Professional Development – What a Difference 60 Years Makes

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. In 1957, the Soviet-made Sputnik streaked across the sky in low earth orbit. It was clearly visible to millions of concerned Americans. The Soviet government had leapfrogged America technologically. The dot that traversed the nighttime sky marked a change in international politics and fueled the engine that became America's space program. Another far more subtle shift was happening in America's businesses as well. In the 1950's and 1960's, American employees gave their loyalty to their employer in exchange for a commitment for a career-long job … [Read more...]

DBTA – IT Employers Must Adapt to the Looming DBA Shortage

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. In the first of this three-part series, I described some of the findings contained in an intriguing new survey published by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc. In that article, I covered the macroeconomic and general trends that pointed to a looming shortage of DBA talent. In part 2 of the series, I described some of the issues and opportunities these trends offer to current and up-and-coming DBAs. Today, let’s talk about what this trend means from perspective of IT … [Read more...]

Professional Development – Set the Bar High

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. Henry Ford is reported to have once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t - you’re right.” That’s great insight. Too often people place self-imposed and artificial limitations on themselves. They tell themselves that they cannot accomplish something because they aren’t smart enough or don’t have enough creativity. They close their minds to the idea they can, in fact, succeed. Success, after all, is scary to many people. As a leader, one of your jobs is to inspire your team. Help them to recognize and realize their potential. Don’t … [Read more...]

DBTA – Does the Looming Shortage in DBAs Spell Opportunity?

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. In my last column, available HERE, I described some of the findings contained in an intriguing new survey sponsored by Ntirety, a remote database administration service provider, and published by Unisphere Research. You can read the full survey with analysis at HERE. One of the most startling and significant responses in the survey showed that 41% of data professionals intend to leave the field within the next 10 years. In that article, I also covered some of the broader industry growth and hiring … [Read more...]

Professional Development – Interviews are a Two-way Street

(Originally appearing at ForITPros.com). I was recently chatting with a friend who was seeking advice about difficulties in their job. This was a job which, a year ago, she described as her dream job. It quickly became evident to her that it was actually a nightmare job. The company, her coworkers, and her boss were all dysfunctional in one or more ways and it was making her life miserable. One of her big questions was “What sort of questions could I have asked during the interview that would’ve helped me foresee what it’d actually be like to work there?” It’s Not Only About Pleasing the … [Read more...]

DBTA – Delayed Durability—The SQL Server 2014 Transaction Log Hack!

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. Delayed durability was announced late in the SQL Server 2014 development cycle, but offers something that many SQL Server professionals have wanted for years—the ability to disable transaction logging. Why turn off the transaction log? It is the main guarantor of transactional consistency in SQL Server and is critical for highly recoverable applications, after all. That answer, in itself, tells you about situations where you might like to turn off the transaction log. That is, you can accelerate … [Read more...]

Professional Developement – Digging for Gold

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. Andrew Carnegie, once the wealthiest man on earth, came from humble beginnings. As a young boy, he worked a number of odd jobs. His hard work, industrious nature, and persistence eventually led him to become the largest steel manufacturer in the United States. Once, during an interview, Carnegie was asked how he had hired 43 millionaires. At that time, being a millionaire was very uncommon. It would be similar to a person having $25 to $30 million in today's dollars. Carnegie was quick to correct the reporter. He had hired 43 people who had become … [Read more...]

DBTA – For #SQLFamily, a Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Originally appearing in my monthly column at Database Trends & Applications magazine. It’s the holiday season, a time for cheer and goodwill towards men. That got me thinking about the whole “most wonderful time of the year” tune playing in the background and how that has some special implications for the SQL Server world. Here’s a bit of context: I'm writing this article for you in the midst of the biggest gathering of SQL Server professions in any given year, the PASS Summit. One of the most visible activities when attendees get together for the very first time at the registration … [Read more...]

SQLVacation Slides and Scripts

First came the in-person roadtrip. Two weeks riding the highways from Nashville, TN to Chicago, IL to St. Louis, MO and back. One thousand four hundred miles in a minivan with my wife and four daughters. Eight PASS user groups. Twelve presentations.  Over three hundred attendees.  Two hundred t-shirts.  Eight winners of a license for Plan Explorer PRO.  And through it all ... ONE TOILET. SQLVacation, Resources I've gotten lots of requests for the slide decks, the scripts, inquiries about the #SQLVacation contest running through July 31st, and other things to follow-up … [Read more...]

Professional Development – The Stradivarius of Teams

Originally appearing at ForITPros.com. A world-class violinist was on campus for an artist-in-residence program. While at lunch he was discussing what he perceived to be the similarities between management and great music. Said the violinist, “I have glorious music, a splendid instrument, and an exquisite bow. All I need to do is bring them all together and get out of the way.” I recently read this short story found in The Sower’s Seeds by Brian Cavanaugh. Of course there is a bit more to it than the modest violinist claims. But there’s also a lot a lot of truth in it. As a leader, … [Read more...]