energy that is truly contagious. From that point on the knowledge just flows and is absorbed by everyone with a similar passion and enthusiasm in the room. I'd like to be part of a course like this.

I moved my career path from being a database developer to being a DBA a few years ago and suddenly found that SQL Internals was an area I needed to brush up on - I mean what SQL developer takes performance tuning seriously 🙂

I am that passionate about SQL SERVER that I try to arrange the knowledge in my head in the same way as SQL SERVER would.

Originally I just had one big table and I just used to throw all my knowledge in. This was OK, but every time I needed a piece of information I'd have to do a full table scan.

I needed to be more efficient, so I implemented an index - a clustered index no less. This made my lookups faster as I only needed to do an index seek.

Sometimes I'd go to bed at night with a real headache - I was soon to learn that this was fragmentation from all those page splits. I implemented a reasonable fill factor (avoiding any myths) and things seemed good for a while.

At one point that Missing index DMVs bug nearly cost me my sanity.

But soon the headaches were back. I needed some maintenance jobs to look after my precious data. I had to find the top 10 Secrets of a SQL Server Expert

Next I found that it would be best if I normalized my data, I also started to store only pointers to certain pieces of knowledge - taking a tip from how non-clustered indexes were working.

Now things work well, admittedly a few more indexes may be good, they'd help me recall information more easily when I am presenting at the Christchurch SQL User group (no website yet, but it is coming! - we've only had two meetings)  but then I'll have to shift more data around every time I learn something new about SQL SERVER - which is quite often.

So, I think the 5-day Internals and Performance class in Dallas, February 21-25 would benefit more than just my knowledge of SQL SERVER.

I might just do a bit of internal housekeeping too.

in case you're still in an doubt about my suitability, here's my other top 10 reasons for attending this top notch course.

  1. You'll get an invite in person to speak at the Christchurch, New Zealand SQL SERVER users group (ok, you get a virtual one anyway - let me know when you'll be here:) ).
  2. I'll get to gain more knowledge of SQL SERVER that I can take with me on a tour of New Zealand SQL SERVER user groups (yes, we have a few!)
  3. I've never been to the US before and Dallas sounds cool, I might stay an extra week and try to find JR!
  4. I'll hopefully get to meet even more members of the SQL community and extend the same invitation to them about speaking in New Zealand.
  5. You guys get to laugh at my accent (I'm not actually from New Zealand)
  6. By the time you've spent a week with me you'll all be wanting to teach a course in New Zealand. Brad M. McGehee enjoyed his tour of New Zealand. I just read Brad had already signed up for the course!
  7. I'll be a model student and avoid the top ten mistakes to make when attending a class.
  8. I'll share my experience of being a DBA in New Zealand. We're mostly smaller scale here - perhaps a little different from the US.
  9. I like meeting people from different places, I like to talk about common interests, work hard and have fun.
  10. We are still getting aftershocks from the earthquake that I mentioned at the top of this blog post, so it will be good to get out of Chistchurch for a while.

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity of entering the competition.

Have fun.

Martin .


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