Taking Time Away from Work

As I write this, my mind is focused on my big holiday trip, just two days away. It’s a trip I’ve been planning for five years, and it includes our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren – eleven people in all. I’m still debating on whether to take a laptop along, but I’m leaning towards … Read more

Do We Really Care About Privacy?

You may have noticed a recent flurry of activity in your email inbox as many companies sent out new privacy policies and, in some cases, asked you to opt-in to continue to receive communications from them. This coincides with the deadline to comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This regulation is meant to … Read more

One Space or Two?

Typewriters have become rare over the past twenty years or so as we began to use computers more often at home and in the workplace. Correction tape, whiteout, and those typing erasers with a brush on the end have been replaced by the backspace and delete keys. Most people welcome this progress or have never … Read more

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