After an exciting week at the PASS Summit, I’m back home with my family. This was my first ever PASS Summit and instead of writing about what was good or what was bad, I’ve decided to write about what I did and did not do and what I think I did right and what I can improve for my next Summit. I’m also talking about my observations in general and some tips for those planning to attend next year. I hope that this serves as an inspiration to other attendees and non-attendees a like, I really did enjoy my time and gained a lot of insight while there.
For the first time ever, I will be a PASS Summit Attendee! I’m very excited about going and I’ll be flying out tomorrow afternoon to attend a Pre-Con tomorrow. If you would like to connect and meet while I’m there please feel free to Tweet out to me @TheSQLPro. That’s the fastest and easiest way to connect while there. Safe travels to everyone and I hope to meet a lot of people at the PASS Summit this year. If you’re looking for some tips on what to do and take at the Summit watch this informative and entertaining video from Brent Ozar’s team.
See you there!
Welcome to Part 1 of my SQL Snack Pack on Performance Tuning! The series is dedicated to help beginners understand how to start performance tuning with SQL Server. This first video describes how to setup a baseline for your system using the PAL tools. It is essential to get a baseline before you start performance tuning so that you can determine how effective the efforts done in trying to tune your SQL Server have been. The PAL tools at first look a little intimidating but they are really very easy to use and extremely helpful for performance analysis. Enjoy and happy baselining!
A special thanks to Edgardo Valdez for showing me the how to use this tool.
Link to download PAL Tools and Prerequisites: https://pal.codeplex.com/
It may be true that you are one of a kind, a true techie with specialized skills that are hard to find and hire for. One thing that is more true is that customer service is still very much a big part of your job. Which equates to the fact that you need to start working better with your peers internally and your clients on the external side of things.
Technology comes and goes. I believe it was Steve Jobs that said something to the effect of “we are all layers of this large sedimentary rock.” Gordon Moore predicted that computing power would double every 18 months and in a world where we have reached some of the physical limits of CPU clock speeds, that concept is no longer as applicable. If CPU fabricators such as Intel and AMD had seen this as the absolute truth in CPU development, then we may not have gotten the wonderful multi-core chips we have today. And to that effect, a legend’s theory in the computing world has been superseded by a new technological advancement so what about you and I? One of the most important parts of our career is our own personal brands.
Our brand drives people to approach us to solve problems. It drives people to want to connect with us and include us on a personal and professional level. It makes us stand out among our peers and it makes us one of those distinguished people in an organization that everyone has something good to talk about. That brand, is not just about what you know, but also about how to treat others. Your customer service is what makes your brand shine. Sure, you could be a brilliant DBA, Sys Admin, or whatever else you aspire to be (note DBAs are awesome!). However, if people don’t like your attitude and how you deal with them on a personal level, they will be reluctant to reach out to you for more work. They will be reluctant to reach out to your boss with great feedback. It’s just the nature of how we are as humans. When was the last time you had a terrible experience at a store or a restaurant and you said to yourself “I’m definitely going back there, I love having a poor experience it makes my day”? The answer is probably never. In reality, this maybe how your colleagues view you at work.
I was attending Microsoft’s on-boarding training last week and one of the managers there mentioned that a lot of IT geeky guys and gals don’t like to attend meetings, and deal with people etc. This was her opinion based on her 20 year career in IT, and even as a technical person who has successfully found her way into great leadership roles. I respected her outlook, and I gave her a little bit of my own outlook based on my experience which I will share with you.
First let me mention what I discussed with my colleague. Personally, I don’t mind attending meetings to much, I’m quite a social butterfly actually (outgoing, extraverted, “i” in the DiSC assessment, etc). So I’m not the stereotypical IT guy that is depicted in movies or that people have grown accustomed to describing to their therapist when talking about people that make them feel bad at work. Just a side note, I’m totally kidding with these sterotypes, I’ve loved the people I’ve worked with in IT and I don’t think I would pick any other field. Anyway, back on topic, I don’t like attending meetings with some non-technical folks for a variety of reasons that I will list below:
Now that I’ve finally started a new job (explains why I haven’t blogged for a while) I can discuss my interview experience over the last two years starting in the Summer of 2012. I have left out the company names out purposely because this is not a post to damage any reputations or for me to express my bitterness in. Rather, this post is to help future job seekers in getting a great position and not falling into a job that they could potentially hate. Also, it is noteworthy to mention that during my own interviewing journey I was also a hiring manager doing interviews to fill a position that reported directly to me. So I will be giving my advice based on both the perspective of a job seeker and hiring manager. The stories are roughly divided up by paragraph and I’ve provided a small summary of points below the stories in case you just want to skip ahead to the advice and not bother with my stories. I won’t be hurt or upset I promise :)
Being in Philadelphia this past weekend was fantastic! I got to meet a lot of old friends, spend time with family, and make new friends in the SQL world. This SQL Saturday was especially important for me since I lived in the Philly area for almost 10 years. I got to reconnect with my colleagues from Johnson Matthey out in the Wayne PA area and pass by my old desk where it all started. It is especially hard to get started this morning since I really do miss the great experience I had around this SQL Saturday.