I am going to Seattle I once again attend SQLPASS this year. This will be my fourth SQLPASS. Lots of people ask me why I am going to SQLPASS every year. Well there are so many different reasons for that. I go to SQLPASS because – I love it!
Here are few of the reasons I go to SQLPASS.
Meet friends whom I have never met before
Meet community at large – it is fun to hang around with like minded people
Meet Rick Morelan – my book co-author and friend
Attend various SQL Parties – there are so many parties around – see the list below
Explore various new tools from various third party vendors
Meet fellow Chapter Leaders and Regional Mentors
And of course attend SQL Server Learning Sessions from industry known experts.
The three-day event will be marked by a lot of learning, sharing, and networking, which will help me increase both my knowledge and contacts. PASS Summit provides me a golden opportunity to build my network as well as to identify and meet potential customers or employees. If I am a consultant or vendor who is looking for better career opportunities, PASS Summit is the perfect platform to meet and show my skills to my new potential customers and employers. Further, breakfasts, lunches, and evening receptions, which are included with registration, are meant to provide more and more networking opportunities.
At PASS Summit, I gain not only new ideas but also inspire myself from top professionals and experts. Learning new things about SQL Server, interacting with different kinds of professionals, and sharing issues and solutions will definitely improve my understanding and turn me into a better SQL Server professional who can leverage and optimize SQL Server to improve business.
Six years ago, I started this SQLAuthority.com blog. There are so many things I want to say today – it is very very emotional. Instead of writing long I am including few images and cartoons.
Last month we have also reached 50 Million Total Views on this blog. Here is the screen captured at that time.
Click Image to Enlarge
In 6 years there are total 2192 days (including 2 leap year day) and my total blog post count is 2300. That means I have been blogging more than 1 blog post every day. Here is the quick glance to all the numbers.
I am very glad to see my many of the friends stay in USA, India, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia in that order. You can see the geographic distribution of the support I receive on the blog from worldwide.
On this day I would like to call out one 2 individuals who contribute equally or more in my success. When I started this blog 6 years ago, I was walking alone. After 2 years my wife Nupur joined my journey and 3 years later my daughter Shaivi joined the journey. Here is the example of the common conversation among us almost every day –
Shaivi: Daddy, play catch-catch. Nupur:Shaivi, daddy will play with you once he finishes tomorrow’s blog. Shaivi: Daddy, Finish Blog. Okey. I play catch-catch (alone).
Here are few of the sample questions I get every day?
“Give me shortcut to become superstar?”
“How do I become like you?”
“Which book I should read so I know everything?”
“Can you share your secret to be successful? I want to know it but do not share with others.”
There is generic answer I always give is to work hard and read good educational material or watch good online videos.
One of the emails really caught my attention. It was from a friend and SQL Server Expert John Sansom (Blog | Twitter). He wrote if I would like to share my story with the world about “Who I am and How I got Here”. I was very much intrigued with his suggestion. John is one guy I respect a lot. Every single topic he writes, I read it with dedication. I eagerly wait for his Weekly Summary of Best SQL Links. If you have not read them, you are missing something out.
Writing a guest post for him was like walking in memory lane. I remembered the time when I was beginning my career and I was bit overconfident and bit naive. I had my share of mistakes when I started my career. As time passed by I realize the truth. Well, we all do mistakes. Though, I am proud that as soon as I know my mistakes I corrected them. I never acted on impulse or when I am angry. I think that alone has helped me analysis the situation better and become better human being. During the course, I have lost my ego and it is replaced by passion. I am much more happy and successful in my work.
Quite often people ask me if I am always online and wether I have family or not. Honestly, I am able to work hard because of my family. They support me and they encourage me to be enjoy in what I do. They support everything I do and personally, I do not miss a single occasion to join them in daily chores of fun.
If there was a shortcut to success – I want know. I learnt SQL Server hard way and I am still learning. There are so many things, I have to learn. There is not enough time to learn everything which we want to learn. I am constantly working on it every day. I welcome you to join my journey as well. Please join me with my journey to learn SQL Server – more the merrier.
I have written a story of my life as a guest post.
One of the most popular quotes is: A picture is worth a thousand words. Working on this concept I started a series over my blog called the “Picture Post”. Rather than rambling over tons of material over text, we are trying to give you a capsule mode of the blog in a quick glance. Some of the picture posts already available over my blog are:
Correlation of Ego and Work: Ego and Pride most of the times become a hindrance when we work inside a team. Take this cue, the first ever Picture post was published. Simple and easy to understand concept. Would want to say, Ego is the biggest enemy to humans. Read Original Post.
