Swansong Musings

TL;DR go here for mixture of personal/professional stuff. Or here for more professional stuff.

Going meta again this week, as I blog about blogging in other places and a certain mistake I made not two weeks ago.

It Must Be True, It’s Written On The Internet

blog-post-internetOne of the reasons I write a blog is because I find I’m more likely to remember something if I write it down. So a blog is a useful place. And usually I’m very meticulous in my research and provide examples in order to confirm with myself what I believe to be the case to actually be the case. But on occasion I will get it wrong. And this week I got it wrong. Big time. And it is to do with defining the files when creating a database. And whilst I was right in the fact that you cannot overwrite the system variables wrt where files will be written, I overlooked the fact that you can define the locations yourself. Look at that. I got it so wrong I’m using the trifecta of bold, underline and italics to make the point.

Below is a screenshot of an mdf and ldf file being created to a different location:eggonmyface So a pre-model script or a deployment contributor are not really necessary, you just need to define the location in your publish.xml file and parameterise the file-path yourself.

Sup Dawg, I Heard You Like Reading my Blogs

So, earlier this year I started working at Sabin.IO, the consultancy ran by Simon Sabin, he of SQLBits, amongst other distinctions. You may have noticed that around the turn of the year I started posting less and less DBA-type posts and focused more on Database DevOps, which is exactly what I used to do not so long ago. But invariably I’ve come back to Database DevOps for a few reasons:

  1. You can actually genuinely make a difference helping people improve their database deployment story
  2. I was burnt by (and burnt out) too many chaotic databases, where the definition of “gold code” was whatever was in live, but there was no control as to who or what got deployed there.

But to quote a friend of mine, “there’s nothing negative in pointing out problems. It’s only negative in pointing out problems and doing nothing about it.” And very true that is. So I’m helping my former DBA colleagues by advocating the CI/CD database deployment process.

Anyway, there’s a few blog posts over on Sabin IO written by yours meely about some exciting new features in SQLPackage, and how to leverage those same features through the DacFx API. So why not head over there and give them a read why don’t you?!

And so as One Door Closes, Another Opens….

Empty platitudes aside, this will be my last blog post here. 4 years, 325 posts, over 100,000 views, not bad going. But I haven’t stopped blogging: I will in fact be posting at Sabin IO. Because I’ve not only been working at Sabin IO, I’ve actually gone permanent as of the end of October. And seeing as:

  • I like to blog
  • I like wide audience to read it

It makes sense for me to post at Sabin.IO .

This site will hang around for a while, but what with the name being a company name it’ll go and revert to a “.wordpress.com” name, and some of the content will appear on the SabinIO blog.

See ya pals!

Christmas Musings

I’ve recently become a Dad again to a lovely little boy, [1] and of course the one thing everyone knows about being a parent to a newborn is that you’ll have plenty of sleepless nights to look forward to. But whilst “sleepless nights” is a bit of an over-exaggeration, I have found myself sat up wide awake at 1AM with young Ben in my arms sound asleep. Occasionally I might listen to music (headphones of course!) or have the TV on (sound down, brightness down, subtitles on), but on more than one occasion my mind has wandered to SQL Server. I don’t get to use the time to blog, but this time has afforded me time to think over a subject, and so I’m blogging about a few of them today. Continue reading “Christmas Musings”

New Year Musings

Hello! And Happy New Year!

I’ve spent much of the past month off work looking after my daughter whilst my wife is at work. It seems that while this time of year is quiet for me at the office, in the NHS its the busiest period of the year. So it has been great to spend time with Phoebe at home, which has resembled a building site since the end of October. Indeed, as I work from home I have had to move the computer from into 5 different times whilst work was completed. During that time I’ve learnt more things about plumbing than I’ve ever wanted to know, and surprised myself when I kept a remarkably cool head when I noticed water leaking out the ceiling (from the room I had just removed the radiator from successfully (I thought) and whose pipes I had capped) into our living room. And here is some advice which is as unrelated to technology as you’ll ever read on this site, but invaluable nonetheless: try not to reuse caps to cap off radiator pipes, as you have to turn them so tight they tend to break up when you try to use them again. Which is exactly what I had done. I thought they were screwed on well enough until I turned the heating on and water got flowing around the system, which was when the water started to leak out of the busted cap. Fortunately for me no damage was done and I was able to drain the entire heating system, which unfortunately coincided with us living without heating during the coldest days of 2014, until the plastering was done. It’s all part of us paying our dues until the house is done. Currently we are without a shower/bath, though mercifully we are not far away from friends who are kind enough to let us use their bathroom. Continue reading “New Year Musings”

What I Talk About When I Talk About Blogging

This post has nearly been a year in the making. When I hit the 100 post mark, which was roughly a year into writing this blog, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about blogging and what it meant to me and how someone can start up a blog and still be actively posting a year later. But I decided not to, as I felt a year and 100 posts was not nearly enough time to post anything with any real authority. But 1 year and 100 posts later I still wanted to share my thoughts on blogging. If for nothing else, it’ll be interesting to read this post in 2/3/4 years time and see just how much of what I wrote I still agree with. This post is not definitive; rather, it’s like viewing a junk shop; I’m sure there’ll be something for someone to take home from this collection of thoughts. Continue reading “What I Talk About When I Talk About Blogging”

Paid In Full

Before I get into what exactly it is that I have paid in full, let’s have Eric B and Rakim drop a beat for you this morning:

So, that it’s then, my student debt is paid off! A mere 7 years after leaving university, I have fulfilled my side of the deal. I was going to write a large piece about the state of education today, but I think I’ll just put a link to a sobering news story on the BBC website about the state of the student loan system in the UK.

A Few Things I Didn’t Know Last Week

  1. That it is possible to have a Victorian house built in the 1930’s: I’m in the process of buying a new house, and one I saw listed was Victorian terraced. When I viewed the property I wasn’t too surethat it was Victoarian so I asked the agent when this property was built. “1930’s.” was the response. “Oh, I read on the listing it was Victorian” I replied, hoping for further clarity. “Yea, yea.” was the agents clarification…
  2. That the beginning of a book can be the end, and the end be not in the book, and the last few pages of a book be the middle: I finally finished Infinite Jest, a book I’d been promising to read for about two years. For me, the effort involved outweighed the enjoyment I got from reading the book. To contradict that, I want to read it again, but after reading some of the texts cited in the reviews of the book. I don’t want to post spoilers (trust me, what I’ve written in bold above does not reveal anything), but I’ve come away from the book wanting to read reviews, articles etc on the book, and it’s challenged me, so it;s certainly had an impact on me, in a good way.
  3. That it is possible to have other indexes on tables that have Clustered Columnstore Indexes on it: but you need to consider all the implications.

    This isn’t a knock on Brent’s advice, it’s a clever solution and I’m sure he’d expect people to go check their work before adding indexed views on CCI tables. When testing this solution I found the indexed views to be more than twice the size of the compressed table, so it’s not as if the solution is without it’s disadvantages which Brent goes over at the end of the post.
  4. That it’s possible to bite off more than you can chew: I failed the 70-462 exam last Friday. What with moving house, reading literary (and literally) heavyweight books, spending time with the baby, and learning about Clustered Columnstore Indexes, revision time was at a minimum. It’s not the first time I have failed an exam, it won’t be the last, and I know where I messed up: lack of revision.  So time to book my second shot and get revising. I got my arse kicked by the exam and I didn’t like it, so I’m going to work that much harder to pass this exam.