T-SQL Tuesday #112 – Dipping into your Cookie Jar.

Words: 559
Time to read: ~ 3 minutes

Dipping into the Cookie Jar

I’ve been listening to audio-books on the way into work, and the current one struck a chord with me.

It’s “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins and it is about his story from a rough upbringing “into a US Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes“.

One part of the story that has stuck in my mind is where he talks about “dipping into the cookie jar“. It’s an analogy that is easy to follow when you understand it.

Dipping into the Cookie Jar is about when the going gets tough and you don’t think you can handle anymore, then you think back about your accomplishments and take some sustenance from them. You dip back into that cookie jar and use whatever energy that provides to keep going.

Things are going to be tough for everyone at some stage or another. There are going to be low points spread out among the highs. While I know that reaching out to the SQL Family is an amazing external resource to help lift the members up, I think it’s also important for people to remember those accomplishments and realise that they have an internal resource as well.

That is what I want from the contributors of this T-SQL Tuesday, those memories that they can think back on for sustenance. Like the humble cookie, I want a humble brag.

Share some cookies

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is about finding those cookies and sharing them.

These cookies do not have to be massive. Like the various cookies out there, they can be big or small – or even technical.

So tell me about a time when you had an accomplishment that can keep you going.

  • About the time you made your first server specification for a new SQL Server instance.
  • About the first time you wrote out the syntax for a Recursive CTE by memory.
  • About the time you knew the answer to a technology question from someone else.
  • About after all the study you passed the certificate you were after.
  • About the time you created a PowerShell script, or a Python script, etc. and it worked.
  • About the time you created a PowerShell script, or a Python script, etc. and it didn’t work but you were able to fix it.
  • About how you inherited an unorganised instance and made improvements to it.
  • About how you stood, trembling and scared for your first presentation, but you did it in the end.

The above “cookies” are all technical but your ones don’t have to be. Whatever your favourite cookie is, let me know.

Let’s get to the rules.

Not made to be Broken

T-SQL Tuesday has the following rules:

  1. Publish your contribution on Tuesday, 12 Mar 2019 between 00:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC.
  2. Include the T-SQL Tuesday Logo and have it link to this post.
  3. If your post doesn’t link back, please comment below with a link to your post.
  4. Tweet about your post using the #tsql2sday hashtag.
  5. I highly encourage you all to host as well, get in contact with Steve Jones ( blog | twitter ) to get your name on the list!

That’s it!

There is your challenge; realise that you have a cookie jar, realise that it is filled, and share a cookie with us.

Enjoy!

P.S. No coconut cookies please, never like ’em. 😦

T-SQL Tuesday #111 – What is Your Why?

Words: 752

Time to read: ~ 4 minutes

T-SQL Tuesday this month is hosted by Andy Leonard ( blog | twitter ) and he asks what is your why. What it is that makes you do what you do.

I’ve spent the best part of the day with this question rattling around in the back of my mind which is not helpful when you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with the left over cranial resources.

Now that I have a chance to sit down at my desk, crack open the laptop, and put methaphorical ink to paper I believe that I have some sort of an answer.

I don’t know.

There is something very appealing about being asked a question and being able to say a definitive answer to it. Yet none of the questions that I asked myself had definitive answers.

Q: Is it the joy of learning?

A: Sure. I like learning.

But there is embarassment in not knowing and a sense of dismay in realising you’ll never learn enough or know everything that you need to know.

Q: Well, is it because you find meaning in spreading information and teaching others.

A: Sure. I like teaching.

But it’s not mainly meaning that I get out of it, to be perfectly honest, a lot of the time it’s solace. There are sour, low points that everyone goes through that makes the high points in life all the sweeter. That doesn’t make the low points any less daunting. Spreading information, teaching others, and helping out are some of the most effective ways I’ve found to counteract these dull and grey valleys.

Q: Is your why databases? You love everything about them.

A: Sure. Databases are my first real IT infatuation

But I’m infatuated with a lot of different IT aspects. Any chance I get, you’ll find me discussing PowerShell with others, I’m trying to learn Python on the side, I’m an AWS user at work, a closet Azure user at home, and have a dream about bursting Azure out for work.

And yet…

Reading back on the above paragraphs I’ll admit that it comes across as slightly “doom and gloom”.

Yet I don’t want that to be the message here. I’m okay with not “finding myself” when I became a DBA and that being my reason why, mainly because I’m more a believer in “making yourself” than “finding yourself”.

Those points above that I mentioned are not my final say on the subjects.

I know that there is never an end goal with knowledge and learning. That doesn’t mean that there is no point in trying. It’s in striving and fighting for that impossible, never-ending goal that we become better out of it.

Even though meaning isn’t what I attain from spreading information and teaching, that doesn’t mean that the work does not have meaning. There are people I’ve interacted with and met who’s work deserves to be shared. People who have gotten relief from a seemingly unfixable problem or just a nudge in the right direction when they are fumbling for an answer in the dark. Just because I’m also helped in helping does not devalue any of its worth.

And as for being infatuated with other technologies, let me point out something real quick. The SQL Server community is very quickly becoming the Data community; DATA:Scotland, Data Grillen, etc. etc. The days of SQL Server as a data store only is, if not already gone, very soon finished. These other infatuations can be molded and melded together to reach a total greater than their original parts.

Case in point from the last conference I attended:

While this post doesn’t rain down fire and fury about the passion of my why, please don’t take from it that I am not passionate. If my why is not a wildfire, I consider it more as a molten magma. Slightly unknown but vast and inexorable.

And if words are not enough then actions may show differently.
It’s around 40 days into the New Year and I’ve already given my first presentation, booked 3 conferences, volunteered at another, come back from a SQL Saturday on the other side of Europe, and when I get a chance to finally sit down at the end of the day, I write out a blog post to join the rest of the SQL community bloggers.

I’m looking forward to reading theirs and how they can help put a sense of shape to mine.

So what is my Why?

I don’t know but I’m okay with that.