When You Need A DBA: Inhouse Vs Outsourced

One big question for software developers and IT departments in small companies is always “should I hire a DBA?” The fact that one is asking this question demonstrates that there are some symptoms that need a deeper diagnosis than you can handle. This may be a concern about backup procedures, database slowness for users, or errors … Read more

The Facebook Fiasco

About ten years ago, my friends and family were abandoning their Myspace accounts and heading to Facebook. I fought it for a while but eventually assimilated and ended up with over 650 Facebook “friends” at last count. Even my mother embraced the platform, very happy that she could see frequently updated photos of her many … Read more

Supporting Women in Technology

We make a special effort in March to acknowledge the accomplishments of women. Women have been making gains in many professions over the past several decades but are still underrepresented in technology. There are several hypotheses about why this is the case, but often women find they are not welcome in the “brogrammer” cultures of … Read more

Why You Need a Time-Management Strategy

Time management is simply the ability to plan how and where you spend your time throughout the work day.  When you have a proper time management strategy in place, you will be more productive, enjoy your work more and have less stress.  The process of implementing time management is really quite simple; it’s all about … Read more

Working from Home

I’ve been fortunate enough to work from my home office for the past six years. My commute is about twelve steps, or, occasionally, a 45-minute drive to the nearest airport. It may not be for everyone, but I think that more employers should let their workers take advantage of an arrangement like this. Since I … Read more

How to Know When It’s Time to Hire a DBA

There are many reasons why one would consider hiring a professional database administrator (DBA). You may be concerned about user experience issues such as errors or slowness, or possibly backend items like backups, security or stability. If your database is hosted on a SQL Server, eventually you will run into issues that you cannot solve … Read more

Time Off

Time is a precious commodity, and so much of our time is dedicated to working. IT professionals often have jobs with good benefits, including generous paid time off. It’s very important to get away from work to relax and recharge, but, sometimes, it’s difficult to take those days that belong to us. Even when we … Read more

Self-improvement: Uniquely Human

There are many things that separate humans from other animals. One of those things is our interest in improving ourselves. Many of us are motivated, especially this time of year, to learn languages, better our health, develop leadership qualities, or increase wealth. There is an entire genre of literature dedicated to self-improvement, also known as … Read more

Follow Your Passion…Or Not

Depending on what you read, you will find advice to ‘follow your passion’ and, alternatively, ‘don’t follow your passion’. The former assumes you will be able to turn an interest into a career if you just love it enough to do what it takes to make it happen. The latter recommends that you should find … Read more

Don’t Stop Learning

A few years ago, I found myself teaching an in-depth SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) class at a local tech center. I had some great students in the class, who were engaged and excited about the material. During the breaks, they talked about their careers, and how what they learned would help them do their … Read more

SQL Server Coming in on Another Platform

Why release SQL Server as a Linux, as well as Windows, application? It baffled many DBAs when it was announced, though most shrugged and decided that it must be part of Microsoft’s long-term wrestling match with Oracle. When Microsoft previewed an early version of the Linux SQL Server on Ubuntu and Red-Hat, with ‘core relational … Read more

Conversations with Gran about Databases

So, what’s going on in your databases world this week, young man? I paused, as always, a little unsure of what I was getting myself into. I’d been having these little “technical chats” with Gran ever since her ‘computer incident’, when a blue screen informing her of a “Fatal error: catastrophic failure“, had thrown her … Read more

The Wrong Way to Clean Up the Internet

Having successfully fought several privacy battles, granting people the right to have themselves taken off Google search, and to have their records deleted from databases, it looks as if the European Union may soon want to regulate and license what you can watch on YouTube or other video content sites, and the audio-visual content you … Read more

When is the Data Deleted?

Imagine that your business is providing a service to individuals, and you charge by the amount of usage. You are trading your service internationally and need to keep a record of who among your customers does what. You then produce invoices and keep accounts. Your customers pay via a third-party service. So far so good. … Read more

IT Aphorisms for Developers

Developers enter their trade fizzing with untamed creative energy. They envision spending their days dashing out intricate algorithms that compile first time, developing creative applications that dazzle colleagues and users alike, before leaving the office each evening, with a swagger in their step, to work their new GitHub ‘side project’, which will one day soon … Read more

Who was that masked man anyway?

Whenever you require a visit to the doctor, or hospital, a lot of personal data will likely be recorded, alongside details of your condition, the treatment you required, drugs prescribed and so on. At some point, you might have signed a consent form, one of the clauses of which allowed your data to be analyzed … Read more