Wednesday, March 20, 2019

T-SQL Tuesday #112

This month's T-SQL Tuesday is being hosted by Shane O'Neill (blog | twitter) - Dipping into your Cookie Jar. Shane mentions he recently heard David Goggin's audio book and how one of his techniques is to keep tabs of the good things so that when you need it, you can pull on that for an extra shot of motivation to keep going.

What a wonderful topic! Everyone needs some pick-me-up at some point, and pulling from your own stories can be a very powerful motivator! I will admit, I am a little biased on this one, Shane and I both help organize the DBA Fundamentals Virtual Chapter (shameless plug - visit dbafun.org you want free learning), along with Steve Cantrell and Kevin Wilkie, so I would answer any topic he hosts. :)

I have a confession, this wasn't something easy for me to write.  I tend to shy away from pointing out my accomplishments, and instead, talk about how things were done as a team.  I am also guilty of just thinking of things as just part of the job, therefore not quite as remarkable as others think.  I do have a few things I can look back on, though, which make me smile, so I thought I would briefly share those.

When I look back early in my career, I can remember writing an ETL process before I even knew it was a thing. I was an Administrative Assistant in the Pharmacy department of a healthcare company, and wrote a process using Access to import data from a vendor file. It had reports within the database, but also exported the data in both Excel and Word automatically for the monthly executive reporting. To be able to make my job and others easier using technology was thrilling.

Many years later, I ended up re-writing a cursor which took 45-50 minutes, into a set-based query that ran in approx 5 minutes. It was a step in our data warehouse ETL process. At the time, I was working alone, so no-one really understood the joy I was experiencing. It is still something I still reflect on and can literally feel that "kid in a candy shop" type of elation.

Another task I had, which made me feel like a "real DBA", was a dynamic list of databases that were being log shipped from a vendor. With the ability to add databases and keep applying logs even after failures all in a quick fashion made me very proud of what I had built. After I left the company, I even had another DBA tell me it was a great solution, which just helped validate my feelings.

Yet another proud moment was when I got to work with Microsoft on a project plan for bringing our approx 3 TB database on premises in a near real-time fashion. At the time, it was being log shipped, with a once nightly update process which took about 6 hours to run. Preparing the plan and utilizing a new version of SQL which allowed Availability Groups across different domains was so much fun and allowed me to talk about newer functionality.

Lastly, the first time I spoke at a SQL Saturday was awesome! I love giving back to others, and that experience gave me such a sugar high that engaged me for months. I had given speeches before, but it was much better giving a presentation on a topic that I was so excited about. There are times when life creeps up and I am not able to speak for a year or so, but I always come back to it.

All of this reminds me that I truly love what I do and look forward to the next challenge! :)

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