Data Head Stats:
- Where are you from, and what kind of company do you work for?
- I live in Minnesota, by way of my first few years in Nashville, TN. I work as an enterprise consultant for Digineer; a regional management and technology company.
- What’s decorating your office and/or desk right now?
- Right now the decorating theme is “recently moved in.” I have my bald eagle photos and some of my Coke paraphenelia up, but it isn’t near a final state yet. We’re still trying to figure out what to do for desks. On the upside, there are plenty of monitors to keep me distracted until then.
- You spoke at PASS on XQuery and the plan cache. What’s the main thing about the plan cache (at least performance-wise) that people don’t know? Why should they know this?
- The plan cache is one of the best places to get in and find out what is going on inside your SQL Servers. This is the place where DBAs can go to find out exactly how plans are interacting with tables and indexes at a operational level. If you want to find what plans are using which index and how, this information is stored here. If you need to figure out when certain types of calculations are occurring, this information is stored here. When you find one issue, a query against the plan cache can help you determine if others with those characteristics can also be found.
- What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced with SQL Server this year? What made it such a roadblock, and how did you eventually turn it from a problem to a solution?
- I would put two things into my biggest challenges for SQL Server this year. The first would be relearning SSRS formatting for the current engagement I am working on with customers. Alternating line colors in a matrix with multiple nested groups was a serious pain. A little VB.Net fixed the issue but the path to that small bit of code was anything but. Getting to the solution was really a matter of watching how SSRS behaves with a number of functions, how those functions interact with nested groups, and knowing that SSRS processes rows one at a time versus as a complete object.
The second challenge has been the indexing book that I am writing. While I knew a lot about indexes at the start, I hadn’t spent a lot of time verbalizing that knowledge. Also, it turns out there is a lot that I just didn’t know. I haven’t necessarily solved this issue yet, since there are still three chapters to write. But a few more weeks and this hurdle will be passed.
- As a consultant, do you have any thoughts on Joe Chang’s recent blog post on how SQL Server 2012 licensing will affect consultants?
- I really enjoyed his post and he’s got it right. With the costs of servers being driven down, SQL Server had gotten cheap to work with. When Microsoft announced the changes, I was glad to hear that they were consolidating the licenses and using hardware to dictate price rather than features. Besides being good for consultants, I think the change is good for all organizations. With the addition of Data Center Edition in SQL Server 2008 R2, most people were locked out of features that were included in that edition. Now, those features will be open to all (through Enterprise Edition) and only limited by the hardware you are able to place underneath it.
- When did you discover your love for technology? Feel free to add a pivotal moment, if there was one.
- Back in high school, we had a IBM PS2 – it has a 10 MB hard drive and a giant red power switch. I wrote small programs on it and hacked through the code of text-based games to solve them through a more indirect route.
- Finally, what’s the geekiest thing you’ve ever done?
- I think most everyone would agree it’s the SQL Server-themed songs I’ve been posting on my blog. I’ve done five in the run-up to the PASS Summit. The question is…should I keep doing them after PASS?
There are a lot of us lean, mean, data-analyzing machines out there in the real and virtual worlds, and it’s easy for interesting colleagues to get lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, we’ve launched Data Heads, a series of profiles of some of the most intriguing database professionals out there.