Success (Perception Vs Reality): Personally, have always thought success is not something the talented achieve with the opportunity presented to them, but success is developed using the opportunity in hand now. In this fast paced world where success is pre-defined and convoluted by metrics it is hard to understand how complex it can sometimes be. So I took a stab at this concept in a simple way. Read Original Post.
Doing Vs Saying: As Einstein would describe, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Given the amount of information we get, it is difficult to keep track, learn and implement the same. If you were ever reminded of your college days, there will always be 5-6 people doing different things and we naturally try to emulate what they are doing. This could be from competitive exams GMAT, GRE, CAT, Higher-Ed, B-School hunting etc. Rather than saying you are going to do, it is best to do and then say!!! Read Original Picture Post.
Your View Vs Management View: Being in the corporate world can be really demanding and we keep asking this question – “Why me?” when the performance appraisal process ends. In this post I just want to ask you one frank opinion – “Are you really self-critical in your assessments?”. If that is the case there shouldn’t be any heartburns or surprises. If you had just one thing to take back, well forget what others are getting but invest time in making yourself better because that is going to take you longer and further in your career.Read Picture Post.
Blogging lifecycle for majority: I am happy and fortunate to be in this blog post because this picture post surely doesn’t apply to SQLAuthority where consistency and persistence have been the hallmark of the blog. For the majority others, who have a tendency to start a blog, get into slumber for a while and write saying they want to get back to blogging, the picture post was specifically done for them.
Paradox of being someone else: It is always a dream that we want to become somebody and in this process of doing so, we become nobody. In this constant tussle of lost identity we forget to enjoy the moment that is in front of us. I just depicted this using a simple analogy of our constant struggle to get to the other side, just to realize we missed the wonderful moments. Grass is not greener on the other side, but grass is greener where we water the surface.Read Picture Post.
After thinking a long time, I have decided to write about this blog post. I had no plan to create a blog post about this subject but the amount of conversation this one has created on my Facebook page, I decided to bring up a few of the question and concerns discussed on the Facebook page. There are more than 10,000 comments here so far.
There are lots of discussion about what should be the answer. Well, as far as I can tell there is a big debate going on on Facebook, for educational purpose you should go ahead and read some of the comments. They are very interesting and for sure teach some new stuff. Even though some of the comments are clearly wrong they have made some good points and I believe it for sure develops some logic. Here is my take on this subject. I believe the answer is 9 as I follow PEMDAS Order of Operation. PEMDAS stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. PEMDAS is commonly known as BODMAS in India. BODMAS stands for Brackets, Orders (ie Powers and Square Roots, etc), Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. PEMDAS and BODMAS are almost same and both of them follow the operation order from LEFT to RIGHT.
Let us try to simplify above statement using the PEMDAS or BODMAS (whatever you prefer to call).
Step 1: 6 ÷ 2 (1+2) (parentheses first) Step 2: = 6 ÷ 2 * (1+2) (adding multiplication sign for further clarification) Step 3: = 6 ÷ 2* (3) (single digit in parentheses – simplify using operator) Step 4: = 6 ÷ 2 * 3 (Remember next Operation should be LEFT to RIGHT) Step 5: = 3 * 3 (because 6 ÷ 2 = 3; remember LEFT to RIGHT) Step 6: = 9 (final answer)
Some often find Step 4 confusing and often ended up multiplying 2 and 3 resulting Step 5 to be 6 ÷ 6, this is incorrect because in this case we did not follow the order of LEFT to RIGHT. When we do not follow the order of operation from LEFT to RIGHT we end up with the answer 1 which is incorrect.
Let us see what SQL Server returns as a result.
I executed following statement in SQL Server Management Studio
It is clear that SQL Server also thinks that the answer should be 9.
Let us go ahead and ask Google what will be the answer of above question in Google I have searched for the following term: 6/2(1+2)
The result also says the answer should be 9.
If you want a further reference here is a great video which describes why the answer should be 9 and not 1.
Well, now what is your take on this subject? You are welcome to share constructive feedback and your answer may be different from my answer.
NOTE: A healthy conversation about this subject is indeed encouraged but if there is a single bad word or comment is flaming it will be deleted without any notification (it does not matter how valuable information it contains).
About a year ago, I experienced a very proud moment. I published my second book, SQL Server Wait Stats, also acting as its primary author. It has been a long journey since then. The book received a generally great response and it has been widely accepted in the Community ever since its release. It was actually a first-of-its-kind book written to concentrate on the subject of Wait Stats and Performance. The book was based from my month-long blog series about the same subject, SQL Server Wait Stats. Today’s the first anniversary of the book, and lots of things come to my mind. Let me share a few here.
