The Remote DBA

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I'll start this week with a question, which I hope some of you answer in the discussion: would you like to, or do you, work at home the majority of the time?

I remember when I worked in a company and needed to leave my desk and walk to a room somewhere to get some work done on a server console. Some of those rooms were cold rooms, which necessitated me keeping a jacket at my desk. I still remember going to a large company that had cables run from the data center to a couple specific workstations near the administrators' cubes. At one point we installed a remote IP device allowing us to get to the console of any server without having to walk downstairs, or even use RDP, which was just becoming to Windows machines.

That was the end of my visiting servers in person, and since then, the only times I've ever really needed to look at a server was when a critical error prevented me from connecting remotely. Even then, at many of the co-location facilities I've contracted with, I could call and have an individual go press a power button. These days, with cloud providers and virtual machines, even that is unnecessary.

Those of us that have worked with SQL Server typically understand that we always make a network connection to work with the server. Even when we're working on the server console, SSMS, SQLCMD, and more all make a "connection" to the database server. Therefore, is it really necessary that we ever work near a particular system?

I've been working from home as a telecommuter for about 8 years. My wife worked in technology from home for nearly 20 years. More and more people are doing so, in fact, there was a piece on Fast Company recently that noted more people work from home than ever before. Unfortunately, this study shows that most people end up working more hours, adding a few from home to the 40 or more they spend at work.

That's not good, but if we can get some work done at home, why not more? I know meetings and face to face time matter, especially in some jobs, but more and more I find that lots of people that need time working alone could do a portion, perhaps a significant portion, of their work away from the office.

So this week, would you like to do more work from home (or elsewhere)? Do you want more virtual meetings, more communication over email, Slack, Skype, or some other tool? Let me know.

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