Define All The Steps Up Front

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Define All The Steps Up Front

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Hi Grant

    Maybe - in an ideal world - things will go this way…

    But we all should account for these caveats :

    - Lack of time to get stuff well documented

    - Some IT pros (devs especially) refrain from documenting just because « knowledge is power » , so not documenting (or vaguely doing so) is stategic - so they are figuring it out ! - to secure their position (through becoming indispensable)

    I have met so many people doing so !… But, note, this « strategy » usually fails in the end , lol !

    As we say in France : « cemeteries are full of indispensable people »….

    - Finally, outdated, obsolete doc is the worst thing : better start with no doc at all !

    I think the solution is into the manager’s hands :

    They should ensure everything’s gets duely documented before beeing released, by teamwork, re-reading, control, cross-checking

    But here again : Do managers have sufficient time for this, those days ?

    And, yes, Grant : IT is hard ; more and more complex and increasing pressure to deliver brand new smart … gadgets 😉

    Eric -  from Paris (France, not Texas,  I apologize)

     

  • Grant, I wish you well in adjusting to the move, and hope it will work out nicely for you.  Deciding to make a career change involving a relocation can certainly be worrisome and will always involve some risk, both for us and for our families.

    During my years in IT, I held positions in eight different companies in two different states but only HAD to relocate once, which I suppose is unusual.  Except for the one job, all were located within easy driving distance of my home.  Other times I changed my residence only by choice for upgrading.  But the changes can be quite complicated and disrupting regardless of distance.

    Having the luxury of 'defining the steps' does indeed make things much easier.  Things such as a spouse's job, children's schools, distance from an employer location, and the like also can be selected and planned.

    Maybe the relocation is easier for those of us who are already accustomed to anticipating and planning logical processes.  My wife and I have relocated twice since our retirement, first state-to-state to be closer to family and return to reunite with old friends after being away 28 years, then a second time just about ten miles to take advantage of a son wanting us directly across the street from him.  In both of these cases, we were at least able to take our time, plan things carefully, make proper arrangements ahead, and make the relocation in steps doing lots of it ourselves at a slow pace.

    During the state-to-state relocation I spent a couple months living in a motel and commuting 150 miles on weekends to be with the family and do preparation.

    Similar to both of our lives in technology, we proceeded through steps of first simplifying and cleaning up the current situation, preparing for the move in anticipation of an orderly process of arrival at the new digs.  In our latest adventure, we even did most of the move of small items ourselves and placed them in the lower level of the new home in orderly fashion, then had movers do the large items.  This allowed the inevitable remodeling and maintenance followed by a casual and orderly distribution of smaller items to their appropriate places on our relaxed schedule.

    it is amazing how much 'overhead' is accumulated during many years, just like our systems at work.  And there's a pun there.  One of the tasks was removing many items from a large attic that had not been used in the duration of the residency there.  Like the Lone Ranger theme song, 'To the Dump, To the Dump, to the Dump, Dump, Dump."

     

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • The first thing I recommend at work to get started with this process is to move the relevant parts of email into a group platform, in my case either a wiki or our CRM.

    Then use that link when communicating about the project.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • You never said... what's the closest city you're moving to?

    I also wish you luck with the move and, just like getting a DBA involved, I'll also say that the 6% you might fork over to a realtor to sell your house can save you a huge number of gotcha's and headaches, especially with all the bloody fine print written into the lovely world we know as "New England".  It's a wonder they haven't bugged you about getting a Radon report and a couple of other oolies.

     

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Grant, I agree with you 1000%. More! So many things I could say, but don't have the time to tell them all.

    I'm a developer, so like Eric said, I don't care to document much. However, I've gotten better at it.

    In my previous job I was there for most of the existence of the organization. It was a small IT shop - only two of us at the end. So, it was easy to know everything. In my current job there's only 200 people in IT (both devs and ops people). And this organization has been around longer than anyone in it has been alive, so it's impossible to know everything. Coming from a small IT shop to this job I was very surprised to learn that there's no central repository of documentation. Perhaps some of that can be excused, because it has been around longer than anyone has been alive. Some effort has been made at documenting software systems, so kudos to those who've done that. However, I have a hard time with the UI used to document systems. It isn't easily discoverable where to put what in the documentation. Therefore, some people put it in one place or another. You've got to spend time hunting and pecking through the app to try and find what you're looking for.