Idea behind Blog Series
A very common question I receive is why I wrote a 30 day series on Wait Stats. There were two reasons behind this series:
1) I have been working with SQL Server for a long time now and have troubleshoot more than hundreds of SQL servers which are related to performance tuning. It was a great experience and it taught me a lot of new things. I always documented my experience. After a while I found that I was able to rely completely on my own notes when I had to troubleshoot any server. It is right then that I decided to document my experience for the Community.
2) While working with Wait Stats, there were a few things which I thought I knew well enough since they were working. However, there was always a fear in the back of mind about what happens if what I believed was incorrect and I was on the wrong path all the time. There was only one way to get my belief validated -put it out in front of all the Community with my understanding and request further help to improve my understanding. And it worked – it worked beautifully. I received plenty of conversations, emails and comments. I refined my content based on the various conversations with others and made my understanding more relevant and accurate.
I guess that these two are the major reasons for beginning my journey on writing Wait Stats blog series.
Idea behind Book
After writing a blog series there was a good amount of request from my readers saying that I should convert the series into an eBook or a hardcopy. They said that reading the blog posts is great, but it does not give a comprehensive understanding of the subject as much as a book does. The most common feedback from users who were beginning to study the subject was that they prefer to read all about Wait Stats in a structured method. After receiving the same feedbacks for more than 4 months, I decided to write a book based on the blog posts. When I envisioned the book, I wanted to make sure that this book would address the Wait Stats concepts from the fundamentals and fill the gaps on the blog posts I wrote earlier.
Rick Morelan and Joes 2 Pros Team
I must acknowledge my co-author Rick Morelan for his unconditional support in writing this book. I had already authored one book before I published this book. The experience to write the book was out of the world. Writing blog posts are much much easier than writing books. The efforts it takes to write a book is 100 times more even though the content is ready. I could have not done it myself if it wasn’t for the tremendous support of my co-author as well as my editor’s team. We spend days and days researching and discussing various concepts that were to be covered in the book. When we were in doubt, we reached out to experts to improve the content, and also did a practical reproduction of the scenarios to validate the concepts and claims. After 3 months of continuous hard work, we were able to get this book published into the Community.
September 1st – the lucky day
Well, we had to select any day to publish the books. When the book was completed in the last week of August, we felt very glad. Every time my books are published, I feel the same joy which I had when my daughter was born. The feeling of holding a new book on my hand feels (almost) the same as holding newborn baby. I was excited. For me, September 1st was (and has always been) the luckiest day of my life.
My daughter Shaivi was born on September 1st. Since then, every September first has been a special day for me, and has always taken me to the next step in life. I believe anything and everything I do on September 1st is turning out to be successful and blessed.
Rick and I had finished a book in the last week of August. We sent it to the publisher (printer) and asked him to publish the book as soon as possible. We did not decide on any date as we wanted the book to get out as fast as it can. Interestingly, the publisher/printer selected September 1st for publishing the book. Because it was published on 1st September, I got a feeling that this book would reach the next level.
Book Model – The Most Beautiful Girl
We were done with book. We had no budget left for marketing. Rick and I had a long conversation about how to spread the word for the book so it can reach as many people as it can. While we were talking about marketing Rick come up with the idea that we should hire the most beautiful girl around who acknowledges our book and genuinely cares for the book.
I am a father and the most beautiful girl for me is my daughter. This was not a difficult task for me. Rick had given me the task to find the most beautiful girl and I just could not think of anyone else than my own daughter. I still do not know what Rick thought about this idea but I had already made up my mind. You can see the detailed blog posthere.
The Fun Experiments
Book Signing Event
We had lots of fun moments along this book. Actually, we have given away more books to people for free than we have sold them. We went through book signing events, contests, and just plain give away events when we found out that more people could benefit from this book. There was never an intention to make money and get rich. We just wanted to see more and more people learning about this new concept and learn from it. Today when I look back at the earnings in dollars, there’s nothing much really. However, the best reward we received has been the relentless satisfaction and love of community. The amount of emails, conversations we have received for this book is over thousands as of the moment.
We had fun writing this book; it was indeed a very satisfying journey. I have earned lots of friends while learning and exploring.
The book is one year old, but the content is still very relevant when it comes to performance tuning. It is available at various online book stores. If you have read the book, please let me know what you think of it.
Before I say anything I suggest all of you watch the following video. Make sure that you pay special attention after 0 minute and 36 seconds.
