Tag Archives | Blogging

T-SQL Tuesday #028 – Jack of All Trades, Master of None?

This is my first time to participate in the T-SQL Tuesday so take it easy on me. I really do come in peace.

It’s funny to me that this is one of the key things that drove me into the SQL world. I blogged about this last year explaining how I “Cheated on SQL Server”. Things have kept going uphill from that point and there are no regrets, but I don’t guess I will ever go from Jack blogger to Master blogger. Sounds like I should be in a guild or something.

Seeing Argenis Fernandez (Blog | Twitter) post on Leaving DBA-Land it resonates with how I feel about the leaving the SysAdmin world. I’m not sure if you ever really leave it all behind. I find myself needing to know more than ever about storage (like SANs) and how it pertains to SQL. I find myself needing to learn more about networking and the bandwidth that matters when you are discussing how SQL talks to its friends (or enemies).

I hate code by the way, never will I specialize in writing code. I will leave that to other Jacks and Masters because I really don’t want anything to do with it. Some people’s minds just don’t work as well when it comes to that. I’ll just stick with beating you in the 40-yard dash (based off my high school time of course). I tend to gravitate towards the Database Administrator side of things with Performance and Standards. It’s kind of cool to be dogmatic about at least one thing in your career, so master the “art of saying NO” to those developers who want too much access, that way you can sleep at 2am.

What is wild is that while we are always talking about specialization, the DBA certifications are trending more towards the developer (at least they were in 2008). Crap…I don’t want to be a developer. Anyway, hope you have fun getting just a little bit closer to being a Master or Jack of some trade so that you can pay the bills.

Comments { 1 } Posted on March 13, 2012 in Blogging, Networking, SAN, SQL General, SQLServer, SQLServerPedia Syndication, Tech

I cheated on SQL Server

It’s hard to believe that it has been roughly 2.5 years and 45 posts since I started this blog. I don’t need to do the math to see that I should be blogging more, but in reality…I’m not sure how much I can do at this point in my life. I have two young children that are going to know who their daddy is. I have to support my family so my full-time gig is what keeps things going. That’s where this story began a few years back, with a passion for learning and helping others along the way.

So I guess you may be wondering what I mean when I say that I “cheated on SQL Server”. Maybe the image of a teenager with “SELECT *” on the palm of his hand during an exam comes to mind (right), or being unfaithful to our better half. Well, I haven’t cheated on anyone or anything but I am ashamed of what I have done. I almost let a great deal of hard work and effort go by the way side as I lost track of my vision. A few years back I took a job where I was handed some DBA material and asked to see if I could do some performance tuning and get things to stop crashing. What I saw in the days after that could only be described as an enlightened view into a community different from most others. I was fortunate enough to find a few really bright and passionate individuals who helped me discover the path I was about to take. This list isn’t comprehensive but a few of those individuals:
Brent Ozar (Blog|Twitter)
Thomas LaRock (Blog | Twitter)
Brad Mcgehee (Blog|Twitter)

I wish I could include everyone but there were so many that had a passion for what they did and wanted to help others follow the same path. I started the journey to go from systems administration to “Exceptional DBA”. That meant reading everything about SQL Server that I could get my hands on, getting certified to put a time sensitive deadline as a goal, and starting a blog (“Becoming A SQL Master”) to start giving back to the community. On top of starting the blog, I also began going to forums and try to answer questions by researching it or seeing if I could reproduce the problem. So thus began the long nights of studying SQL Server 2005 when the only servers in my environment were SQL Server 2000. With an infant son, it was quite the struggle to stay dedicated to the goals I had set but I still had my dedicated “home office” at the time so I could close the door and hammer it out. I was tired of being a “Jack of all trades, master of none” I saw that the true experts are the ones who were in demand and could write their own ticket. It sure wasn’t the guy who knew a little bit about everything, and that’s the bucket I fell in.

In Little Rock, there aren’t a ton of junior level SQL Server DBA positions, so the waiting game was long and taxing. I had opportunities in other locations, but I couldn’t pick up my family again and move. I had a couple of contract-to-hire positions come up, but at the time I didn’t feel comfortable enough in my abilities to take that risk.

So if you have made it this far you are either really bored or you’re a family member so I’ll get to the cheating.

