Dear SQL DBA
Kendra Little of SQLWorkbooks.com answers burning questions from SQL Server Database Administrators and talks about her experiences as a DBA, consultant, and trainer.
info_outline What a Software Evangelist Does - and Where the Job is Going 01/29/2019
What a Software Evangelist Does - and Where the Job is Going I've been working as an 'Evangelist' at Redgate for close to six months now, and one question keeps coming up: what exactly does an Evangelist do at a software company? In 21 minutes, I explain the core mission of Evangelists, and why I think being part of the sales process is an important part of the future of software evangelism.
info_outline DevOps Terms - and Why They Matter to Database Specialists 10/02/2018
DevOps Terms - and Why They Matter to Database Specialists In this session, I discuss scrum, continuous deployment, test driven development, DevOps, and related concepts. I close with a quick discussion of why Database Administrators and Developers should care about DevOps.
info_outline Employee Agreements & Contracts - Best Practices 08/29/2018
Employee Agreements & Contracts - Best Practices So you've got an employee agreement in front of you: now what? In this 23 minute episode, I talk about practical steps you should take to make sure that you understand the terms of your contract, and how to potentially negotiate the terms.
info_outline Employee Agreements & Contracts for DBAs & Developers - Anti-Patterns 08/11/2018
Employee Agreements & Contracts for DBAs & Developers - Anti-Patterns When you take a new job in software engineering or in IT, within the paperwork there often lurks an employee agreement: a contract between you and your employer. In this half-hour live episode we'll talk about why these contracts exist, and multiple anti-patterns you should avoid.
info_outline Why Don't You Teach Service Broker? 07/19/2018
Why Don't You Teach Service Broker? I've gotten a few questions about whether I recommend learning Service Broker, and recently I was asked if I'm planning to make any courses on Service Broker. In this episode, I talk about why I personally haven't become an expert with Broker, the factors that I believe play into Service Broker adoption, and other resources online for learning Service Broker in SQL Server.
info_outline Dealing With a Lack of Control as a DBA 05/18/2018
Dealing With a Lack of Control as a DBA This week I discuss a question that I've gotten in many forms over the years - a lot of the scenarios are so specific that it's hard to keep them anonymous, but they can be generalized as a bigger problem: how do I deal with being responsible for things that I can't fully control?
info_outline Do DBAs Need College Degrees? 05/03/2018
Do DBAs Need College Degrees? Our question this week comes from someone who's excited to be on a healthy career path, building their work experience as a DBA. They're worried: will lacking a college degree block their career growth down the line? I talk about my experience and also check out current job listings to answer the question.
info_outline Auto-Tuning and the #1 Mindset Problem I had as a DBA 12/01/2017
Auto-Tuning and the #1 Mindset Problem I had as a DBA A few folks have asked: will auto-tuning and adaptive query plans mean the end of performance tuning jobs in SQL Server? In this week's episode, I talk about why I'm excited about those features rather than afraid of them. Digging into this problem, I share the #1 mindset problem I had as a DBA, why this mindset is so common among database professionals, and a daily habit that can change your approach to new technology.
info_outline Slowing Down Your Motor Mouth - Presentation Tips for Fast Talkers 11/17/2017
Slowing Down Your Motor Mouth - Presentation Tips for Fast Talkers Are you worried that you talk too fast when you give a speech, talk, or presentation? Is fear being a fast-talker one of the concerns that keeps you from getting started with public speaking? In this episode, I give you simple, practical tips that I've used to successfully improve the way I give presentations. Four years ago, I got frustrated feedback from listeners who had a hard time keeping up with my mouth; now I get congratulations that the pace was great.
info_outline I Thought I Was An Introvert. Turns Out I Was Anxious as #@*( 11/08/2017
I Thought I Was An Introvert. Turns Out I Was Anxious as #@*( In this week's episode, I'm not answering a reader's question. Instead, I'm talking about my personal experience with anxiety.
