Skills I Used Last Week #2

Back in September I wrote the first version of Skills I Used Last Week, so I thought I’d loop back to see if I was doing anything new lately. The window is really the last few weeks, but I thought I’d stick with the title for now, for continuity!

  • Mostly it’s the same same as in the first post
  • Did a bunch of work with policy based management and now have a love/hate relationship with it
  • Wrote some Powershell to gather space information per volume every day (for SQL 2012 only)
  • Upgraded to Powershell v4, definitely a nicer IDE
  • Used Policy Based Management to do a series of health checks every day. Team wasn’t sure it was a good idea, but it’s growing on them.
  • Wrote a prototype replacement for the health checks using .Net. That in turn caused me to acquire some new skills; Parallel foreach, tuples, methods in structures, and a few more.
  • Prototyping remains a really good idea. Lots of learning in the course of doing it and just enough working to compare/contrast with what was already in place.
  • Engaged in an  interesting debate about what is the best container for code’ish solutions for the next DBA to look at; compiled code, SSIS (perhaps with some code in it), or Powershell. Right now it seems to be SSIS.
  • Set up a new database with 14 partitions and 112 or so files.
  • Evaluated databases/applications to see if they could be upgraded from SQL 2008
  • Helped a co-worker start blogging on a non-technical topic
  • Talked with several auditing product vendors
  • Learned to value ‘replace’ more than I had when doing restores
  • Reviewed a script written by someone else and thought about how hard it can to be to do so when it’s in a different style than I use (shouldn’t different make it easier because you have to focus more?)
  • Started thinking about taking an exam or two (deserves a post of its own)
  • Saw an 823 error happen, but no data problems!
  • Ran an interesting process that did partition swaps on 60 or so tables to load in new data

Not all weeks/months/quarters are exciting. For me the trick is to use any free time, new task, or recurring task to think about what I know or don’t know, and then see if there is an opportunity to learn/try something new while still getting the task done in a reasonable amount of time.