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Are IT Certifications Still Relevant?

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 05/07/2024

Cloud Transformation show art Cloud Transformation

Voice of the DBA

In the last few months, I've been traveling around at a few of the Redgate Summits () running panels on cloud journeys. I've had industry experts, both technical and managerial, discussing their approaches and journeys with advice and caveats for others. It can often be more than just migrating systems, so a lot of people have started to talk about cloud transformation. However, in some cases, this is just a migration. A lot of companies just lift-and-shift their databases into the cloud, along with various other services. While this is a quick way to get into the cloud, it isn't much of a...

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SQL Injection is Not Acceptable show art SQL Injection is Not Acceptable

Voice of the DBA

SQL Injection has been a problem for my entire career. Thirty years ago I could have easily just blamed this on ignorance, as most of our developers didn't think about the nefarious ways that hackers enter data in our applications. These days, there isn't a good reason for this to keep happening, and the problem is us. I think that we don't provide good examples or training on secure coding or secure architecture as a normal part of teaching programming. In many organizations, we don't check for issues and prevent their release. Some do, but many don't. On top of this, the existing code is...

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Five Years and Counting show art Five Years and Counting

Voice of the DBA

I almost called this "chasing a new laptop" since that's what I'm doing, but I decided to add the date because the current laptop I've using was built in March 2019 and got to me in May 2019. I've had an HP Spectre x360, my second HP Spectre, and I've really enjoyed it. I'm also amazed it still runs. On the last few trips, the two rubber strips that run along the bottom (acting as feet) started to peel away. I've never seen that before and I tried to re-attach them a few times, but that didn't work well. Not a big deal, and I can live with that, but then during my Australian tour, the laptop...

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Poor Database Design Realities show art Poor Database Design Realities

Voice of the DBA

One of the interesting things that I see at Redgate Software is how idealistic our developers and engineers can be. They often build our database DevOps products with the idea that customers will use well-designed databases. The systems will have primary keys, foreign keys, defaults, constraints, indexes, and more. Developers will use coding standards, and naming conventions, and will understand what data is stored in tables. Not in every case, but often. After all, that's how we build software, as teams, sharing information, publishing documentation for others, and following best practices....

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Using AI for the First Draft show art Using AI for the First Draft

Voice of the DBA

At the Redgate Summit in London, I ran a panel talking about Platform Engineering and how we can make developers more productive. One of the questions from our audience revolved around AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies and how they might assist. As a note, AI tech includes a lot of different things, like machine learning (ML) among other things, but a lot of people seeing the media and hype around LLMs (large language models)  think those are AI. They see AI as what is implemented in ChatGPT and Copilot, which is correct, but incomplete. One of the panelists, Jeff Smith of...

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DBCC CLONEDATABASE is Semi-Discontinued show art DBCC CLONEDATABASE is Semi-Discontinued

Voice of the DBA

I saw , which both scared me and didn't make sense. I've used this a few times for a quick copy of a database and like how it works. Discontinuing it seemed strange to me. Then I , which notes that it's not being supported for production deployments. The post doesn't explain why, but I'm guessing this is because all the stats and other metadata moves, and this might mess up the optimizer if different data is added. I don't know who deploys production databases like this, but I could see people who have federated or sharded databases using this to create a new blank copy and then uploading data...

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Life in a Startup show art Life in a Startup

Voice of the DBA

I have worked for a few startup companies, including SQL Server Central. Each has been a different experience, and I learned a lot at each stop. However, I'm not sure I'd want to go through that process again at my age. I was thinking about the challenges and the excitement of being at a startup while reading about . The post doesn't go a lot into the technical details or the working life, but it is an interesting read from a VC investor. I also found this post on , which talks about what the author thinks about before trying to start a company. He compares this with life in a Big Tech...

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Common Algorithm Concerns show art Common Algorithm Concerns

Voice of the DBA

When we build software, many of us use the same algorithms to solve problems. We might choose a similar method for a quicksort or a lambda validation or a regular expression. For database work, your code for a running total (or other common challenge) is likely very similar to many other people. At least on the same platform. You might solve this differently in SQL Server and Oracle, but for the same type of database, many of us write very similar code. Actually, for many developers, they copy and paste an answer from SQL Server Central, Stack Overflow, or another site. I'm not sure if I think...

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Managed Instance Impressions show art Managed Instance Impressions

Voice of the DBA

Several years ago, I heard about a new product coming in Azure that would provide an IaaS (infrastructure as a service) VM to run SQL Server, with Microsoft managing most of the admin tasks for the instance, like patching and backups. That didn't seem like a big load to me, and I wondered if anyone would actually pay for this product. After all, don't most companies find managing patches and backups? That product became , and I've been surprised at the adoption. Quite a few clients have adopted this as a way to lift and shift (mostly) to the cloud in an easy fashion without the restrictions of...

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The Costs and Rewards of Speaking show art The Costs and Rewards of Speaking

Voice of the DBA

Most of the people I know who speak at a or user group aren't paid for their efforts. At many of the community events, the speakers are volunteering their time. Many are also paying for their own way to those events not located in their area. A few, such as me, might get a company to cover their travel expenses, but often this doesn't include time. If I attend a SQL Saturday, I still have a bunch of work on M-F that needs to be done. No comp time for these events. That being said, I'm happy to donate some time and money to community events. Some speakers build and teach full-day sessions,...

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More Episodes

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 a recent video discussing why IT certifications are still relevant. 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, and more.

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