Calling Out Bad Advice

  • tpepin (12/22/2010)


    lenne_dk (12/22/2010)


    Most true professionals due a good job of self-screening,

    Not here, it seems 🙂

    A correction is due, if you do not mind...

    I got a good chuckle out of it myself. I found it especially ironic on that particular sentence.

    I noticed the typo, too, but silently corrected it and thought to myself that it didn't fall into the category of bad advice. Rather, it was a case of the classic foible of writing a little too phonetically (there/their, your/you're, etc.). Although worthy of correction, I think that is less of an issue than the one mentioned in the editorial -- advice that may be correctly spelled, nicely formatted, and confidently stated -- but wrong. I have seen many examples of corrections that were too harsh (especially when those corrections themselves turned out to be wrong), but on the whole, the initial advice in this thread -- a simple "I believe that's not correct" and a URL reference or link, seems to be the norm. And it seems to me a good way to offer the correction.

    Just my two cents,

    webrunner

    -------------------
    A SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables. He walks up to them and asks, "Can I join you?"
    Ref.: http://tkyte.blogspot.com/2009/02/sql-joke.html

  • GSquared (12/22/2010)


    I have to say that my response to bad advice depends on where it is, what it is, what it's about, the tone it's delivered in, and the history of the person writing it.

    If, for example, I see a minor error in a piece of complex code, in reply to a poorly written request for help, I'll just suggest a correction and nothing more.

    On the other hand, if I see something posted that could result in serious data loss, posted in an authoritative manner, without clarification that it will result in data loss (I see this pretty regularly), I'll jump on it a little more harshly. Since that's the kind of thing that can result in losses for companies and job-loss for the DBA affected, I treat it a little more seriously.

    Pretty much how I handle it too. Just if I see someone who's repeatedly dispensing bad advice (especially the same bad advice) I'll be a lot harsher than if it's a first time.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Interesting post, Tim, and timely, just about the time that I was "debunked" and "called out" in a "game-on" fashion just today. I appreciate the reply, Jonathan, but 1) you still misunderstood what I was investigating, and 2) while you did a splendid job on your post about how the transaction log works - admittedly yourself no new information in your posting and readily accessible in BOL - you seemed to spend more effort to reinforce something that I did not write clearly about, even in my updated conclusion. Moreover, your tone and verbiage seemed to want to call out something to elevate yourself or belittle my intentions maybe more so than actually help others, or at least that is the perception that you leave.

    Let me provide an example of how I might add to a discussion in a positive and constructive way; if you peruse my blog on Forward Records located at: you will note that I choose to indicate additions to the writer’s post rather than demean or otherwise discredit. The likelihood of obtaining forwarded records from an ALTER statement would probably occur less frequently than my offering, however I do not choose to diminish his suggestion, but rather add to the discussion in a creative, positive, and beneficial manner to the reader.

    Back to my blog - I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion. I'm a consultant and I happen to jot down things that I observe based on the given constraints and variables at-hand; should these change, then a hypothesis or assumption may or may not change. And these notes just happen to end up on my blog. Again, no information ever put there is designated as a be-all, end-all conclusion. After all, I didn't write the SQL engine. No SQL Police here.

    That being said, I enjoy blogging and will continue such; I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet. I always tend to write things down as if I am in a laboratory setting with a "results may vary" caveat to everyone who visits my blog. After all, I'm doing research, experimentation, and fun as I note on my "sigline". And, if I am able to help someone out along the way, then I'm grateful for this and appreciate the opportunity. Finally, most of what we all blog or write about is not new. Sure, there are new features that come out no doubt, but whether or not there is information (such as what I was posting about) “well known”, my inquisitive nature will always drive me to "find out for myself" as opposed to taking whatever I read as written word, regardless of whether it is widely-known, or even if there may be a de-facto expert among us.

    Thank you for correcting me where I was incorrect and unclear, and I look forward to reading great things from you on your blog the future.

    Best Regards,

    Lee Everest MS

  • I would rather see the comments on posts or blogs that point out when something is wrong and why it's wrong. I'm not a dba, and sometimes that "bad advice" someone gave is something my company is practicing. Reading the Why of not doing it that way helps me to change bad practices, plus I can learn from others mistakes, and can (hopefully) avoid making a mistake in the future.