    Grant, I do have a question for you. In the past I've applied for jobs out of state. During the application process there was often a question that read something like, "How long will it be before you can report to the new job?" I've never known what to put there, so most of the time I would just put two weeks. Reading through your editorial, I can see my estimate is woefully unrealistic. How long should one plan for relocating to another state for a job?

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Rod at work wrote:

    Grant, I do have a question for you. In the past I've applied for jobs out of state. During the application process there was often a question that read something like, "How long will it be before you can report to the new job?" I've never known what to put there, so most of the time I would just put two weeks. Reading through your editorial, I can see my estimate is woefully unrealistic. How long should one plan for relocating to another state for a job?

    Rod, this is one of those issues that might be negotiated, and you maybe can only tell by having a feel about how serious the new employer is.  As I commented before, well before the remote work concept came along I had a state-to-state move where I went ahead and started the new position in two weeks and spent weeknights in a motel in the new state while commuting home on weekends to help my wife pack and make arrangements.  She also came to the new location a couple times so we could meet with realtors and find a new residence.  You might ask for some help with relocation expenses during that period.  If I recall correctly, the new employer helped with our expenses during that time, but it's been a while so I don't remember all the details.  Another thing they did was to pay the moving company to move us.

    This turned out to be the physical location for us for 28 years while I had four various employers in the area, so it was a good decision.

    That is the way things worked in the past, but I don't know if it would work now or not.  Sometimes it's going to depend on how sure you feel about the position and how comfortable you are negotiating.  It could be risky, and you have to follow your instincts.

    An interesting thing I've been reading about lately is that some of the highest salaries and best relocation packages are going to some of us older guys who can still support some of the old systems from back in the 60's and 70's.  I guess companies are struggling with having old stuff they depend on but no one to support them.  Guys from our era are coming out of retirement and getting some very nice deals to go back for a while.

    Of course you can now take advantage of the remote work capability to go ahead and begin the work before you commit to actually relocating.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was they day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • That’s right, Grant : there are really some opportunities for not-so-young IT Pros, as I am :

    I currently have a position as a Db2 for z/OS Dba, such a skill is becoming harder and harder to get for the Corps running IBM platforms ; Young people do not want to spend time to learn about what they just consider stone-age tech (to my mind, they are wrong, but it’s just so !…) ; I really wonder how this will end up in the near future. IBM have a concept (IBM is sort of moniker  for CONCEPT , lol)  of their so called « replatforming » to help their clients go Db2 for LUW … but what I have learned about it so far doesn’t convinced me so much … Pricey migrations… just  to stay in the IBM… sphere … well …

    To cut a long story short, yes, when you are near of your retirement, old stuff for old farts can really be an option … can even dictate your salary and other goodies 🙂

     

  • Thanks for the support on the move. A couple of notes. First, I'm not changing jobs. I love Redgate and you'll have to pry this job from my dead cold hands. Second, we're moving to a town called Sapulpa just outside a little town called Tulsa in Oklahoma. The reason is family (and more warmth).

    And yes, I agree. You won't document everything. You can't. There's too much. However, I still strongly recommend you try. Some, usually, but not always, is better than none.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Rod at work wrote:

    Grant, I do have a question for you. In the past I've applied for jobs out of state. During the application process there was often a question that read something like, "How long will it be before you can report to the new job?" I've never known what to put there, so most of the time I would just put two weeks. Reading through your editorial, I can see my estimate is woefully unrealistic. How long should one plan for relocating to another state for a job?

    I have to agree with @skeleton567. It's a negotiation. My daughter landed a job after a single interview (she's amazing). She had to work with them to get a start date. Initially our closing dates were in flux, so she had to give them a ballpark answer. Now that everything is firmed up, she's also got her actual start date.

    And yeah, I'd plan on more than a couple of weeks currently. I guess it could be that short if you're renting. But if you own, especially if you own in HIGHLY regulated state like Massachusetts, there's an insane amount of stuff to do to successfully sell a home. It all takes time because you have to schedule everything. And, if you're in a state that is experiencing a shrinking populace, like Mass, everyone has a very busy schedule.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • skeleton567 wrote:

    Rod at work wrote:

    Grant, I do have a question for you. In the past I've applied for jobs out of state. During the application process there was often a question that read something like, "How long will it be before you can report to the new job?" I've never known what to put there, so most of the time I would just put two weeks. Reading through your editorial, I can see my estimate is woefully unrealistic. How long should one plan for relocating to another state for a job?

