11-Word Warning

Tom LaRock posted a new Meme Monday challenge: “Write a SQL blog post in 11 words or less.”

Donabel Santos tagged me, and I couldn’t resist the challenge. So here’s my entry:

Hasty coding, error prone. No backups, data loss. Company for sale.

This was inspired by the recent spate of stories I’ve heard about companies that have failed because they did not properly manage their data and databases.

I don’t know who’s been tagged or not, so I’m gagging some of my SQL Saturday Chicago friends:

DELETE 5_Useless_Things FROM [SQL Server]

It’s been a while since I’ve been caught up in a round of chainblogging, the blogosphere’s version of a Facebook meme. This time, Denis Gobo tagged me in a post started by Paul Randal. Paul asked us to list the “top-5 things in SQL Server we all wish would just be removed from the product once and for all.” I reviewed other posts, and the good and bad news is that they already listed several of the same things I would have. The good news is I’m apparently not alone; the bad news is that means I need to come up with something original! So while these wouldn’t necessarily be the *first* 5 on my list, they’d still be on the list nevertheless:

Default Autogrowth Options
Okay, so I lied. I’m not completely original. Yes, I know Paul Randal also commented on this one. While I said I would try to come up with only original ones, this one just has to be repeated. I’ve actually this option overlooked in production environments, resulting in thousands of VLF’s. It’s just a terrible default, and it needs to be changed.

Edit Top 200 Rows
This “feature” is just asking for trouble. Any DBA who is managing a SQL Server database should understand how to actually write insert/update/delete statements. Maybe leave the option available in SQL Express, but please remove it from SQL Server Standard & Enterprise.

There’s nothing wrong with the Debug option, but I think it should be removed as a default option for the toolbar. It’s easily mistaken for “Execute,” which I’ve seen more than one DBA do on occasion.

I understand the need to pivot your data, but let’s face it. PIVOT is a clunky, expensive SQL operation. Let’s move the presentation tasks to the presentation layer (.NET), and reserve the database layer for what it does best.

Update: By popular demand, I have removed PIVOT from this list. Who am I to argue with such fine folks? 🙂

Okay, okay, I know I can’t actually get rid of this, BUT I think it gets abused way too much. Set-based operations, anyone?

Alrighty, now it’s my turn to tag! I’m not sure if they’ve already been hit, but I’m tagging:

Chainblogging: Deserted Islands Have WiFi?

Jason Massie tagged me in the latest round of ChainBlogging. This one was started by Tim Ford (SQLAgentMan) and asks:

So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work. Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island. Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wishlist of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?

Become a BI Jedi Master

I’ve mentioned before on Twitter that I’ve recently accepted a position on the BI team. So it stands to reason that one of my major goals now is to dig into BI. While I can muck my way through as a Padawan, I want to become a true BI Jedi Grand Master. This means not just learning the tools (i.e. BIDS), but learning how to best utilize BI to deliver fast, jaw-dropping BI results. This includes SSAS, MDX, data mining, and anything else BI-related. I want to be able to easily answer the how, what, why, and when. And did I mention I want it to be *fast*?

Service Broker

I’ve played around with this a little bit. For a while, I even toyed with the idea of rolling my own version of replication with Service Broker because of the inability to swap out partitions on a replicated table in SQL 2005. But I still haven’t had a good excuse to build and deploy Service Broker to production, so my experience and understanding is not as high as I’d like it to be.

Upgrade to SQL Server 2008

I’d like to upgrade a couple of our servers to SQL Server 2008 and immediately start applying some of the new functionality. I’d set up Resource Governor to help manage some of those pesky, run-away ad-hoc queries that users like to run. I’d start looking at opportunities to replace old indexes with sexy new filtered indexes, saving space and improving performance. And I’d like to see if MERGE really lives up to the hype in a production environment.

Clean Up My E-mail Inbox

This could take me a month alone. Seriously. Okay, maybe not seriously, but it could at least take a good week.

I’m tagging some of my favorite bloggers:

SQL Quiz #4

Chris Shaw has started up round 4 of his excellent SQL Quiz series. I was tagged by that crazy dynamic SQL guy, Jeremiah Peschka, who was tagged by the SQLBatman, who was in turn tagged by Mr. Shaw himself.

The question this time is…

Who has been a great leader in your career and what made them a great leader?

I’ve had some great managers, and I’ve known some great leaders. It’s hard to differentiate, and even harder to narrow it done to just one person. But if I have to choose just one, then I’m going with the person who first had a major impact on my career: Richard.

Richard is the type of person that just commands silent respect. When he speaks, people listen. But the other side of that is, when other people speak, he listens too. You never have a problem doing what he asks, because you know that he’d never ask you to do something that he would not do himself. In fact, chances are he’s already doing the work of two people, just so he doesn’t have to overload *you*. You know he has your best interests at heart, even when it’s not necessarily the best for him or the company. By the time something comes up where he needs help, he’s got a contingent of people willing to bend over backwards for him, whether it’s working late or just making the coffee, because he’s earned their trust, respect, and admiration.

No doubt about it, Richard is a great manager. But take all of these great managerial and interpersonal traits and add vision, and now you have a great leader who’s capable of moving proverbial mountains. And Richard has vision in spades.

I’ve unfortunately lost touch with Richard over the years, but I’ve never forgotten the lessons I’ve learned from him. Richard, if you ever stumble across this… thank you.

Tag! You’re it. Don’t break the chain, or SQLBatman will break YOU.