    In my opinion, many of the 'mistakes' I see written are common misconceptions that haven't been challenged. I seem to see the same mistakes repeatedly blogged about, or done in the workplace. Seeing some one else challenged for a practice you're currently doing can be a huge eye opener for some.

    From a different point of view, this article has good concepts that can be applied to work place problems too. When coworkers are practicing methods that you know are harmful, it contains good suggestions on how to confront them.

  • I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that. If I have misleading information, then it's certainly not done with malice. Most of us, save a Paul Randal type, haven't worked with the SQL engine directly up in Redmond, so we really don't know all that there is to know and cannot speak in terms of absolutes with regards to SQL Server in my opinion......I may or may not get everything always correct, and that is OK. Information therein is unedited as it resides itself in the unedited world of the internet.

    Lee, I could not have said it better myself and I applaud you for saying this and this goes back to my point earlier in this post that this happens on blogs and forums. No one is immune from it, so people need to just relax and take things in context. No one knows everything in SQL Server, except maybe Paul Randal. But I would be willing to bet that even the great Paul has on occasion been wrong himself. But like you say, that's ok because we ALL should understand that this can and does happen, It's just not that big of a deal. 😀

    "Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"

  • ab5sr (12/23/2010)


    Interesting post, Tim, and timely, just about the time that I was "debunked" and "called out" in a "game-on" fashion just today. I appreciate the reply, Jonathan, but 1) you still misunderstood what I was investigating, and 2) while you did a splendid job on your post about how the transaction log works - admittedly yourself no new information in your posting and readily accessible in BOL - you seemed to spend more effort to reinforce something that I did not write clearly about, even in my updated conclusion. Moreover, your tone and verbiage seemed to want to call out something to elevate yourself or belittle my intentions maybe more so than actually help others, or at least that is the perception that you leave.

    I understand fully what you were investigating, I even stated that in my blog post:

    (half the purpose behind this post is to show that there is benefit to having multiple log files like this, which is also the intended purpose behind the original blog post as well),

    You don't understand the impact that posting incorrect information like you had, and left after I replied to your emails after I left a comment on the post explaining things to you. The point of my comment, which you moderated and didn't post on the blog post, the emails I sent in response to you, and the blog post I wrote is that the conclusions you reached are wrong, and it is easy to prove it with an appropriate test using the tools available in SQL Server. You don't have to know the source code for the database engine to see how things work, that's the point of my blog posts this entire month. If you choose to see that as me trying to elevate myself instead of correcting your bad information, so be it.

    Back to my blog - I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that.

    You say you blog for yourself, but your blog post was syndicated to SQLServerPedia, which has a broad readership and is a well known site, so its very obvious that you aren't blogging just for yourself and that you wanted to expand readership by syndicating with SQLServerPedia. Like I said on my blog post, if your post hadn't been on SSP I wouldn't have paid it any attention. You no doubt chose to syndicate for a broader readership, that carries with it a certain responsibility to ensure the information you post is accurate. Want to know how incorrect information affects people that read syndications from larger sites? Read the comment by Rich on this other corrective blog post I wrote after wrong information was repeated sent out by SSWUG in their newsletter.

    If you had a problem with that blog post, you should have posted them to its comment section rather than to here, but I can respond to them here just as easily. I guess you didn't want to risk me moderating your comments like you did mine.

    Jonathan Kehayias | Principal Consultant | MCM: SQL Server 2008
    My Blog | Twitter | MVP Profile
    Training | Consulting | Become a SQLskills Insider
    Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for Accidental DBAs[/url]

  • Core6430 (12/24/2010)


    I would rather see the comments on posts or blogs that point out when something is wrong and why it's wrong. I'm not a dba, and sometimes that "bad advice" someone gave is something my company is practicing. Reading the Why of not doing it that way helps me to change bad practices, plus I can learn from others mistakes, and can (hopefully) avoid making a mistake in the future.

    In my opinion, many of the 'mistakes' I see written are common misconceptions that haven't been challenged. I seem to see the same mistakes repeatedly blogged about, or done in the workplace. Seeing some one else challenged for a practice you're currently doing can be a huge eye opener for some.