info_outline The Death of SQL Server Service Packs 10/05/2017
The Death of SQL Server Service Packs SQL Server Service Packs are going away, starting with SQL Server 2017. I talk about why I think this is a good thing, and discuss Cumulative Updates, Service Packs, and the process of updating SQL Server.
info_outline How Do I Analyze a SQL Server Execution Plan? 09/22/2017
How Do I Analyze a SQL Server Execution Plan? A query is slow, and you figure out how to collect the query execution plan. Now what? In this episode I talk "big picture" about what execution plans are, what "cost" is, why to collect "compiled for" values, and the steps I take to analyze execution plans while performance tuning queries.
info_outline SQL PASS Summit 2017: Why I'm Excited, and Tips on Attending 09/07/2017
SQL PASS Summit 2017: Why I'm Excited, and Tips on Attending I'll be attending and presenting at the SQL PASS Summit in Seattle Washington this year from Oct 31-Nov 3. In this week's episode, I share why I'm excited about going, and why I've purchased a seat for a pre-conference session. (Spoiler: pre-cons are awesome!) I also give my tips on how to get the MOST value out of a big conference like the PASS Summit.
info_outline How Do You Stay Motivated? 08/31/2017
How Do You Stay Motivated? Over the years, readers have asked me: "How do you stay motivated?" Sticking with a learning plan, blogging, or becoming a public speaker isn't easy. In this episode I share how I think about motivation and what keeps me going.
info_outline Which Queries are Causing my Wait Stats? 05/25/2017
Which Queries are Causing my Wait Stats? You've got some troubling wait stats in SQL Server. How can you tell which queries are causing those waits? Kendra discusses the pros and cons of different techniques to track down the cause of both common and tricky waits in SQL Server, including CXPACKET, PAGEIOLATCH, LCK, RESOURCE_SEMAPHORE, and THREADPOOL waits.
info_outline Removing Query Hints with Plan Guides 05/18/2017
Removing Query Hints with Plan Guides If you need to add, remove, or replace hints from ad-hoc queries and you can't change the code, plan guides can help. See a demo of removing hints from parameterized TSQL run from an application, and get tips on how to make your plan guides work in SQL Server. Get code samples from this episode here: https://sqlworkbooks.com/2017/05/removing-query-hints-with-plan-guides-dear-sql-dba-episode-43/
info_outline Batch Mode Hacks in SQL Server 05/11/2017
Batch Mode Hacks in SQL Server Learn what batch mode is in SQL Server, and how you can trick SQL Server into using it (even without a "real" columnstore index). For clickable links and demo code, head to https://sqlworkbooks.com/2017/05/batch-mode-hacks-for-rowstore-queries-in-sql-server/
info_outline How Does a DBA Build Confidence After Making Mistakes? 04/27/2017
How Does a DBA Build Confidence After Making Mistakes? Ever had a database change go horribly wrong? It can feel awful in the moment, then eat away at your confidence for days afterward. In this 20 minute episode Kendra gives you practical steps that help you cope with change over the course of your DBA career.
info_outline Are Bad Statistics Making My Query Slow? 04/20/2017
Are Bad Statistics Making My Query Slow? An important query is suddenly slow. Is it because statistics are out of date? This is tricky to figure out, and updating statistics right away can make troubleshooting even harder. Learn how to use query execution plans to get to the heart of the question and find out if stats are really your problem, or if it's something else. In this 35 minute episode: 00:39 SQL Server 2017 Announced 01:10 New video from Microsoft's Joe Sack demonstrating Adaptive Query Processing 03:05 This week's question: Are bad stats making my query slow? 05:26 Demo of finding plan in cache and analyzing stats begins 28:17 What to do when stats ARE the problem Code samples: https://gist.github.com/LitKnd/f07848d59cedc61fd057d12ab966f703 Links from the episode: SQL Server 2017 Adaptive Query Processing video by Joe Sack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szTmo6rTUjM&feature=youtu.be Michael J Swart on finding Dark Matter Queries: http://michaeljswart.com/2017/04/finding-your-dark-queries/ Got a question for Dear SQL DBA? https://SQLWorkbooks.com/ask