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voiceofthedba's podcast

Technology Podcasts

A series of episodes that look at databases and the world from a data professional's viewpoint. Written and recorded by Steve Jones, editor of SQLServerCentral and The Voice of the DBA.

A series of episodes that look at databases and the world from a data professional's viewpoint. Written and recorded by Steve Jones, editor of SQLServerCentral and The Voice of the DBA.


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A series of episodes that look at databases and the world from a data professional's viewpoint. Written and recorded by Steve Jones, editor of SQLServerCentral and The Voice of the DBA.




Favorite Cars

Ars Technica recently wrote about their favorite cars of 2019, which is an interesting list. They get to test a lot and I read their reviews to see what they glean. I love cars, and enjoy driving different vehicles, and I've owned a lot in my life. I think I've probably owned and regularly driven 30 cars since I started driving at 16. There was even a period of a few years in my life where I traded in my car for another used one every 11 months. I do get to drive or ride in a decent number...


A Problem with Cowboy Coding

As we implement more automation and complexity in our systems, we increase the ability of every worker to accomplish more during their day. In many cases, this is a good thing, as many of us have no shortage of tasks to complete. Being able to do more is good. Some technology workers, and likely some managers, view these changes as opportunities to use less people to do the same work. That can be worrisome for many people, especially those concerned with job security. That's a difficult...


Great Writers Get Hired

It's not a guarantee that great writers get hired, but this interview with Basecamp CEO, Jason Fried, talks about their process selecting new employees. Recently they got 4,000 applications for 5 jobs, which is a lot, though not that unusual. As I talk with many human resources staff, they often talk about receiving hundreds of resumes for each job they post. With those types of odds, it is important that you find a way to stand out from the crowd. While I suspect many people reviewing...


Quick Security Mistakes

How many of you have gotten an urgent request from someone in your organization? Maybe it's a new database, perhaps a quick, "simple" change to an application, possibly even a new server or share that someone can use to complete their work. It's something new that you need to do. When that happens, how many of you ensure that you follow all the same steps and protocols to comply with the urgent request? A few of you do, but when we're in a hurry, many of us don't necessarily complete every...


The Time to Patch

Microsoft has spent years working on building a reliable and dependable patch process for their software. While some products have had more sporadic updates, SQL Server has moved to a fairly regular schedule. Not quite a predictable "Patch Tuesday" schedule, but you can count on a CU arriving every month or two for SQL Server. Most people don't patch every month, but slowly customers are getting used to regular patches for SQL Server. Microsoft would prefer you use one of their "evergreen"...


Looking Back at the Decade

Today is the last day of 2019, and the last day of the 2010 decade. I'm still somewhat amazed by the fact that we're entering the 2020s and we still don't really have flying cars. We're well past 2001 and 2010, and still not much space exploration, though the growth in computing power and AI/ML likely accounts for the success of rockets that can take off and land and be used again. I'm still impressed by SpaceX. I'm also thrilled that I got to see the first rocket that landed successfully....


Looking Back at the Year

Just two days left in 2019, and I thought this would be a good day to look back at the year. It's been a busy and long year, but a great one for me. I hope many of you feel the same, but if it's been a hard year, I hope next year is better. I started the year doing more learning for myself and some coaching 13 year old kids at volleyball. Those tasks kept my busy for the first third of the year, and I managed to get through a few books, learn a few skills, and enjoy some time with SQL...


The Best DBA Gifts

It's a few days after Christmas, which many of us celebrate, though there are certainly other holidays that people enjoy. Whatever your beliefs or tradition, this is a time of year when many of you likely received some gifts for the holiday season. Maybe you got something exciting, maybe something highly desired. Maybe you got a big joint gift for you and your partner. My wife and I used to give ourselves something nice that we'd both enjoy. In the past, we'd gotten new furniture for our...


A Dearth of Data

Most of us feel that our data volumes are constantly growing. A lack of data isn't something we worry about, at least not in production. In development, far too many people use sensitive data for developers, which certainly ensures there is enough data, but at a potential increase in liability if the data is mishandled. If we require developers to create their own data, often there is a problem with them not having enough, or certainly not a representative set that helps ensure the software...


