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.
As you know by now, I do a fair bit of presenting and teaching. One of my primary tools is Powerpoint, and that necessitates a presentation clicker. I’ve been using a Logitech R400 for quite some time, and it does its job admirably. A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine showed me the new Logitech Spotlight presentation remote which boasts quite a few new functions (as well as a hefty price tag). We ordered one each a few days ago, and a couple of hours ago I got mine. Here are my initial findings. The box itself is very nice and thankfully simple to open.
Today I hit upon this bug that’s apparently been around for ages. In short, sometimes SQL Server Configuration Manager works as expected when it comes to enabling and disabling specific IP addresses for the instance to listen on, and sometimes you are greeted with a very irritating message telling you that “the specified file is read only”. Not very helpful, unfortunately. Digging deeper into this, there is a fairly simple way to get around the issue, provided one is not afraid of dipping into the registry. All of the settings in the configuration manager are stored in the registry and can be edited there without the pesky error message.
A student of mine had a question about combining data from multiple Excel sheets and doing calculations on the data. I realized I didn’t have a clear-cut answer so I decided to do some digging. The scenario looked like this: I created three excel files, each with a column for name and one for value. The idea is to simulate sales persons, sales amounts and having one file per product. I called the first file ProductA, the second ProductB and the third ProductC. Then it was time to combine the tables. I wanted the result to be a table of all the data for the other tables, but it should also include where the data came from - i.
On January the 7th I celebrate my 10th anniversary at Atea. I came to be a consultant after 6 years working internal IT at the local university, and let’s just say consulting was a bit of a… change in pace. At the university I was responsible for everything that was spelled Oracle or SQL Server (and quite a lot of server/SAN/Windows and UNIX/Linux stuff as well), handling everything from day-to-day with backups, performance tuning and troubleshooting, to architecture, design and implementation of new systems and solutions. Anyone who’s ever spent some time at a university can attest to the place being somewhat of a “gated community” when it comes to how things work, and while I had a lot of responsibility, in many respects way more than I ever could have had out in the industry at that level of proficiency, it was still the university.
This is my contribution to this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, this time hosted by Andy Yun. I was sitting calmly in a session at PASS Summit 2016 listening with only one ear. I was using only one ear as I was busy contemplating the many ways the speaker’s presentation skills could be improved. Teaching and presentation skills go hand in hand, but there are several examples of speakers having one but not the other - the result is predictably somewhat lacking. The more events I attend I can conclude that presenters generally know their technical content VERY well (most often to a downright scary degree) but many can improve on both their presentation design and their presentation skills.