    The unfortunate truth of blogs is that the blog owner controls what comments actually show up on their site. Case in point Lee's blog post still doesn't show the comments I made to him almost 48 hours ago, and the information is still wrong. Be careful of anything you find online, to include my own blog posts that you can't independently verify or find substantiating sources for. Do people get it wrong sometimes? You bet, and I've made mistakes in the past that I've had to correct. You can still see them on my blog posts because I leave a bold font update in where I fixed it, providing credit to the person that told me it was wrong.

    Jonathan Kehayias | Principal Consultant | MCM: SQL Server 2008
    My Blog | Twitter | MVP Profile
    Training | Consulting | Become a SQLskills Insider
    Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for Accidental DBAs[/url]

  • If the advice is really bad, and I know the person - I will first try to contact them personally.

    Other times, I will ask the opinion of other people who may be more knowledgeable on a subject. Who knows, I may be wrong in my understanding. Thus by asking a second or third person for their opinion, I will either validate what I thought or validate that the other person is correct (and possibly even enlighten both us because we could both be wrong still).

    And then lastly, provide a polite reference to accurate information.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Some people just don't take criticism well, no matter how nice you try to be about it, and things can quickly get nasty.

    I tried to just stick to the facts, but the guy on the link below ("IncisiveOne" ) really went off on me. Since he was giving bad advice, I didn't feel like I could just let it go unchallenged.

    [font="Courier New"]Moving away from a cursor to while loop[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131674

    He really went crazy when people challenged him on this thread:

    [font="Courier New"]Struggling with 4-5 table join syntax[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131595

  • Jonathan Kehayias (12/24/2010)


    Read the comment by Rich on this other corrective blog post I wrote after wrong information was repeated sent out by SSWUG in their newsletter.

    For some reason (maybe the "") link not working. This one should:

    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jonathan_kehayias/archive/2010/04/01/some-thoughts-on-the-virtualization-feedback-in-the-sswug-newsletters.aspx

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • Michael Valentine Jones (12/24/2010)


    Some people just don't take criticism well, no matter how nice you try to be about it, and things can quickly get nasty.

    I tried to just stick to the facts, but the guy on the link below ("IncisiveOne" ) really went off on me. Since he was giving bad advice, I didn't feel like I could just let it go unchallenged.

    [font="Courier New"]Moving away from a cursor to while loop[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131674

    He really went crazy when people challenged him on this thread:

    [font="Courier New"]Struggling with 4-5 table join syntax[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131595

    "IncisiveOne" has a problem with his ego blocking his view. Always has. He gives bad advice based on misunderstood theories and lack of actual experience, and then resorts to ad hominem attacks whenever someone proves he's wrong (which has happened in every post I've ever seen of his). So, my advice is, just treat him like you would any other troll. Ignore, and make sure others know to do the same.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • GSquared (12/27/2010)


    Michael Valentine Jones (12/24/2010)


    Some people just don't take criticism well, no matter how nice you try to be about it, and things can quickly get nasty.

    I tried to just stick to the facts, but the guy on the link below ("IncisiveOne" ) really went off on me. Since he was giving bad advice, I didn't feel like I could just let it go unchallenged.

    [font="Courier New"]Moving away from a cursor to while loop[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131674

    He really went crazy when people challenged him on this thread:

    [font="Courier New"]Struggling with 4-5 table join syntax[/font]

    http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=131595

    "IncisiveOne" has a problem with his ego blocking his view. Always has. He gives bad advice based on misunderstood theories and lack of actual experience, and then resorts to ad hominem attacks whenever someone proves he's wrong (which has happened in every post I've ever seen of his). So, my advice is, just treat him like you would any other troll. Ignore, and make sure others know to do the same.

    Does he post on SSC or some other web sites?

    He hasn't posted on SQLTeam for over a year; guess he was upset about the lack of respect he was getting.

  • Michael Valentine Jones (12/27/2010)


    Does he post on SSC or some other web sites?

    Haven't seen him here, not in name or attitude.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • GilaMonster (12/27/2010)


    Michael Valentine Jones (12/27/2010)


    Does he post on SSC or some other web sites?