What I can say about this. I am just fortunate to be part of the history in the making. There are more than 53 super cool celebrities in this video. In this just over 3 minute video there are so many story lines. I must congratulate director Megan and creative assistant Mari for excellent work.
There are so many fun moments in this small video. Let me list my top five moments.
@John_Papa ‘s dance at second 14
@julielerman playing with cute doggy
The RACE between @josepheames and @bruthafish – the end is hilarious
The black belt moment by @boedie
@stwool relaxing on something strange!
Well, this is indeed a great short film. This video demonstrates how cool is the culture of Pluralsight and how fun loving they are. A good organization provides an environment to its employees and partners to have maximum fun while they all become part of the success story. Hats off to Aaron Skonnard for producing this fun loving video. Well, after listening to this song for multiple times, I decided to give a call to Pluralsight. If you want, you can call them at +1 (801) 784-9032 or send an email to james-cole at pluralsight.com .
What are your top five favorite moments? List it in comments and you may win Pluralsight subscription.
33 is an interesting number. There are two 3’s in this number. Curiously, I looked it up in Wikipedia and found out that there is plenty of information about this number. Let me quote a few statements from Wikipedia here.
“33 is the largest positive integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers.”
“The sum of the first four positive factorials is 33.”
When I was a kid , I had a dream of becoming an author. I attempted to achieve my dream in a variety of ways – I wrote poems, short stories, technical content, project documentations, company coding standards, blog posts and so many other things. However, I have always dreamed to write a book. A single book which I can be proud of and feel good about.
Well, it took me all these years for my dream to come true. As I said, I never gave up on my dream and I kept on working hard to get my dream come true. However, the dream took its own time and finally got released last year. In the last 365 days, I have published 3 books. It is a matter of great satisfaction that all the three books have been well-received in the Community and the rest of the tech audience. I must thank my co-authors Rick Morelan and Vinod Kumar for their contributions in my books.
Books I Authored in Last One Year
I acknowledge my co-author and book mentor Rick Morelan who is not only a top-rated SQL Server expert but also a great friend. Without his support and guidance, I believe that I wouldn’t be able to write a single book.
This was my first book and I had a great experience writing it. Rick Morelan is great co-author and he taught me so many things. The very first thing he did was to help me understand the process of writing a book from the beginning. He held my hand and guided me to write this book and after a while OUR book was out and my dream finally came true. This book focuses on learning basics of SQL Server for starters.
Performance tuning is my dearest subject of all time. SQL Server Wait Statistics has been a very interesting subject, but not frequently explored. I decided to write a 30-day blog series about this subject. My goal then was to learn more about it myself. While I wrote this series, I was personally spending 24 hours everyday just to delve deeper into this subject. When I felt I have sufficient learning experience, I compiled them in an organized manner through this book. I must thank all of you for loving it and providing your support to my second writing piece.
UPDATE: If you are going to SQLSaturday #158 New York and attend Rick Morelan‘s session (Track 8 – Session 1), you will have a chance to receive one of the give aways – a few copies of this book in his session. Send me an email (pinal at sqlauthority.com). If you are one of the first 10 persons, I will reply to you and you can get the books from Rick during his session.
When I go into the industry, I often observe that newly hired developers and DBA struggle to do their job. The common problem is that they had no idea what the job required and the employer also had no idea on how to validate their knowledge. The catch 22 is a very cruel and crucial situation and it should be avoided at any cost. Now the biggest comment I have received from people is that they do not know exactly what to learn. To ignite learning and guide the new learner, this book was created. It is indeed a great reference to refresh one’s memories.
Video Courses I Authored in Last One Year
I acknowledge my co-author Vinod Kumar who is not only top rated SQL Server Expert but a great friend as well while building this video course.
The experience of building this course was fantastic. As I mentioned earlier, performance tuning is my favorite subject. For so many years, I have been working on this subject for my entire career. I included almost all the tricks I know in this single course. I personally liked it and encourage anybody who wants to learn performance tuning to share the learning along with me. Building and authoring this course have given me tremendous satisfaction.
Indexing has confused more people than it has ever helped. I have seen lots of people creating index when what they really need is to reduce the number of the indexing in their system. The whole focus behind this course was to build a course which explains indexes in the practical lights. There is enough information out in the world which helps developers understand what is indexes but does not help them understand how to use it practically and appropriately. Indexing is an art and it should be treated as one. In this course, I have taken a practical approach where performance and indexes are kept in the focus.