    Rod, this is one of those issues that might be negotiated, and you maybe can only tell by having a feel about how serious the new employer is.  As I commented before, well before the remote work concept came along I had a state-to-state move where I went ahead and started the new position in two weeks and spent weeknights in a motel in the new state while commuting home on weekends to help my wife pack and make arrangements.  She also came to the new location a couple times so we could meet with realtors and find a new residence.  You might ask for some help with relocation expenses during that period.  If I recall correctly, the new employer helped with our expenses during that time, but it's been a while so I don't remember all the details.  Another thing they did was to pay the moving company to move us.

    This turned out to be the physical location for us for 28 years while I had four various employers in the area, so it was a good decision.

    That is the way things worked in the past, but I don't know if it would work now or not.  Sometimes it's going to depend on how sure you feel about the position and how comfortable you are negotiating.  It could be risky, and you have to follow your instincts.

    An interesting thing I've been reading about lately is that some of the highest salaries and best relocation packages are going to some of us older guys who can still support some of the old systems from back in the 60's and 70's.  I guess companies are struggling with having old stuff they depend on but no one to support them.  Guys from our era are coming out of retirement and getting some very nice deals to go back for a while.

    Of course you can now take advantage of the remote work capability to go ahead and begin the work before you commit to actually relocating.

    Thank you, Rick. That does help and I'll keep this in mind. So, it might still be possible for me to give two weeks' notice, so long as the new employer understands I'd be commuting on the weekends to help my wife get the house ready to sell, etc. Good to know.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Grant - Best of luck on the move. I hope it goes as smooth as possible.

    I'm with you on documenting as much as possible. You'll never get everything but it's worth it to try. We had one developer set up a wiki system that no one else really liked and he ended up being the only one to really use it. Recently we setup the free version of Stack Overflow's team product and now a lot more developers are using it. It seems much easier to use than the wiki product we bought. I think part of that is everyone is already familiar with Stack Overflow so having your own private SO team site makes it dead simple to toss something in there. As I try to remember how to modify something I haven't done in 3 or 4 years, I document it and add it to our SO team site. It takes very little time to post a question and answer your own question with the details you dug up. I look at it as helping myself just as much as helping other developers and DBAs.

  • Grant Fritchey wrote:

    Thanks for the support on the move. A couple of notes. First, I'm not changing jobs. I love Redgate and you'll have to pry this job from my dead cold hands. Second, we're moving to a town called Sapulpa just outside a little town called Tulsa in Oklahoma. The reason is family (and more warmth).

    And yes, I agree. You won't document everything. You can't. There's too much. However, I still strongly recommend you try. Some, usually, but not always, is better than none.

    Too bad you couldn't get a bit further south to Texas - which has no state income tax 🙂

    The real question you need to answer is, are you a Sooner or Cowboys fan?  Actually, it doesn't matter - either one will be the wrong one :):):)

    Jeffrey Williams
    Problems are opportunities brilliantly disguised as insurmountable obstacles.

    How to post questions to get better answers faster
    Managing Transaction Logs

  • Jeffrey Williams wrote:

    Too bad you couldn't get a bit further south to Texas - which has no state income tax 🙂

    The real question you need to answer is, are you a Sooner or Cowboys fan?  Actually, it doesn't matter - either one will be the wrong one :):):)

    I grew up in Oklahoma and while there I rooted for the Cornhuskers because it made my dad turn all sorts of funny colors.

     

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Grant Fritchey wrote:

    Jeffrey Williams wrote:

    Too bad you couldn't get a bit further south to Texas - which has no state income tax 🙂

    The real question you need to answer is, are you a Sooner or Cowboys fan?  Actually, it doesn't matter - either one will be the wrong one :):):)

    I grew up in Oklahoma and while there I rooted for the Cornhuskers because it made my dad turn all sorts of funny colors.

    Dang - at least you didn't root for the Red Raiders.  I have a nephew in Stillwater - daughters in Normal - and I am in Lubbock.  Makes for some interesting dynamics 😉

    Jeffrey Williams
    Problems are opportunities brilliantly disguised as insurmountable obstacles.

    How to post questions to get better answers faster
    Managing Transaction Logs

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