We’re Paying Attention!

paying attentionBecause Spitfire is a Microsoft ISV Partner, I have to renew my SQL Server certification from time to time. This month was one of those times, and you know what, I learned something in the process.

I learned that the test still covers topics that almost no one pays any attention to these days. I had started to think that it was only because I am an old timer that I still thought about things like “physical volumes” and “distribution of IO” and “types of indexes” and (gasp) “index fragmentation.” These days, when you are deploying SQL in a virtual environment with SAN-based storage, all these low level details just seem quaint. Performance and throughput are good enough, so these details fall off the radar. But for sure, all of that is still relevant, just thankfully less critical.

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Lessons from Reality TV

bar rescueReality TV comes in all sizes and shapes, from cramming a bunch a young “adults” into a house or on an island and seeing what happens when assigned “challenges” to helping a business get back on track.  Everyone has a favorite and mine is Bar Rescue.

I’ll admit that I know nothing about running a bar, and the initial draw for me was the expert’s name: Jon Taffer. Like most shows of this type, each episode follows the same pattern: evaluate, plan, train, execute.

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Hidden Debt and Obligations

agreementIn the not too distant past, it was easy to determine your approximate net worth as an individual. For the most part it was a simple process: add up all the money in your bank accounts and investments; add in the current, liquid value of fixed assets; and subtract out any mortgages and loans. Those were the days when we “owned” things and consumer lending was much tighter, when “the more toys, the wealthier the person.” Yep, a much simpler time.

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An Obligation to Improve

From 1983 to 2014I remember when I was fresh out of college, Bill (one of the programmers with many years of experience), tried to teach me a life lesson: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I understood his point, but also recognized a danger in that philosophy. In perspective, according to Wikipedia, that saying became popular only in 1977. There is evidence of the counter argument at least 1900 years earlier in a Bible story in which a dude who buries his boss’s assets (the ultimate digging in) is called wicked and lazy because he failed to improve the asset.

Given these opposing pulls, I should not be surprised when I discover a system that is still running the RTM version of SQL 2008 (which should have had Service Pack 3 applied in late 2011). But I am somewhat disappointed. I understand the conflict, but there must be a balance.

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