Better Protection from Hardware

Microsoft is working on ways to protect your system at an even lower level than the bootloader. Many modern computers have UEFI protection, which allows for security in the boot process, and prevents untrusted code from running. This is intended to ensure that some other boot process cannot run and then invoke your Windows bootloader. This doesn't protect from firmware issues, but Microsoft may have a solution. Working with hardware companies (Intel, AMD), they have a System Guard Secure...


The Evolving DBA

The world is changing. Plenty of people have written about the changes in the job of the DBA (DBAKevlar, Brent Ozar), including myself. While lots of vendors might postulate their database removes the need for a DBA, and some might believe that, I think that's disingenuous. Microsoft doesn't hire DBAs, but they hide that job under other titles. We still need DBAs, though the job changes a little in the future. Recently I saw a post from new PASS Board director, Melody Zacharias, where she...


Finding Your Own Career

Building a career is hard work. It takes time and focus to move along a path that you choose for yourself. What I have seen across a few decades of work is that most people don't bother to find a path, and are happy to wander from job to job, finding new positions or projects when they are forced to do so. As much as I advocate for others to continually learn, there's nothing wrong with wandering randomly through a career, sticking with a job or employer as long as you can. The one thought...


Product Platform Teams

Is infrastructure a product? Should an Ops team start to feel like they are a team involved in building things rather than maintaining them? It's an interesting idea that is put forth in this blog from Forrester. The piece postulates that the Ops group should be thinking like a product team, just like developers working on an application. When a development group moves to a DevOps style of building things, and starts to take some responsibility for the support of their work, what does the...


Data for Defense

It's a dangerous world out there. Many of us hear about data breaches on a regular basis, and we often blame poor security at various organizations. Certainly there are a lot of silly mistakes made, whether in configuration or the mishandling of data in insecure environments. Security is a tough business, however, and most organizations don't have the budget to combat all the threats they face, at least not as effectively as a larger organization could. I have more sympathy for...


What's a forgivable mistake?

Most of us try our best to do the best job they can each day at work. We never try to make mistakes. We might be lazy at times, or avoid some work, but we don't try to do anything incorrectly. We might shortcut something, hoping a partial completion or quick patch is enough to satisfy a requirement, but we don't actively do things incorrectly. At least I hope that's the case for all of you. I assume there are some BOFH people out there, but they are few and far between. Read the rest of ...


Expect the Unexpected with DiRT

Disaster recovery is one of the core tasks that many DBAs think about on a regular basis. Ensuring that we can get our data back online, available, accessible, and intact is important. More than a few DBAs that haven't been able to recover systems, find themselves seeking new employment. That's not to say that most DBAs perform perfectly under pressure. Plenty make mistakes, and there may be times when they can't recover all data. There does seem to be a correlation between how often DBAs...


The Training HSA

Most of us don't get any sort of training budget from our employer. In fact, some of our employers expect us to learn more and get certified on our own time and our own dime. Relatively few of us get to attend a conference that our employer pays for, which is a shame. I think conferences can be exciting and encouraging in helping you drive your career and knowledge forward. This is one reason that Andy Warren and I started SQL Saturday. We wanted to bring the conference experience to many...


The Ransomware Hero

One of the common attacks against many organizations today is ransomware. I'm constantly surprised when I see friends and they tell me they've been attacked, but the incident never made the news. I think many people would be upset with businesses if they knew the extent of attacks, but I also think that this would force more organizations to implement better security if shareholders and customers were aware of the incidents. This might even get employees and others to be more careful about...


The 2019 Techie Gifts

It's Black Friday in the US, and I assume, most of the world. With the advent of so many online options, I'm not sure how big a day this is for many people, but there certainly are many deals from local retailers. While I do like to buy local, I don't plan on doing any shopping today. It's just too crowded and busy for me. Likely a day of chores around the ranch for me. There have been a number of Black Friday deals already going on for days. Brent Ozar has had a sale on training all...


The Pyramid of Data

Data is an important part of our world, and arguably the most important asset in computing. All the rest of the devices, platforms, and technologies we use are designed to work with data, by manipulating, storing, accessing, and presenting data in new ways. We need devices and operating systems to host software, and applications to work with data, but the data is the key to fuel for every engine. I see there being a pyramid of data, with various technologies that are used to store and work...