Category Archives: Random Musings

Documentation, the Necessary Evil

Everyone hates to write documentation, myself included.  No one likes to read your documentation either, if we’re being totally honest.  In my day, I have created some amazing documentation as well as some crappy documentation and both sit on a SharePoint site or file share somewhere dying from a cold, lonely existence never to be updated again.  Granted, someone will search for something, that one particular nugget that will help their understanding only to see that you glossed over that area and Jimmy is now besmirching your good name at the water cooler because of your poor documentation skills.  He said something about your mother as well, but I am not going to repeat that.  Not cool Jimmy, not cool.

As a consultant, I understand wholeheartedly the importance of documentation as it correlates to the success of the project at hand.  However, that doesn’t make it any easier or exciting to write and certainly doesn’t make it any easier to read. Have insomnia?  I have just the solution for you!!! Step right up and read this seventy page project discovery documentation outlining goals, tasks, and source to target mapping. Can you imagine being a technical writer producing these documents every day?  I dated such a person for a short time last year and she was just as boring as the documents that she was paid to create but that’s a topic for another day.

The flip side to this is that a project without initial documentation in a discovery process can lead to impending doom, heartache, mild stomach discomfort, depression, and diarrhea.  Well I am not sure about the diarrhea, but it will be bad, really bad.  Feelings will be hurt, your good name will be run through the mud, and the your parent’s having a child out-of-wedlock will be questioned (that would be calling you a bastard for you millennials out there as there was a time when that was an insult).  Herein lies the rub, you are going to have to advocate for documentation at the beginning of the process even though you despise doing it because simply your Mom’s honor is at stake.  Do it for your Mom, she still loves you even if Jimmy doesn’t.  Not cool Jimmy.  Enjoy!!

What Motivates You?

What motivates you?  Every time I think about work and motivation, I am reminded of the quote from Office Space:

Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.

Bob Porter: Don’t… don’t care?

Peter Gibbons: It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don’t see another dime, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?

Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.

Bob Slydell: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

I see this all the time. When I started at my current position and I worked hard on projects, everyone said: “Why bother, it’s not going to get you anywhere.” After working here for two years, I am starting to understand that logic sadly enough.  However, It goes against how I was raised.

In addition, money is the ultimate motivator, but not the only motivation.  For me it is growth, I am not out to break the bank.  But, I do want to be acknowledged with regular raises.  I personally need something to work for, a goal whether it be financial or a clear path for potential growth.  Currently I have reached a glass ceiling, there is nowhere to go and without raises, I must rely on personal motivation.  Yet, everyone around me is performing less and less due to the lack of motivation.  It is difficult not to become Peter Gibbons.  Maybe it is time to move on?  However, I must fight to remain motivated.

Accounting for Databases

How do you account for your databases?  Do you track them in a database?  If so, what information do you track?

I have a spreadsheet that hopefully I do not forget to update when I add a new database to a server so I know who to notify in case there are issues.  When I took over this position there was very little information for most of the databases in my charge.  I thought to myself ‘shouldn’t you know what each database is for and why it is on your server?  How did it get there?  Is anyone still using it?’  As database administrators I believe we should know our data.

I am interested to hear how others handle this and if you even care?  Please send me your input.  Enjoy!

 

2012 Blog in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

SQLGator:

The second most popular blog post for 2012, enjoy!

Originally posted on SQL Swampland:

We take the term multitasking for granted these days.  Everyone is multitasking all day long.  We are checking our cell phones for e-mail while we are driving or in the restroom.  We talk on the cell phone while driving or watching television.  This has accelerated society to a break-neck speed.  I am no different from anyone else as I used to take great pride in boasting in my ability to complete several tasks at the same time.  Being a computer guy, it is only normal that I operate like my machines, multithreading!

However, it is at this stage in my career when I have realized the fallacy of this whole philosophy.  Technically, it is not possible to multitask most operations unless one of those items does not require any active input.  For example, talking while driving or walking and chewing gum.  Driving for most of us has become automatic and only…

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Day Off

Today begins my six-day holiday, the blog will return to its hard-core SQL action after Christmas.  Enjoy!

Changing of the Seasons

Today marks a major changing of the seasons for us here in Florida. It is the first day that we turned the air conditioner off for a few hours. Tonight is also supposed to be the first freeze of the year. We do not really call this winter because I wore shorts yesterday. It is more like autumn/spring as in its cooler but not freezing except for a few cold spells every now and again where people here think and act like its a blizzard. We will wrap our pump and cover some flowers that are not freeze hearty. Winter has begun in the sunshine state. Enjoy!

Enjoying the Holidays

Today I am enjoying the holidays with my family, I hope you are doing the same.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  If you are reading this today, get off the computer and go spend some time with your family!  Enjoy!

A SQL Bow Tie!

SQLGator:

Check out my buddy’s new SQL bow ties!

Originally posted on SQLRook:

Over at http://www.EllaBing.com they have a bow tie dedicated to us SQL DBA’s! Now how cool is that! They call it the Fragmented Index a fitting name if I do say so myself. Check it out!

http://www.ellabing.com/products/the-sqlhelp

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