Blog Post

Tagged: The Desert Island Scenario


I was tagged by Scary DBA and recent MVP awardee Grant Fritchey with the latest viral question:

“So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work.  Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island.  Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wishlist of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?”

Yes, it’s a bit silly, but think about it – a full month to do the stuff you’ve wanted to do all along.  No ringing phone.  No midnight SPID-killing.  No “I accidentally deleted all of our customers, can you drop what you’re doing and fix it?” support tickets.  Thirty days to show off how smart you are, or to get even smarter.  A month to work on real projects with real value.

With that in mind, the first thing I’d do is to remove any visible signs that I’m on the island, which should keep the rescue craft from easily finding me.  This might buy me 2, maybe 3 more months on the island.

Seriously, with that kind of unallocated time, I’d round out my Analysis Services knowledge and learn everything I could – including MDX, data mining, and DMX.  I believe business intelligence is the future of SQL Server and of the data profession as a whole.  Those who are well-versed in these technologies will bring enormous value to any organization.

With any remaining time I had left, I’d finally get around to writing some tools to make my job easier.  I’ve had many moments of pause throughout my SQL Server career when I’d tell myself, “Someday, I’m going to create an application/script/add-in to make this task easier".  With my time in isolation, I’d spend the time to streamline those tedious task that take up too many mindless clicks or keystrokes.

Now to keep this rolling, I’m going to tag my friend Jack Corbett, who I’ve “known” online for a couple of years but only met in person last weekend in Pensacola.  I’ll also reach out to Ken Simmons, whom I also met at the same SQL Saturday event.