Sometime around January of this year (2011), I decided that it just wasn’t going to happen for me. Maybe I was just destined to be a Systems Administrator…not that there’s anything wrong with that and the good Lord may put me back in that role someday. I even went so far as to change the title of the blog to “A hodgepodge of Information Technology and Life” so that I could write about other topics and broaden my reach. At the time of the change I had 19 subscribers on my feed (don’t laugh, as I thought that was a start), but after feedburner got everything sorted out it was down to 4 subscribers. I began to get more involved in Active Directory, PowerShell, Group Policy, and all things IT. I tried to get involved in different communities, but to me there just wasn’t something like the SQL Server community. I began to miss the thing that had encompassed so much of my time and I enjoyed it.

Then it happened…conversation started with a consulting firm that had contacted me earlier but I didn’t feel confident enough to take the risk. This time was different. I had the knowledge, I had the passion, and I had 4 subscribers…I could do this. I’m not afraid of working hard and proving myself and that’s what I have to do. I left a very secure job (nevermind that I was out of room for advancement), to take a contract-to-hire job. The goal is to get hired on full-time. The goal is to start a PASS Chapter in Little Rock. The goal is to become an MVP. The goal is to never lose a passion for being the best that I can be while being unselfish in helping others who want to do the same.

I’m back with SQL Server and it’s pretty exclusive. I’m throwing away my little black IT book and going back to full-fledged SQL Server. Hopefully I don’t get off track again for some time.

Comments { 2 } Posted on July 22, 2011 in SQL, SQLServerPedia Syndication

WordPress Google XML Sitemaps Plugin Fix

One of the more popular blogging  platforms is WordPress, and you probably already know that there are plugins which can greatly enhance the functionality of your blog.  If you care anything about letting others know about the information you are sharing on your blog, then you probably already know about Sitemaps and how they help search engines index your site.  Google XML Sitemaps is a great plugin that will get your sitemap out there for the search engines to see. Don’t let the fact that Google is in the name fool you, as it’s also effective for Yahoo and Bing.  I’ve been using this plugin for sometime, but at some point it stopped updating the sitemap when a new post was made. The only way around it was to do a manual update. The latest stable release of the plugin is 3.2.4 at the time of this writing, but that doesn’t seem to play well with WordPress 3.0.4 and a few releases below that as well. I had been searching for a  fix for some time and I finally found one that worked. A little further down the page from the latest stable release, you’ll find the following comment:

“This release is not compatible with the new multisite feature of WordPress 3.0 yet. The plugin will remain inactive as long as this feature is enabled. If you are using this feature, try out the new Beta version which fully supports multisite mode as well as network activation!”

Credit to tylercruz for the fix.

If you currently have 3.2.4 installed, you can’t install the beta without deleting your current plugin. I made a screenshot of the settings beforehand, but it looks like all the settings stayed in there so that was nice.  Hopefully someone will find this bit of info useful.

Comments { 0 } Posted on January 27, 2011 in Blogging, Education, Tech, WordPress

Setting up Technorati for a New Blog

My claim token came back as HGUMK49EHZRU, and this post will satisfy their requirement of having a blog post with that token included. Since I’m going through the process of cleaning up things so they’ll work like they should, I’m going to document things here so that I can refer back to them in the future.

There’s also the added benefit that you get to look at them as well so they can help the community.  Hopefully, this process won’t be too drawn out and I can get caught up rather quickly.

One of the first recommendations I’ve found is that you should set your blog up with technorati, so that’s what we’ll do here. As you’ll see in my first paragraph, I had to make a post with the token that was emailed to me. So now that I’ve got that part out of the way let’s go ahead and go through the process of submitting our blog to technorati so that it can be included in their directory.

From what I’ve gathered, technorati isn’t what it once was but it still warrants registering your blog there in order to cover all of your bases. You’ll need to follow the steps below in order to get going:

1. Register for an account at http://technorati.com/account/signup/.
2. You should get an email with a token for you to put into a new post on your blog so they can identify you.
3. Update your profile on technorati and make sure your feed is setup and working correctly whether you use Feedburner or another method.
4. Submit your blog post with the token and check to see if things complete successfully (not sure on the time frame, but I’ll update)
5. Look at related blog listings and see what they are doing that you can implement as well.

I will update my findings after my listing gets added and make sure that I didn’t leave anything valuable out.

Update #1 : Technorati is having the toughest time picking up the feed. I have a couple theories and I’ll update this post when I figure out what’s going on.

Comments { 0 } Posted on January 3, 2011 in Blogging, General, Tech