Lessons from Out of the Blue

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Published on: July 6, 2011

This past Fourth of July weekend I had the opportunity to do a few different things and thought I would share some experiences.  None of these experiences were job related but the lessons from these experiences could be applied to SQL and databases.  I will explain that a little bit later.

Hanging Drywall

Putting up drywall is not too terribly difficult.  It is time consuming and can be a little demanding physically.  When working in a team (for the non-professional) this is a relatively easy task.  That said, the process can be easier and the team requirement can be reduced.  We have found a few tricks over the years to making this process easier.  These tricks involve the following items:  chalk-line, roto-zip, joint compound, and a dry-wall jack.

Each of these tools has it’s purpose and can make the job a lot easier and faster.  We use the chalk-line when needing a straight line to be marked on a piece of sheet-rock that is longer than four feet.  Just measure each end to desired length and then run the chalk-line and snap the string.  Roto-zip and joint compound actually work well together.  Most uses of joint compound come after hanging the drywall.  We use it to also mark pieces that need to be cutout for junction boxes and outlets.  Just put some joint compound on the box edges, press the drywall up against it (in the desired position), pull the board away and you can easily cut out that section using a roto-zip.  The last tool I think is pretty straight forward.  Save your back and arms – leave the heavy lifting to a machine.

These simple tips can reduce the fatigue and increase productivity.  It’s like using the right tool for the job.  More on that in a bit.

Inflatable Fun

As a part of our festivities this weekend, we rented an inflatable water slide for the children.  By children, I mean anybody with two legs and the desire to get wet.

Pictured is a two lane inflatable slip n slide.  Huge bonus that it was inflatable.  It’s like a slip n slide on a pillow. Big children can hit the slide at full speed and not worry about hitting the hard ground and getting bruised.  We played on this thing for a good hard six hours.

That was a lot of fun.

Apply to SQL

In the first experience, I shared the use of tools to make the job easier.  This correlates very easily to SQL.  Use the right tool for the job.  With experience, you begin to learn better tools for the job and how to become more efficient.  This comes through practice and effort.  Get to know the tools available such as DMVs and the DBCC commands.  Find better tools that have been made available through the community and don’t be afraid to ask around and try a few new things.  It could be a huge time saver!

In the second experience, we had a blast.  We were diving head first into this big cushy pillow of air.  What we did not expect was to find bruises, scrapes, and general soreness the next day.  Even if things look nice and cushy with your databases – are they?  Are you prepared for the bumps and bruises?  This is another case of where experience lends a hand and helps us to better be prepared for seemingly “easy” days on the job.

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