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The Code Freeze

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 04/09/2024

Invisible Downtime show art Invisible Downtime

Voice of the DBA

has a concept I've never heard about: invisible downtime. This is the idea that there are problems in your application that the customer sees. Your servers are running, but the application doesn't work correctly or is pausing with a delay that impacts customers. From an IT perspective, the SLA is being met and there aren't any problems. From a customer viewpoint, they're ready to start looking at a competitor's offering. Lots of developers and operations people know there are issues in our systems. We know networks go down or connectivity to some service is delayed. We also know the database...

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Kubernetes is Cool, But ... show art Kubernetes is Cool, But ...

Voice of the DBA

is cool, and I think it's really useful in helping us scale and manage multiple systems easily in a fault-tolerant way. Actually, I don't think Kubernetes per se is important itself; more it seems that the idea of some orchestration engine to manage containers and systems is what really matters. As a side note, there are other orchestrators such as , , and . However, do we need to know Kubernetes to use it for databases? This is a data platform newsletter, and most of us work with databases in some way. I do see more databases moving to the cloud, and a few moving to containers. I was...

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Multiple Display Productivity show art Multiple Display Productivity

Voice of the DBA

It seems that when I travel to offices these days, it's standard for most desk setups to have two monitors. I think all the desks at Redgate have a docking station and two monitors for people to use. They also convert to standing desks, which is handy. I have a standing desk that I use regularly, and it's nice to have that option when I visit an office. At a number of customer sites, I've seen similar setups, sometimes with instead of desks that rise. Recently I saw a . I wonder how many of you want, need, or use more than two monitors. While there is often a standard in offices, since many...

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Are IT Certifications Still Relevant? show art Are IT Certifications Still Relevant?

Voice of the DBA

I've got a few certifications and quite a few more that have expired or aren't relevant. Does anyone think Windows NT 4.0 or SQL Server 6.5 matter? If you need help in those areas, ask someone else. Unless you have a crazy budget with a willingness to pay a ridiculous hourly rate. Kamil Nowinski had . He had ten reasons, and if you want to watch the entire show, you'll hear his reasons and some rationale why he thinks they matter. It's a good set of reasons: keeping up with tech, practicing learning, demonstrating a commitment to some technology, finding a community of certified colleagues,...

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The DBAccountant show art The DBAccountant

Voice of the DBA

One of the things that I've found with cloud computing services is that the people involved with managing these resources sometimes get asked to become financial accountants. I saw an interesting post from SQL Rod asking about this new task as something all of us might need to consider a part of our job in the modern world. He asks if we are This isn't in the sense of being the Financial DBA trying to manage costs in the cloud, though that is part of his post. It's more about making smart financial decisions. Certainly, as more workloads move to the cloud, and they are for many of us, we...

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The On-Call Load show art The On-Call Load

Voice of the DBA

For most of us working in technology, I think we understand that if something is broken we might need to work. Not that we have to, or we need to, but we might need to. Perhaps you feel differently, or your company approaches on-call in another way. If so, let me know today how you deal with staff being on-call. In my career, there are jobs with formal on-call, informal on-call, or even no on-call. In the latter situation, there isn't anyone who is prepared to handle issues outside of normal working hours, but that doesn't mean if management calls you can ignore them. It's that the...

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Action Over Knowledge show art Action Over Knowledge

Voice of the DBA

I saw a quote recently that resonated with me. It's not something I've often struggled with, but I have at times. Here's the quote: "Life rewards action, not intelligence. Many brilliant people talk themselves out of getting started, and being smart doesn't help very much without the courage to act. You can't win if you're not in the game." - Read the rest of

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Seagull Management show art Seagull Management

Voice of the DBA

Last year, I read , a book by U2 lead singer, Bono. Bill Gates listed this as one of the top books to read at one point, so I picked it up and dove in. I have enjoyed U2s music since I was in high school, and was interested to hear what made Bill Gates recommend his book. The book is partially a journey of U2, but mostly a look at how Bono's view of the world and life has changed over time. Bono grew beyond music in his life to become an activist and try to shape the world into a better place. Whether you agree with his efforts or focus or not, it's admirable that he has tried to be more than...

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Missing the Office show art Missing the Office

Voice of the DBA

Recently I traveled to visit a customer who has an in-the-office culture. They have multiple large buildings outside a major US city and almost all their employees (7000+) live nearby and are expected to be in the office the whole week. More senior people can opt for 4 10-hour shifts rather than 5 8-hour shifts, but with few exceptions, they have people in the office. I hadn't seen that in a long time. Almost every customer is mostly remote or some level of hybrid (usually 2-3 days a week in the office). What's more, they have an open culture, with rows of desks for teams and spaces between...

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When Are Your Breaks? show art When Are Your Breaks?

Voice of the DBA

As I work through 2024, I found myself doing a little more vacation planning this year than in previous ones. In 2022 I traveled quite a bit, but my wife went with me often. We went to Europe 5 times that year and added quite a few vacation days around my work trips. My wife thought that was a great year. Last year, 2023, was different. I traveled more (36 trips), with most of them being short. When I traveled that much, I wanted to end trips quickly and get back home. I learned that was too many, and also too disruptive for life. I got behind on things I needed to do at home, my wife went...

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More Episodes

One of the ideas behind DevOps is that we minimize the time between code commit and deployment to production. We want to avoid work-in-progress and bottlenecks to getting our software into the hands of customers. This has led a lot of companies to release more often, albeit with smaller sets of features. The total number of things delivered under DevOps might not be greater, but it often is more targeted to those things our customers want/need/use.

However, the idea of releasing often means that we try not to stack up too much work before deploying it. What does that mean for holidays and the code freezes or no-deploy periods that many companies have? How do you implement a code freeze under DevOps?

Read the rest of The Code Freeze