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The Growth of IQP

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 10/02/2022

An Amazing Summit show art An Amazing Summit

Voice of the DBA

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Cloud First Software show art Cloud First Software

Voice of the DBA

Watching the evolution of SQL Server and the Azure SQL Database (ASD) variant has been interesting across the last decade. For a long time, ASD felt crippled compared to the on-premises product. The last few years, however, it seems that ASD is getting features first, which then slip into a release that I can download and run locally. It's a cloud-first database now, even though there isn't parity with both products. In my career, I've worked with a number of platforms in production environments. One of those is Db2, though that's often felt like a legacy platform. I've rarely seen users...

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Investing in Another's Career show art Investing in Another's Career

Voice of the DBA

Years ago my son asked me to buy him a copy of . It's a science fiction book about the future, economics, and sentient AI systems. It's the first part of a series of four, and I've enjoyed reading them all. I highly recommend them if you like science fiction. In any case, I was reminded of the series when I saw . It's part of the premise behind the Unincorporated Man, where every person is their own corporation and sells shares of themselves to finance their careers. You could sell shares in your future earnings to finance education or some other investment in your future. In return, you have...

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AI Medical Record Scanning show art AI Medical Record Scanning

Voice of the DBA

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems continue to pervade many industries, usually where there is a lot of data and human developers struggle to build solutions that handle the complexities of the problem. Often the experts in these subject areas can't fully articulate the reasoning behind how and why they use data to arrive at some conclusion. We developers often struggle to get clear specifications from clients in simple cases, so I certainly understand why AI might be attractive in complex problem spaces. I think AI is a promising way to try to tackle some of these issues, some of which are...

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The Challenge of New Platforms show art The Challenge of New Platforms

Voice of the DBA

I saw a customer asking about recently, which is an in-memory, columnar database. I know nothing about it, and it might work great, but we don't support it. I didn't think much of it, as I'm sure the customer has a reason for choosing this platform. Later, however, I wondered if this was a good idea. Another customer had inquired about , which I had never heard of either. Not only that, it's an online database that appears to assemble its "tables" from data stored in other systems. Strange, but I'm sure it works well for some companies, especially those without many software developers. Read...

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Challenging Yourself show art Challenging Yourself

Voice of the DBA

I saw this recently: "If you're always right, you're not learning. If you're never failing, you're not reaching. The objective is to be right. The objective is to succeed. But if you're always winning, you're undershooting your potential." – I found that to be a very interesting view, especially as I think about moving my career, life, business, or anything else forward. I think about this in terms of the goals I've set for myself each year for work, or each season of coaching. In the past, I've sometimes tried to pick those items that I think I can accomplish. Read the rest of

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Self-Service Databases show art Self-Service Databases

Voice of the DBA

When I first started work as a software developer, I knew that getting an environment set up where I could compile a project might take a few hours or a few days. The complexities of how people built software projects, the dependencies, and more were handled in a very immature manner. These days I can often download a project from GitHub and compile it in minutes, with many of the issues handled automatically with various tools such as complex config files and package managers. In the world of database development, I often find people struggle to get a database set up with a project. Whether...

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What's the Edge Case? show art What's the Edge Case?

Voice of the DBA

Quite a few of the bugs we see in production systems come from data that isn't handled well. Perhaps the developer never considered this data, or another bug lets data into a system that should never be recorded. These are often NULL values, but they could be other data values that are far out of the ordinary. Where do we draw the line for edge cases? Is it anything that doesn't fit 95% of the data range? I see this number used in many fields, often manufacturing and other "physical endeavors". Is it the 80% rule, where we ensure 80% of data cases are covered, but 20% represent special...

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Losing Skills Because of Automation show art Losing Skills Because of Automation

Voice of the DBA

When I was younger, it seemed that everyone I worked with in technology knew how to build a computer. Most knew how to work with a BIOS, were comfortable with command lines, and could assemble complex compiler directives into a Make file. Over time, it seems many people, especially Windows and MacOS users, became focused on the things they needed for their job, lacking a lot of knowledge about how computers process instructions and the low-level operations they perform. There are plenty of very talented developers out there, and many great data modelers, but as I work with many of them that...

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Psychological Safety show art Psychological Safety

Voice of the DBA

One of the biggest challenges to becoming better at building, deploying, and operating software is the culture changes required. DevOps requires we work as a team, which can be hard to do. Often people have competing interests and goals. They don't trust each other as much as we'd like, and maybe more importantly, management doesn't trust the people doing the work. There is plenty of blame thrown around when things don't work as expected (or aren't delivered). That's a poor culture in which to be creative or experimental. In reality, those things are a lot of what we do in software...

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More Episodes

When Microsoft started to talk about Intelligent Query Processing (IQP) before SQL Server 2017, I wasn't sure what to think. There was a diagram with 20 things on it, and only 5 were highlighted (you can see that in the article linked). That felt like something, but barely something. Over time, as we've gone through SQL Server 2019 and now 2022, the diagram now looks more filled in. In fact, now there are a lot of things filled in.

When I think about new features of SQL Server, I don't often spend a lot of time on the IQP stuff. First, I don't have to live with people yelling at me every day about slow performance. If I did, I might be more anxious to test and evaluate the changes. Second, these are mostly just hidden things that come with the product and (fingers crossed) improve my workload.

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