Gatekeeping and why language matters

This is the second in a series of posts about gatekeeping in Information Technology and other fields. Negative terminology The language we use matters. In the first post I wrote that a number of words we use by convention need to be phased out, especially if they have negative connotations. I used Michele’s example of
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The importance of backups

I have been selected to present a second session for the PASS Summit in November this year. I wrote a few weeks ago about the Linux Learning Path and being a part of that, so I was certainly not expecting this. My second topic is about backing up, testing, and restoring SQL Server backups if
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All the signs were there, but we didn’t understand them: an essay on gatekeeping in IT

This is the first in a series of posts about gatekeeping in Information Technology and other fields. I am not the first — nor will I be the last — to say that the terminology we use in the technology sphere is problematic. Language and gender bias Let’s look at several tweets collected in the
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It’s a UNIX system. I know this.

Jurassic Park was a great film. Steven Spielberg brought technology into the film era in a major way with computer generated dinosaurs and some now-classic film lines, many of which came from Jeff “Dreamboat” Goldblum. One other line that seems to be making a comeback is the title of this post, uttered by the character
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A look back, and a look forward

Time flies. My father used to wear a t-shirt that claimed, “When you’re over the hill, you pick up speed.” I’m turning 40 in a few days. I still feel like a teenager in many respects. SQL Server, released in 1989, is 27 years old now. It’s about the same age I was when a
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SQL Saturday 607 Calgary 2017

SQL Saturday in Calgary!

I am very happy (and terrified) to announce that Calgary will host its very first SQL Saturday, #607, on 29 April 2017. Noel Tan and I are organising it (though Noel is doing all the hard work), and my company is sponsoring the main prize, a Microsoft Surface Pro 4. I would like to invite
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The Interview Process

Interview Questions for a SQL Server DBA

When I’m interviewing a SQL Server DBA, I have three questions that I always ask. My favourite interview question is this: “What is the difference between a clustered and a non-clustered index?” My second favourite question is this: “What is the right disaster recovery strategy for my company?” The first question is one of basic
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Career Limiting Moves – Reply All

In a recent episode of a Netflix show called Grace & Frankie, a vitriolic and profanity-ridden email with very damaging statements was accidentally sent to a mailing list. Fortunately for the characters involved, Siri auto-corrected most of the really bad stuff, and Vin Diesel became an unwitting participant in the storyline. Unfortunately, there’s real life,
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