Stuart Moore

Musings of a Data professional

Stuart Moore

T-SQL Tuesday #44 – The second chance

T-SQL TuesdayIt’s the 2nd Tuesday of the month, so it’s another T-SQL Tuesday. This months is being hosted by Bradly Ball (blog | twitter) who’s set us the assignment topic of “Second Chances”.

Now I’m sure most SQL Server DBAs (and all other techies for that matter) have lots of stories where something went horribly wrong ,and they got another chance to get it right, either with or without their employees best wishes. But those are mostly horror stories to scare people onto the right path!!

Instead I wanted to talk about about those ‘second chances’ you get, even when the first chance went well (And was probably ignored by the PTB becase of that, c’est la vie). They go well, and we feel happy as we leave the office. But there’s alway the niggling feeling that we could have done it better somehow. Maybe it could have been faster, or we could have taken the chance to implement more features, and that’s where our second chances come.

Even if I’ve done the same task before, I want another chance to try something different when I do it again. Perhaps I’ve read something online, and it looks good on my test rig, and now I want to try it on something large but not too important. Or I’ve been to some training (or conference) and picked up some useful information from a presenter. This is a perfect opportunity to try it out, but very carefully, unless you want to end up needing one of those less pleasant second chances.

And I take it as good practice to regularly review previously written scripts or setups. 3 months after you’ve written it’s amazing what can jump out at you as a less than brilliant solution, or a bit of fresh insight offers you a better way to set things up.  Another good reason for keeping notes on how things went when you do a large piece of work. For example, I have a folder full of notes I’ve built up building SQL Server clusters over the years. Because I can refer back I can make sure that I don’t repeat mistakes (and there have been some), but can also look at what can be improved (even non technical aspects, my recording spreadsheet for clusters has become a thing of great use rather than an after thought).

As SQL Server professionals we should be trying to make sure we’re always learning and refining our skills, so we need to make sure we take all the opportunities we get to improve and learn. Even if it is just doing something we’ve done before again, or we think we can shortcut things by just reusing the same scripts we’ve used before.

So grab hold of second chances when they come along as they can be a good thing.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Stuart, Thanks for the contribution! You make an excellent point, not all of the things I would like a second shot at are things I messed up. there are quite a few where I did a great job at the time, but I know I could do it better now.

    Really nice blog!

    • Stuart Moore

      Thanks. Thought it’d make a nice change from the other horror stories.

      And thanks for hosting T-SQL Tuesday. I like the idea, as it forces me to write something to deadline, and in a style/subject I wouldn’t normally do.

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