Chris Shaw posted a new SQL Quiz yesterday, asking “What are the largest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome those?” Brent Ozar tagged me when he responded to Chris’ challenge.
Can I super-size my SQL database?
When I left my position at a small logistics company in Indianapolis, I went from a couple of relatively small databases to a pretty large environment. I’m talking 10mm row tables to billion row tables, with comparable increases in transactional volumes. I quickly found that developing in a small environment can be very different from developing in a large one.
To improve my skills, I hit the internet. I discovered the value of community resources like sqlservercentral.com and the joys of reading technical blogs. I also became intimately acquainted with Books Online. Perhaps most helpful of all, I discovered how knowledgeable and talented some of my new colleagues were; if I didn’t know the answer, I sought out their advice.
It’s like a promotion but with longer hours and no pay increase.
A few years back, I was given responsibility for a pricey software deployment. I knew I was not qualified to lead the project, and even mentioned it to my boss, but there wasn’t really anyone else to do it. There was quite a bit of work to be done, and not a lot of time to do it. In addition to leading the project, learning the new software, and designing custom modules, I also needed to learn about SAP integration. And it didn’t help that all of the column names were in German!
In the past, I had always been a self-reliant, one-(wo)man army, but I knew I needed help. I asked for a team and was allowed to hand-pick individuals from different groups to form a deployment team. There is no doubt in my mind that I could not have completed the project without this team. They were knowledgeable, resourceful, hard working, and fun to be around. The last part might not sound like a big deal, but when you start working 80-100 hours a week, you really don’t want to be around someone obnoxious.
The project certainly had its ups and downs and its rough spots. Some were the result of inexperience, and some of the issues were completely outside of our control. Nonetheless, the project was a success, and I certainly learned a lot.
Tag! You’re it.