RJ's SQL Server and MySQL Notes

Notes on SQL Server and MySQL

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Moving from the WWW Site

Posted by rjssqlservernotes on September 23, 2010

So, after a few years of maintaining a full-blown WWW site I’ve decided to simply blog instead.  Although I enjoyed building the site I found that the level of effort was more than I wanted to expend simply to share scripts, papers, ideas, etc.  I’m going to be transferring the bulk of the material into the blog as time allows; therefore, at some point all of the background material will be available.

As a brief history, I didn’t start as a SQL Server DBA, nor even as a “programmer” but instead as a nuclear analyst modifying and operating a FORTRAN-based nuclear war simulator.  I was responsible for preparing simulated target packages, running the simulator against those targets, analyzing the results, and preparing reports for the strategic systems leaders in the military.  It was interesting if not morbid work that helped me develop a passion for software.  After the fall of the Soviet Union I finished my graduate studies in Computer Science, found a job as a software engineer, and began learning as much as I could about object oriented design and development becoming somewhat of an expert in the C++ language.

I began my software career at what I believe was the most opportune time – the birth of the Internet and personal computers.  I programmed MFC and Win SDK, worked a great deal with Solaris, and began programming C# when the beta kit was released in 2001.  I had done a little Java; however, C# was IT for me, C++ like syntax with what I knew would grow into an expansive set of libraries so I devoted most of my free time to learning as much as I could about Microsoft’s new language.  At the same time I remained employed as a OO architect and C++ engineer.  In 2004 I took the MCSD exams to earn my certification hoping that this would ease my employment transition from C++ to C#.  It was not painless or without regression, but in the end I did achieve most of my goals.

Then, a funny thing happened on the way, my work most frequently involved building business and data layers for client server systems which led me to an insatiable interest in database technologies.   I began studying Microsoft’s database product; maybe I was fortunate to have been launched in this direction when I was because I began with SQL Server 7.0, I loved it, not so much for its raw power as a DBMS but for the power it gave me to manipulate the data within it.  Again I studied with the desire to provide myself with an employment transition path, then I took the MCDBA exams for SQL Server 2000.  After earning the certification I remained in my role as a client-server engineer but now I had the ability to tune my queries, design efficient DB tables, develop DB objects like stored procs, triggers, etc. that made my development work at the data access layer of client server systems very much more effective and interesting.

So for 3-4 years I was building C# based client server systems with SQL Server back-ends with a focus on business and data layers as well as a spattering of high-performance messaging systems in C++.  As passions do, mine shifted again this time with a focus on performance tuning SQL Server.  As I was happily working I began to notice an evolving specialization within the DBA world focusing on the performance tuning and optimization of the database.  I wanted to believe that I was developing stored procs, queries, and tables with performance in mind; however, as I studied this specialization it became apparent to me that the considerations were well beyond what I had been doing.  I studied and studied to learn as much as I could so that I could be a more effective DBA, so that I could ensure that I was getting the most out of SQL Server.

Now, I am here with years of client server and object oriented development experience with C# and C++ while my passion pushed me to become a DBA.  I have no idea where I’ll be within the technical world in 5 years but I do look forward to continuing my path of discover with the Microsoft technology stack.    If nothing else my hope  for this blog is to provide fodder for someone else’s passion with the posted papers and such reflecting the domains within which I have found myself over the years.


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