Another month and another opportunity to write about an interesting topic. This month hosting TSQL Tuesday is Argenis Fernandez (Blog | Twitter).
This month, Argenis has invited us to talk about demons from our past. Ok, not necessarily demons but at least share why you might be a Jack of All Trades or a Master of something or nothing.
Thinking about the topic, I thought of some very good stories.
Jack of All Trades
Back in the day, I worked in a one-man IT shop. On any given day, my duties involved configuring SOHO routers and firewalls as well as higher end Cisco equipment. I was also responsible for Active Directory, pc maintenance,printer repair, Exchange, domain registrations and all things SQL.
My least favorite duty was that of Janitorial Engineer. It was amongst my duties to ensure the restrooms were stocked and that the toilets were free-flowing. I can’t necessarily say that this skill helped advance my career. I can’t say that it was even helpful at home.
I can say that this duty did help me make the decision to specialize more in SQL Server – though I was already headed in that direction.
Like Argenis said in the TSQL Tuesday announcement, I don’t much consider myself an expert or master of anything. I do think I am rather proficient and I do recognize many shortcomings within the vast technology, we love, called SQL Server.
I aligned myself with this technology because of the constant challenge and opportunity to learn. I enjoy working with SQL Server. I still do not find as much pleasure in plumbing as I do in SQL Server.
If I were to show you the tabs in the following pic without a description, would you recognize the websites to which they belong?
I would dare say that you would likely recognize them. Not due to the labels on the tabs, but quite possibly due to the icon on the tab.
Sometimes these icons are the logo for the respective site. Sometimes, it is just something that might be fun. In either case, it is something that helps brand the site in a fashion suitable to you. These little icons are called “favicons” and they are pretty easy to put in place.
If you haven’t considered doing it, I think it would be worth the effort to create one. It is a means to brand your site. Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.
I used a free website tool to create my favicon. You can find it here. The tool is appropriately called favicongenerator.
Prior to being asked how to create one, I had no clue what those little pics were called. Nor did I know how easy it was to create one. It took me a few minutes searching the internet to figure out what it was called (I think I started by searching for “tab icon internet”). Once I learned that it was called a favicon, it was easy to find instructions on how to create it. Now it should be just a bit easier.
I have seen a few recap posts bouncing around the net and started thinking about my own blog. So out of curiosity, I decided to take a look at my top 5 posts for 2011.
So, since I already subscribe to Google Analytics, I decided to check the stats in there. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give me good information on what has been read through a feed reader. For those views, I have only been able to track down the info for the past 30 days. So for the fun of it, (and even though the numbers don’t match the feeds) let’s take a look at the most popular posts for the past year – based on Google Analytics.
5. Activity Monitor and Profiler – This is a post where I talked about using Profiler to discover the behind-the-scenes queries that Microsoft wrote in order to give us the Activity Monitor tool.
4. SQL Bitwise Operations – I have a few posts similar in nature to this one. As the name implies, I demonstrate the use of bit-wise operations within SQL Server
3. A little Dance with SSIS and Informix – This one is rather surprising. This was written in July of 2010. Yet, it makes the Top 5 list for 2011. This article follows my trials with working out an SSIS package that required connecting to Informix. I think this article is a very useful one in troubleshooting those pesky packages that involve Informix.
2. SQL 2008 DTS – Starting to see a trend here. This is another one of those articles I wrote as I was troubleshooting DTS backwards compatibility. This has been a very handy reference for myself. As luck would have it, this was also written in July 2010.
1. 70-450 Study Guide – The most popular post of the year (according to Google) was my little study guide. This study guide merely gives links back to various topics as outlined on the Exam page on the Microsoft site. There is useful content there to help learn some of the material for being a better DBA – and yes it will help in studying for the exam. But the guide is designed as a high-level overview and does not delve into specifics.
When I take a look at the feed stats for the past 30 days, I get a much different picture than what Google Analytics provides me. I am sure if I had the proper tools or even the proper configurations, I probably could see an entirely different story for the entire year. As it is, these are five useful articles and worth the read.
This is a quick reminder of the upcoming May meeting for the Las Vegas SQL Server Users Group. We will be meeting on May 12, 2011 at the usual time and at the usual place.
We would really like to get a gaggle of database professionals out to support the group and the speaker this month. Erika Bakse will be treating us to a slick presentation on MDX. You can see the original info on this upcoming meeting here. Time, date, meeting info, abstract, etc is all available in that original post.
As a part of my careers goals, I am trying to remain involved in the community through various engagements and events. Recently, I was able to present to the South Africa Johannesburg group as a part of SQL Saturday 83. I posted an announcement on that opportunity here.
I wanted to briefly cover my experience with that presentation. I was quite pleased with the presentation and know that I could have done better with it. That is where practice comes into play with each presentation. One area of concern was trying to invoke group participation. The group in JHB participated quite well – considerably better than the last time I presented this particular presentation. I don’t think the book giveaways had much to do with it since I didn’t even mention that. Also, they were participating well before we did the first book question. I might have been a bit punchy during the preso – lack of sleep and sinus meds might have contributed.
I would like to thank everybody in JHB for a great job. It was nice having a panorama camera available so I could see the group too. That was very helpful. I have not heard back yet if the recording is going to be made publicly available. If so, I will pass it along so more of you can poke fun at me.
This week, I will be giving that very same presentation to the DBA Virtual Chapter. That presentation will be Wednesday May 11, 2011 at 12PM Mountain Time. Since this is a virtual chapter, that means the presentation will be done via livemeeting. If you are interested, you can register and attend the meeting via these links.
I hope to see a few people on for this presentation. It is a low-level kind of presentation and is aimed at creating useful documentation with sql scripts (thus helping reduce cost).
One week ago today the Las Vegas User group held our monthly meeting. One week ago today, at that meeting, we had our best attendance in over a year. It sure felt good to have a great turnout.
At that meeting, Wayne Sheffield presented to us on temp tables and table variables. He presented us with a ton of great material. Many people learned something useful. Better yet, we got through the meeting without technical difficulty. We recorded the meeting and it is posted on the livemeeting website for your consumption now. Near the end of the video, Wayne has requested that you fill out a form at speakerrate.com. Anybody that was at the meeting, please do so as well. Please enjoy this little offering from S3OLV to you as you look to learn more about SQL Server.
Subject: January 2011 S3OLV
Recording URL: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/UserGroups/view
Recording ID: GZ76C7
Thanks to all who attended in person and over the net. It was a great meeting and we sure enjoyed putting it together this month.
Tis the calm before the storm. At least it feels like that. The invites have all been sent. The presenter lined up. Reminders have been sent and now we are down to just a couple of reminder blogs and finger crossing.
If you have been following the adventures of the LV UG, you know that the past couple of months have been a real riot. Definitely not a riot in a good way. We are talking about problems from all directions and frags blasting our efforts to pieces. This month we buck that trend.
One thing for certain that will be different this month is that I will be participating virtually. I will be attending the meeting through our livemeeting setup – remotely. For those wishing to attend like me, you can do so by following these two simple steps.
- Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
- Copy and paste the required information:
Meeting ID: GZ76C7
Our meeting will be held at 6:30 PM PST (Jan 13, 2011), but you are welcome to join the meeting starting at 6 PM PST.
This month we have a guest presenter from the east coast who will be talking to us about temporary tables and table variables. There is a lot of good info to be gained from this presentation. Wayne Sheffield is the presenter and we are glad he has given us a second shot at this presentation. He, like me, will be presenting from remote.