The neverending controversy over PASS elections

October 21, 2009 Leave a comment

It seems that everyone and his brother is blogging about the recent PASS elections.

While I agree with Geoff Hiten that choosing three spots for four candidates is essentially a final elimination round of musical chairs, I think the remaining criticism of this process has gone way overboard in a lot of cases. People involved with PASS often only peripherally are making statements that nominees should be thoroughly vetted, must be certified SQL Server experts, need to have been born on a Tuesday morning, etc. While some of these things are valuable, I don’t think they are essential

As a comparison, think about SQL Server itself. How many of the product and/or strategic decisions about the platform are made by people who have any clue whatsoever about how the platform works? Don’t get me wrong; SQL Server has come a *long* way, and a lot of the decisions are great. Several decisions, though, not so much. Does that make SQL Server a bad thing? No, but it certainly makes it balanced, and allows for people with different stakes to work together to provide overall direction for the platform, hopefully for the collective good of all involved — the company, its employees, their customers, end users, and folks who support the platform indirectly, be it on newsgroups, or web forums, or StackOverflow / ServerFault.

Nothing terribly insightful here (Kevin Kline had a lot more to say about this), but I wanted to throw my comments in the ring before the results were announced. :-)

Categories: Uncategorized

Interesting blogs I’ve read this week

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment

I have been slowly emerging from a coma, at least in terms of my public presence.  I posted on twitter today for the first time since August, and I actually browsed a couple of topics on a few SQL Server-related forums.  I have been nose to the keyboard for 8 or 9 weeks on a very intensive integration project, and have barely had time to breathe, never mind entertain you folks.  Now that the “heavy” phase of the project is winding down, I thought I might kick up this blog to blurt out some things that DON’T fit within 140 characters.

My first post (by the way, Hello World!) is just a collection of links I found interesting this week, and why.

  • Michelle Ufford (who tweets as @SQLFool) wrote a great post on Partitioning Tricks.  This was interesting to me, and the timing was perfect, because I was starting to contemplate how I could use partitioning in the next phase of the aforementioned project.  Michelle’s explanations of replicating and compressing partitions turned on a few light bulbs for me, and I think I am well on my way to coming up with a plan.
  • Jonathan Kehayias (who tweets as @SQLSarg) warned us about a GDI+ vulnerability, and explained some of the things that aren’t very intuitive in the actual security bulletin.  I’m not rushing out to apply this fix to all of my production servers until I really understand the scope of my vulnerability, but kudos to Jonathan all the same.
  • Aaron Bertrand (who tweets as @AaronBertrand) started a tremendous series last week, entitled, “Bad habits to kick.”  Over a series of at least a dozen posts, he goes over several bad habits that a lot of us have, and explains both why they are bad and how we can overcome them.  Sadly, a lot of the comments are just inviting a religious battle about whether CustomerOrders is better than customer_orders, or vice-versa.  Still, the series is very entertaining, and I am embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of more than one.
  • Speaking of religious battles, Mladen Prajdić (who tweets as @MladenPrajdic) wrote a post on surrogates vs. natural keys.  A lot of interesting comments (but no fisticuffs, yet) have emerged from this emotional topic.
  • Paul Randal (who tweets as @PaulRandal) wrote a detailed post on which index SQL Server will use to count rows.  Personally I typically use sys.dm_db_partition_stats to get row counts, but I found it interesting (and in hindsight, obvious!) that SQL Server is much smarter these days about optimizing COUNT(*) queries.
Categories: Links