Behind the Curtain

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Behind the Curtain

This has been an interesting week in the SQL Server blogosphere. I've seen some very interesting blogs that delve deeply into how things work in SQL Server from experts or developers who are interested in the details. I think it's good to know how, but I also know I'm not the kind of person that wants to dig that deep into the internals.

Conor Cunningham always has great things to say and this week he looks into statistics creation. Statistics are important in determining how well the query optimizer works and I'd urge you to check this one out.

There are also a few more great pieces on page deallocations, implicit casts, and troubleshooting xp_cmdshell. I’d urge you to check them out and expand a little more of your deep internal SQL Server knowledge. You never know when that might come in handy.

We look through lots of blogs every week to weed out the duplicates and uninteresting ones, so flip through the list and see what else might be interesting to you. And drop us a note if you think we're missing a good blog feed.

SQL Server 2008 Certification

The exams aren't out, but you can register to be notified when they come out and get a 40% discount on one exam. This offer is actually good for both Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008, so if you would consider getting certified, check this out.

A lot of you aren't sure of the value of getting certified and I can certainly understand that. Value comes from from confidence that the exams are measuring skills, and one (more) problem with the compressed release cycles for new versions is that the exam development and testing cycle is also compressed. I worked on 3 exam study books last year and received my MSITPro certification last summer. It seems too quick for me to be even thinking about writing new books or taking more exams.

Many professions require continuing education on the part of their members, often documented education of some form. In IT we don't do this, but it's almost a given that people need to keep learning in order to be successful at their jobs. Many people don't necessarily spend quality time learning, and employers don't ask them to or even support them in endeavors.

We've got to get better in this area, and I'm open to suggestions.

Data Growth

I've never really worked on any large databases, which to me are over 1TB. I've gotten close, but never had the chance to observe things like memory errors on a 1TB table. However as much as we might think our company's data is growing, it's nothing compare to the Library of Congress. They have 500TB of storage and are looking for more. They expect more and more to appear each year as estimates are that every 15 minutes the world produces as much data as are currently in the Library.

Now that's a lot of data.

I need to write on this a bit more, and I'd certainly welcome any contacts you have with the Library.

Steve Jones

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Steve's Pick of the Week

Businesses fear lost revenues after poor software testing - I saw this article in a few places and it deserves another editorial, but I wanted to bring it to your attention.

I think people have always known this is an issue, but the costs of lost revenues have never been high enough to do anything about it. We're under pressure to get things done quickly to avoid lost revenues and testing is the easiest thing to let go. Perhaps this is more of a business issue than a developer/tester issue.


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Today's podcast features music by Incompetech. Kevin Macleod has some great compositions in all genres of music. Check him out at www.incompetech.com.

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