    Haven't seen him here, not in name or attitude.

    He used to post on ExpertSexchange (sorry, I still can't type/say that site's name without that piece of lame humor). www.ExpertsExchange.com

    His first post, in his profile, really says it all. To summarize, "Wow! A site that's just for self-proclaimed experts who are dumb enough to pay for what others can get for free! And the hoi-poloi can't post here! Life suddenly has meaning!" (I'm sorry if my own arrogance is showing on that.... no, actually I'm not sorry about that at all.)

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • Jonathan Kehayias (12/24/2010)


    ab5sr (12/23/2010)


    Interesting post, Tim, and timely, just about the time that I was "debunked" and "called out" in a "game-on" fashion just today. I appreciate the reply, Jonathan, but 1) you still misunderstood what I was investigating, and 2) while you did a splendid job on your post about how the transaction log works - admittedly yourself no new information in your posting and readily accessible in BOL - you seemed to spend more effort to reinforce something that I did not write clearly about, even in my updated conclusion. Moreover, your tone and verbiage seemed to want to call out something to elevate yourself or belittle my intentions maybe more so than actually help others, or at least that is the perception that you leave.

    I understand fully what you were investigating, I even stated that in my blog post:

    No, that's the problem. You didnt understand. I was investigating whether or not IO was present in additional files WHEN THE FILE WAS NOT WRITTEN TO, and I showed that in Perfmon. Did you even read the blog, Jonathan? If I wanted to post about how the transaction log works, the blog would have been entitled "How the transaction log works in SQL Server". But that's not what I was writing about.

    (half the purpose behind this post is to show that there is benefit to having multiple log files like this, which is also the intended purpose behind the original blog post as well),

    You don't understand the impact that posting incorrect information like you had, and left after I replied to your emails after I left a comment on the post explaining things to you. The point of my comment, which you moderated and didn't post on the blog post, the emails I sent in response to you, and the blog post I wrote is that the conclusions you reached are wrong, and it is easy to prove it with an appropriate test using the tools available in SQL Server. You don't have to know the source code for the database engine to see how things work, that's the point of my blog posts this entire month. If you choose to see that as me trying to elevate myself instead of correcting your bad information, so be it.

    I understand fully the impact of what I write. You should spend a few reading some of my posts. I get an idea and then write about it. Whether or not it goes down a dead-end path or not makes no difference if I blog about it. Take for instance the series that I've started on tempdb performance - have no idea where it's going, bra. May be a dead end, or could be something that's completely incorrect. Again, what I"m writing about is what I saw. If you see something else in your test, my hat's off to you...doesn't change in the least what I recorded given my parameters and constraints.

    Back to my blog - I write for myself and no one else. If a reader chooses to read or not read my blog, that's great, and if not I can live with that.

    You say you blog for yourself, but your blog post was syndicated to SQLServerPedia, which has a broad readership and is a well known site, so its very obvious that you aren't blogging just for yourself and that you wanted to expand readership by syndicating with SQLServerPedia. Like I said on my blog post, if your post hadn't been on SSP I wouldn't have paid it any attention. You no doubt chose to syndicate for a broader readership, that carries with it a certain responsibility to ensure the information you post is accurate. Want to know how incorrect information affects people that read syndications from larger sites? Read the comment by Rich on this other corrective blog post I wrote after wrong information was repeated sent out by SSWUG in their newsletter.

    Probably should not do experiments posted on SQLServerPedia, you are correct. I'll give you that - was probably not a good idea. Seeing that SQLServerPedia is also unedited, though, I'd probably say "Caveat Emptor" on that site also to anyone reading it, as well as any other site.

    If you had a problem with that blog post, you should have posted them to its comment section rather than to here, but I can respond to them here just as easily. I guess you didn't want to risk me moderating your comments like you did mine.

    The only reason that I didn't put your long comment is that on my blog (blogengine.net) it runs over outside of the textbox and becomes a jumbled and garbled mess and no one could read it anyway. Additionally, considering it was nasty and had a sh*tty tone to it, I decided to leave it out.

    Any other questions I can help you with, Jonathan?

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