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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Career Limiting Moves – Assigning Blame

I worked for a vendor implementation partner in the early part of my career, and oftentimes that meant having to set up a training lab, from unpacking rented PCs and plugging them in to getting a full training environment installed and configured. This included the operating system (usually Windows NT 4 Workstation or Windows 98),
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Career Limiting Moves – Saying No

IT departments get a lot of flak because members are accused of saying no to what staff think are perfectly reasonable requests. In this second post of my series about career limiting moves, I’m going to tell you about the time I told someone no and immediately regretted it. My second full-time job, after working
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Career Limiting Moves – Dropping a Table

In this new series, I will share some things that took place early in my career that could have resulted in my looking for new work—but didn’t! This post is also evidence that I haven’t always worked with SQL Server. I used to work with a PeopleSoft implementation partner, sometime last century. One morning I
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Professionalism doesn’t mean a collared shirt and tie

Working from home, consulting with companies all over the world, has changed how I interact with customers. The last time I was physically on site was seven months ago. We deal almost exclusively with each other via conference call and video using Skype, LogMeIn or GoToMeeting, juggling webcams, headphones, microphones, email, text messages, phone calls,
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Filmmaking as a Metaphor for the DBA

I worked on four films in 2015, three shorts and one feature-length movie, all shot in Calgary where I live. That has resulted in seven IMDb credits for me, someone who earns a living as a DBA. If nothing else, that experience has scratched an itch I’ve had since I was old enough to wonder
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Intersection of Technology and Liberal Arts

The Intersection of Art and Science

This is the first post in a series of four, where Ed Leighton-Dick, via Brent Ozar, is proposing that we SQL Server folks participate in the #SQLNewBlogger Challenge. I write a fair number of words on my personal website, and tend to neglect this site. Reading Brent’s post, it occurred to me that I can
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