One DBA's Ongoing Search for Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere


Yet Another Andy Writing About SQL Server

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I have had the opportunity to go through the first three SQLSkills Immersion Events, and one of the side benefits of that is getting to meet and interact with their team.  One of their team that I never really even knew of before he joined SQLskills was Joe Sack, and (like everyone at SQLskills) he is just too smart (It isnt fair!) :)

He has a great new article up on about "Troubleshooting SQL Server CPU Performance Issues" and while it may seem like basic stuff it isn't - CPU issues are not something every DBA deals with every day (Memory and IO issues yes, but CPU not so much) and he describes a good framework for where to look for information and how to get started.

I don't think for a minute that there is anybody reading my little blog that doesn't already read the SQLskills blogs, but I wanted to draw attention to this because it isn't a SQLskills is a dual effort between SQLskills and SQL Sentry, and their blogroll is crazy-talented:

Make sure to check it out - a new article comes out every week or two, and the content is top of the line.  You won't regret it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

T-SQL Tuesday #42 - The Long and Winding Road

It's T-SQL Tuesday again (Thanks go to Adam Machanic (B/T)) and this month the host is Wendy Pastrick (B/T).  Wendy's excellent subject is "the long and winding road" - changes in our work lives and how they impact us.

I am luckier than most in that many of the changes in my work life over the years have been self-induced - I have never been fired, laid off, downsized, or any of those other HR terms.  I started as a help desk support admin who got the opportunity to learn Microsoft SQL Server when our group at the University went to a Microsoft development model (Visual Basic 6.0 on SQL Server 7.0 at the time - yes, I'm old).  Since then I have changed jobs from working for a major public University to a large regional bank to a regional healthcare system then back to that bank and then on to my current consulting gig, and all along I have changed positions on my terms - not always exactly when I would have preferred, but at least on my say-so.

Most of the direct changes in my work life over the years have been changes of technology and role - learning MSSQL 2000-2012, gaining experience in different industries and interacting with different side technologies such as VMware, becoming a senior/lead DBA and then a consultant, building amazing relationships with my #sqlfamily, and meeting some of the most brilliant (and nicest) people on the planet.

All of that aside, the biggest change in my 13+ year DBA work life is an indirect change that has nothing to do with any of the above.  Six years ago I married my best friend, and over the last three-and-a-half years we have had three amazing boys (Noah 3 years, Jonah 20 months, and Micah 3 months).

Wow - this really all I can say - Wow.

I am lucky enough that what I do is sufficiently lucrative that my wife can stay home with our boys, but an unfortunate side effect of what I do is that I have to go on the road for my job - both to consult and for training - sometimes for days, and sometimes for weeks in a row.  I am writing this in a hotel room in Chicago while they are 500 miles away at home.  My growing desire to be involved with SQL Saturdays and the community (my #sqlfamily) just infringes on my real family even more.  It has become an amazing balancing act and many days I don't feel like I do one side or the other justice, but I keep trying.

...and trying.
I am at the point in my career life where nothing is more important than my wife and kids, and getting further ahead in my job is less important than getting a raise/promotion/whatever at work.  My job is merely a means to an end to allow me to support my family - it is not my reason for being.  This is a double-edged sword as it can be difficult to even keep up in our field without excessive time off-clock keeping our knowledge updated, and it also makes me painfully aware of the times I bring work frustrations home and how that impacts my wife and sons (even as little as they are).  I begrudge every minute I am on-call or have to work an after-hours release because I know I am missing some first in my boys' little lives, but that's the job, and I know that.

No matter what, I will always keep trying - they are my everything and they are definitely worth it.