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Life in a Startup

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 05/30/2024

A Programmer's Attitude show art A Programmer's Attitude

Voice of the DBA

I caught , including themselves. It is written by a software developer for other software developers, but I think it can also apply to database work as well. It is a bit long, but it starts with the nature of abstractions in the world and how they let us work with simpler models of a situation or environment. However, most abstractions are leaky, and our assumptions about them can cause our systems to fail. The leap from trust to abstractions seems a bit funny, but it makes some sense. We ought to simplify our situations so that we can generalize how to solve them, but we also need to verify...

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Cloud vs On-premises show art Cloud vs On-premises

Voice of the DBA

The cloud has been a controversial concept for much of its existence. While the idea has been around for many decades, AWS started selling IT services in 2006, with Azure following suit in 2008. Since then, the use of cloud services has grown tremendously. While some applications and organizations have embraced the idea from the beginning. I found many of you at SQL Server Central were very hesitant at first. I guess some of you are still skeptical about the value of a production database in a public cloud. From the beginning, I've felt that cloud computing has a place in the world, but in a...

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Least Privilege show art Least Privilege

Voice of the DBA

I assume that most of you know about the . If not, please read and make sure you understand how you should approach security. In the modern world, we also ought to adapt our systems for , which includes the least privilege principle. However, I wonder how many of your organizations really follow these security guidelines internally. Are you strict about adding limited access and removing it when people change jobs/roles? If you use Windows Auth (or Entra), are your admins doing that or just adding in new roles? Do you scope down database access roles in granular ways or just stick with 1-2...

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The Stretch Database Retirement show art The Stretch Database Retirement

Voice of the DBA

Stretch Database is finally going away. It is being retired. It was deprecated on Nov 16, 2022, from SQL Server 2022. Effective Jul 9, 2024, the supporting Azure service is retired. I saw this in , though I hope anyone using this service has been seeing lots of reminders over the last couple of years. I know I'm getting MySQL retirement notices for one of my services and need to migrate some workloads this month. If you tried this service, you might have realized that the pricing didn't make sense for most of us. If you hadn't tried it, it worked by moving some of the data in your tables into...

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An Upgrade Slog show art An Upgrade Slog

Voice of the DBA

I saw a blog post from Randolph West recently that asked It's a bit of a process, involving an intermediate version and two restores. He also points out the need to run DBCC after the first restore, which is a good idea. I wonder how many people would take the time to do this, or even think about it as an upgrade step? This was interesting to read as I had a customer ask me about doing this a few months back. They were trying to clean up their database estate and modernize some of their older systems. This was becoming a big project for them, as they had several pre-2017 systems, none of...

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Midsummer Fun show art Midsummer Fun

Voice of the DBA

Yesterday was Independence Day in the US and a day off for me. Today, I'm back to work. Same for my rocket engineer son, one day off. My wife remembers a few of her companies giving a 4-day weekend when a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, but that hasn't been my experience and isn't this week. I know we're barely into summer, which technically started Jun 21, but most of my life has measured summer between the end of one school year and the beginning of another. That's usually late May (Memorial Day) to early September (Labor Day). I think that's a very American thing, as I know lots of...

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Xp_cmdshell Use Cases show art Xp_cmdshell Use Cases

Voice of the DBA

I had someone ask me recently how to run xp_cmdshell on a Linux version of SQL Server. I told them you can't, as it's an and not one that I expect to see released. I had to double-check, since I did think that supporting a BASH shell was a possibility, but it wasn't added to the product. In the feedback forums, I saw a request for , though the feedback from MS is to use CLR for this. They suggest external access permissions, but those aren't supported on Linux. I also didn't see a request for shell scripts added, and I'm not sure I want one. Read the rest of

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The Cost of Rework show art The Cost of Rework

Voice of the DBA

I often deal with customers who are looking to improve the way they build and manage database software. These could be small companies or large enterprises, with teams of developers trying to enhance their application software to solve new business problems. Often those enhancements require new data, with the related schema changes in a database. Even if there isn't any new data, often we need to query data in new ways, combing, filtering, aggregating, and otherwise transforming data into extra information that a business can use. Solving many of these problems is iterative by nature. We try...

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What Metrics Do You Collect? show art What Metrics Do You Collect?

Voice of the DBA

One of the hot terms in software these days is observability. There are a few definitions (, ), but essentially this is the insight into how your software runs and performs using metrics, logs, traces, etc. In DevOps, we do this with an eye toward improving performance and identifying the root cause of issues. The focus is slightly different from monitoring, where we often focus more on resources and health. We need both, but often in trying to improve software and the behavior for users, developers need observability. Infrastructure people responding to acute issues and looking to ensure we...

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Where to Test Your Code show art Where to Test Your Code

Voice of the DBA

The last 10-15 years in software development have seen a widespread embracing of unit testing. Before the popularity of mobile phones and their apps, most of the organizations I'd worked in gave lip service to automated unit testing, and often even more complex integration/system tests. These days, it seems more and more people embrace unit testing, and I hear about that often from customers and attendees at events. I don't often hear about more comprehensive integration and system testing, I found that looked at how the social network was built. The article is partially paywalled, but...

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More Episodes

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 founding of Reddit. 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 Choosing Startup Life, which talks about what the author thinks about before trying to start a company. He compares this with life in a Big Tech company, which relates to lots of companies, in technology or not. The main differences are lower salaries, less infrastructure, lots of work, and upside in a startup. Big companies have higher salaries and more perks, less stress and responsibility, and not a lot of context-switching. In general, that's been true in my experience, though in bigger companies that didn't think they were software companies, I sometimes could end up with a lot of context-switching.

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