SQLskills Training, Day 4: Hitting the Wall

I originally wrote this post last Thursday night, August 11th, at the end of day four of SQLskills training.  However, I was exhausted and went to bed after writing, without publishing.  I am now finally catching up…

Ok, I’m tired.  I knew it would happen this week, where I kind of hit a wall.  I just didn’t know when it would happen.  That’s ok, this will help me prepare for the Summit.  In my defense, I’ve managed to run three mornings this week, written four blog posts and addressed major work emails – in addition to attending class.  It caught up with me today, but before I turn in I thought I’d hit some of the high points of today.

Jonathan started out talking about capturing and analyzing performance data.  I do this a fair bit in my job and I know I need to automate this better.  Today I met my new friend, PSSDiag.   I have kind of feared PSSDiag because I’ve heard people say it’s a lot of work to use, it’s hard to configure, etc.  And I admit that I was lazy here and didn’t really even give it a try.  Enough with that attitude!  While I realize it’s going to take me to some work to figure out how to configure everything, I don’t care.  I can now capture PerfMon data, trace data, info from T-SQL queries and msinfo32 (I love msinfo32) from just one utility.  And then I can run it through SQLNexus.  Let’s hear it for automation!  I have no idea where I will find the time to do this, but I will find the time.  It was one of my goals for this year, and now I know how I will accomplish it.

Kimberly talked for the rest of the day about DMVs.  Actually, even though that the title of the module, it covered sooooo much more.  We talked a lot about plan cache – more than I’ve ever had anyone discuss it before, and more in depth.  I sometimes wonder what problems Kimberly hasn’t seen.  I learned about plan guides, and realized that they may solve a specific issue one of our customers is having in SQL Server 2005 with a parameterized query.  I love it when you get solutions to existing real world problems in a class.

Kimberly also talked about her approach to tuning, particularly with regard to indexes.  I am well aware that she can talk about indexing strategies for hours, and I could listen to that for hours; so much good stuff.

The day ended with Conor Cunningham ( b ) stopping by to talk with us and answer questions for a bit, and then some mini-presentations by attendees.  It was a privilege to listen to Conor talk and share his view of the SQL Server world.  I say that because writing software is really difficult, and I get where he’s coming from.  I work for a software company, so I understand the customer and the vendor side very well.  Conor has a difficult job – he has to consider all the things that people want the software to do, and figure out how to add functionality that will benefit the most number of people with the least amount of risk (those are my words, not his).  It is not easy, and he admitted up front that he gets yelled at by people because of the way SQL Server works.  I don’t know if he literally gets yelled out, but I am certain he gets asked some hard questions, and answering them is not easy.  But he impressed me, and he’s very enthusiastic about SQL Server.  When you’re around someone that believes in the product that much, it’s hard not to look forward to the next big thing.

2 Responses to SQLskills Training, Day 4: Hitting the Wall
  1. Kimberly L. Tripp
    August 19, 2011 | 9:39 pm

    Yeah! Erin’s back. I kind of thought you had hit the proverbial wall given how much you were packing in last week (running, class, studying, evenings + dinners) and it gets really hard doing that many full days/nights in a row. But, it was great fun – and, as always – your questions/comments and interesting scenarios are great to listen to as well!! Definitely let me know if plan guides help you out. They’re a bit more painful (pre-2008) but very powerful.


    • Erin Stellato
      August 19, 2011 | 11:55 pm

      I was SO close to making it through the week 🙂 The dinners put me over the edge! But it was so worth it. And again, now I know how PASS will be. But the whole week was awesome and there is so much that I now have on my to-do list. Overwhelming, but great! Thank you so much, I will let you know how the plan guides go.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL http://erinstellato.com/2011/08/sqlskills-training-day-hitting-wall/trackback/