A week ago I woke up in Tel Aviv, Israel, the day after I gave my presentation “Speak your hands - using body language for effective communication” at SQL Saturday in Israel. Despite feeling the onset of a sore throat, I contemplated how I had gotten here. I did not expect to find myself in Israel doing what I love - speaking at conferences and sharing knowledge - when I first started working with databases back in 1997. In fact, I didn’t expect to get very far from my birth town at all. It turns out that was going to be rather far from the truth.
I just came back from my latest trip last night and I’ve been thinking about how to summarize the latest events I’ve been to. It all began with the NIC conference in Oslo in February. There I presented two sessions (Azure SQL Server - the cloud awakens and boring is stable, stable is good - best practices in practice) to some 100 people in total. As is most often the case, It was a great event with great speakers and very good sessions. The conference itself was very well run and I was very happy to have been given the opportunity to share my knowledge with the community so close to home.
This T-SQL Tuesday is an interesting one, as the challenge is to talk about something you’re passionate about outside of the usual work grind. Well, it turns out I’m very passionate about Star Wars, and I’m very passionate charity. Funny thing is, there is a way to combine them. But first, let’s rewind a few years to the beginning of the story. Back in 2013 I went to a small game convention in my home town. I met an acquaintance I had not seen for about 10 years, and while it was great fun to reconnect with him, what was more fun was the fact that he was driving a full-size R2-D2 droid from Star Wars.
I stumbled across SpeakingMentors after seeing a Tweet from Alex Yates. It’s a completely free opportunity for new and budding speakers to get one-on-one mentoring with more experienced people in the industry, all with the goal that sharing is indeed caring. I can’t count the number of times I’ve met absolutely brilliant people that had decided that they weren’t able to speak in public, that they had nothing to say or any of another thousand reasons why they couldn’t do it. SpeakingMentors is an attempt to catch some of these talents and help them grow and flourish. The more great speakers we get in the community the more we all can learn.
Part 5: updating the basic settings for SQL Server 2016/2017 It’s been quite a while since I penned my best practices posts for SQL Server 2012/2014 and I’ve been saying for ages that I should update them for SQL Server 2016. Well, it would seem that hell finally froze over as here we are! Let’s startout with the Query Store. This is a new contraption introduced in SQL Server 2016. It is turned off by default, but in my opinion you should always turn it on. This is done for every database, either via the GUI or ALTER DATABASE [DatabaseName] SET QUERY_STORE = ON;
This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by Mala Mahadevan, and she poses a very interesting question with learning goals for 2018. The T-SQL Tuesday founder Adam Machanic posted on Twitter that a learning plan is the way to go, to which I responded that such a list (I misread “plan” to “list”) will probably be obsolete as soon as it gets put down on paper. Adam responded by saying “If the list will be obsolete then it’s the wrong list! Write a post on how you’d tackle it :-)” and thus we find ourselves here. Now, I’ll start with disappointing Adam by *not* writing a list, but sharing the insights I got just by consciously thinking about learning and writing this blog post.
This T-SQL Tuesday was an interesting one, and I’ve been spending quite a few hours thinking about how to formulate my thoughts. Unfortunately the end of said Tuesday is nearing with unreasonable speed, so I’ll have to be brief. This month’s challenge comes from Ewald Cress and is to recognize those who have made a meaningful contribution in your life in the world of data. There is a saying that “all good deeds are only made possible by people standing on the shoulders of giants”. That in turn requires an environment of sharing and nurturing - the more the better.
I’ve been helping troubleshoot a SQL Server 2014 that kind of tips over every hour when a job is run on one of the application servers. All eight cores of the server go through the roof together with the counter for batch requests/sec - and then everything grinds to a halt. This behavior continues for about ten minutes (until the application servers are done with their horrors) and then the server recovers back down to 5-10% CPU load and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. For about an hour. So how does one troubleshoot an issue like this? Well, the first thing I did was to look at the wait statistics during one of these windows of disaster.