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T-SQL Advice For Young, Old, and even Eccentric


tsql adviceTSQL Tuesday

Time flies, seasons are flying by and seemingly changing day by day. This month is seemingly more apropos for the time analogy as we are reminded that as we attend this months blog party, we are all getting OLDER and could potentially use some advice!

When you get old you learn a few tricks. Honestly, you learn some of those tricks as a youngster too. Sometimes, no matter our age, we have a hard time applying those tricks that could help us avoid some of the pitfalls of time. At this party, we will certainly be reminded of our age and hopefully to get to play like we are all young again!

This party, that was started by Adam Machanic, has now been going for long enough that changes have happened (such as Steve Jones (b | t) managing it now). For a nice long read, you can find a nice roundup of all TSQLTuesdays over here.


This month, Camila Henrique (| t) is in need of some advice. Well, not specifically for her, but the request she posted here is for each of us to ponder over and provide some T-SQL advice. Camila specifically requested that we provide unsolicited advice to our younger selves. I am taking a different spin on this advice. I would like to give advice that should be applicable to myself even beyond the time that I should be handing over the reigns.

“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth” – Baz Luhrman, Everybody’s Free, 1997.

Advice comes in many forms. Many times the advice is unsolicited and potentially unwanted. Other times, the advice may be sought after and is direly wanted and needed. Traditionally, there is endless supply of advice. Whether you wish to accept it or not is entirely up to you. Before dismissing the advice, however, try to at least give it a good listen.


No matter the age, I am hopeful that this advice I would proffer to myself would be of some help. The advice is simple and comes with multiple bullet points that I feel are self explanatory.

  1. Get/stay active in the SQL Server Community because you will learn and grow exponentially faster than on your own.
  2. Remember that no matter when you write a piece of code, you will revisit it at some point and scratch your head. You will be scratching your head either in disgust, confusion or disappointment. Everybody realizes they could have written the SQL better after a 2nd or 3rd look when they come back to it at some point in the future.
  3. Write. Try to Jot down some documentation. Get creative and pour your soul, experience, and knowledge out in some blog posts. Participate and write some forum answers. It doesn’t matter where you write – just do it. This helps you to better internalize the TSQL. If you write notes in your code or document it otherwise, you will thank yourself for it (this goes back to #2 and can help you avoid the confusion head scratch)!

Ok, so maybe I explained a little on each of my bullet points. I really meant I would give a brief description of the advice but would not be expounding significantly on each item. This advice is valid whether for the younger version of myself or the senile old fart that is years down the road. If you are sane, eccentric or plane Jane normal and boring – this advice is sound. I wish I had learned it sooner rather than later. I am just happy that I had the chance to learn it before it became too late!

Wrapping it Up

In recap, everybody receives advice from time to time. This advice warranted or not, can help you become a better person. Be mindful of advice. Give an ear to those offering it. Just be mindful, there is no need to accept the advice, but it is wise to at least listen.

Feel free to explore some of the other TSQL Tuesday posts I have written.

Are you interested in more articles showing what and how to audit? I recommend reading some of my auditing articles. For some “back to basics” related articles, feel free to read here.

The post T-SQL Advice For Young, Old, and even Eccentric first appeared on SQL RNNR.

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