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Posts Tagged ‘Community Involvement’

July SCSUG Meeting

08 Jul

First, I wanted to post a reminder that the July SCSUG meeting has been moved to this coming Monday, July 12th in order to accommodate the schedule of our speaker, David Pless.  As normal, the meeting will take place at the SCCU HQ on Wickham Road.  This will be David’s second time speaking to the group.  The first time David spoke he covered indexes, statistics and performance tuning methods but had so much material that he only made it about halfway through his presentation in the time we had.  He will be finishing up that presentation this time.  From having seen the first half of this presentation, I can tell you that you don’t want to miss it.

Second, I wanted to thank all the members of the SCSUG who came out to an impromptu and last minute meeting set up by SCSUG President Bonnie Allard to send me off.  It was really nice to see everyone one last time and I will miss you all.  For those that don’t know (which is pretty much everyone else, since I haven’t said anything about it), I’ve been offered a position in the Raleigh, NC area and have just moved there.  As normal, it is with mixed feelings that I embark on this new journey.  Hope and excitement at the new friends and challenges I will meet in North Carolina, but also sadness at the good friends and family I will leave behind.

That impromptu party was just one more reminder of the doors that open by joining your local user group.  I encourage everyone to explore this and see if there is a local chapter of PASS in your area, and if not, you could always start one.  While this will probably be my last posting for SCSUG for a while, I still have all of the connections I made through that group and would love to return in the future whenever I’m in the area, to speak or attend.

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June SCSUG Meeting Follow-up

18 Jun

This is a bit later than usual as the meeting was a week ago now, but I wanted to post it anyways to thank SCSUG member Don King for stepping in on short notice to fill a hole in our speaker schedule.  Even though he didn’t have a lot of notice, Don was able to put together an excellent presentation on EFD devices and how they can benefit your company.  The attendance was down a bit this month, but I believe that to be mainly a factor of TechEd going on at the same time.

Don talked about how EFD’s (Enterprise Flash Drives) differed from common SSD’s (Solid State Drives) that you would buy for your home computer and cited real life examples of the performance gains he had seen in a large scale deployment.  He also debunked several of the myths surrounding using Solid State devices in a production server.  Following his presentation, there were a few questions on File Deduplication; and even though it was not part of his planned presentation, he switched over to the white board to explain how that process worked and answer all the questions pertaining to it without missing a beat. 

Thanks again to Don for taking the time to put together a presentation on such short notice and sharing his knowledge with us.

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The Best vs. The Good Enough

02 Apr

When you ask a question on the forums, you’ll often get responses that certain ways of doing things are inefficient or that you should be doing things a different way.  While that is true, there’s a flip side to this.  In a perfect world, you would always do things the most efficient way regardless of the cost.  In the real world, you’ve got a lot of things to do and not always enough time to do them in.  Compromises, unfortunately, must be made.  Sometimes you go ahead and use that cursor or while loop on a report that only gets run once a month to save yourself from coming up with a much more complicated set based method.  Sometimes you use a temp table you could have done without.  What needs to be done to keep things moving isn’t always the best solution, but it is often the best solution that you have time for.

For most people, this is where that extra effort will come in.  While you might have to make the compromise to get things done, knowing how to implement it the more efficient way (or exploring other options after the fact) should also be a priority.  Maybe you have to spend some time out of the office working with it, doing some reading etc, but then next time the better method might be more realistic because they’ve already done the research.  Making a decision with full knowledge of your alternatives to use the much quicker to implement (but slightly worse performing) option is perfectly acceptable in my book and completely different than just blindly implementing things because you know how to do it one way and don’t feel like learning any other ways of doing it.

SQL Server is such a broad area that even the people at Microsoft working on it could probably walk out of the query optimizer room and into the indexing room and learn things.  Think about that for a moment.  The people writing the software (with many years of experience) can still learn things just by walking into the next room and asking a co-worker.  (OK, there probably isn’t actually a Query Optimizer Room, but how cool would it be if there was.  I wonder if they’d have execution plan wallpaper.)

You’re probably never going to know everything about SQL Server, but if the only time you ever devote to learning more is based on the problems you encounter in your day Job, then in my opinion you will always be limited.  Don’t get me wrong, you will very often be required to learn new things to do your job, but if that is all you do, you will always be reacting instead of being proactive.  Spending time reading Forums, Technical Blogs, books or participating in things like T-SQL Challenges will help you expand that knowledge to new areas that you probably could have been applying the whole time if you had known about them.  Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of all of that… but C’est la vie.

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