This was my first video course and it was based on my latest book. When we were building this course, we wanted to make it interesting. We decided to come up with Questions and Answers format of the course. In this course every module begins with Question and the same follows up with answers. We made sure that each section is like a capsule, bringing good learning experience to every watcher. We have received a very positive response from the audience. Until now, we have a constant demand of such a similar course. While you wait for more, you can visit our SQL in a Sixty Seconds Series.
Today when I look back, I feel proud on every single minute I have spent on building educational materials. It is extremely satisfying; I feel that it has been the best year of my life. When I re-read this blog post, I think I have already got my birthday gift.
When our SQL Server Interview Questions and Answers book got published I ran to my grandma with a copy of the book for her blessings. Well, just like every grandma, she loves me, her grandson, unconditionally. She is not into the technology domain (obviously), but she loved the book. She read the first few pages where I was mentioned and read about my co-author Vinod Kumar. After reading the introduction she looked at me and said “When I was young we used to read books, now all those good books are converted into the movies, when do you think this book will be converted into a movie?“
Silence. A very long silence.
I just could not answer her right away. As a matter of fact, I went into a deep thought. I never thought that she could actually ask me such question. It may be a very simple question, but I felt that it was very important to me. I was just stunned and speechless. I returned home from my grandma’s place, with her blessings and an interesting thought of a “Movie from the Book”. I just could not get this out of my mind.
Jan 24, 2012 – Movie from Book
I talked to my grandma very often, but since the last conversation my wife called her often and I did not talk to her at all. There was no reason to talk to her maybe because I constantly felt that she is with me. Her blessings were with me. I could not get her question out of my mind, still. I was extremely motivated and inspired from my last conversation with her. I called her early morning on January 24. Her very first questions were how I was doing and how was her great granddaughter. I told her that regarding our last conversation, there is actually a movie which is inspired from the book. Her very first reaction was that she knew this would happen as she was confident that my book would reach milestones. We talked for long hours.
Today – Fast Forward
Well, the book was an inspiration for the course, but the video course was developed using totally different angle. We made sure that we’d take the broader idea from the book but wanted present something unique and novel. Vinod Kumar and I thought about it for a long time. We wanted to decide on the format of our course. We spent hours talking about the course – how we could make it unique and give a different experience to every attendee. We wanted to keep the subject light enough to digest, yet deep enough to satisfy everyone’s learning eagerness. After spending some days and efforts for the preparation of the unique content and exceptional demos, the course has become a reality for us.
This course is designed to help you have a better understanding on how to use SQL Server effectively. The course presents many of the common misconceptions about SQL Server, and then carefully debunks those misconceptions with clear explanations and short but compelling demos, showing you how SQL Server really works. This course is for anyone who works in SQL Server databases, and basically for those who want to improve their knowledge and understanding of this complex platform.
In this course, each topic starts with a question and ends with an answer which is supplemented with a demo. Every question has an exercise file and a demo associated with it. Additionally, in the very last session, we have covered lots of SSMS tips and tricks. Here are the topics we have covered in this course:
Retrieving IDENTITY value using @@IDENTITY
Concepts Related to Identity Values
Difference between WHERE and HAVING
Order in WHERE clause
Concepts Around Temporary Tables and Table Variables
Are stored procedures pre-compiled?
UNIQUE INDEX and NULLs problem
DELETE VS TRUNCATE
Locks and Duration of Transactions
Nested Transaction and Rollback
Understanding Date/Time Datatypes
Differences between VARCHAR and NVARCHAR datatypes
Precedence of DENY and GRANT security permissions
Identify Blocking Process
NULLS usage with Dynamic SQL
Appendix Tips and Tricks with Tools
Today we are very happy that our course is out. The journey from the book to the Training Course took 80 days and the experience was wonderful. In a future post, I will share the experience of writing book and building the training course.
In the end, we just want to thank YOU, our dear reader, who made this experience possible.
SQLSaturday 116 is now only 3 days away. SQL Saturday is FREE event all the attendees and 100% SQL community driven. This is very first SQL Saturday in India and I am very much excited that I will be speaking at this event on my favorite subject of SQL Server Performance Tuning. I have so far delivered 100s of presentation on this subject but this subject never gets old and I never ran out of new tips and tricks.
I suggest you mark your calender right now and present at the hall before time to secure your seat.
SQL Server Performance Tips and Tricks
In this session we will go over various SQL Server Performance Tuning Tricks and Tips. Learn about top tips and best SQL Server performance practices related to:
Importance of Statistics
Index Maintenance Scripts
A Surprise Secret Tip
January 7, 2012 1:30 PM
I will ask 5 questions during my session and needless to say 5 winners will get copy of my book.
The session will be 100% demo oriented and I will share lots of tips and tricks during this session. Just like every other session of mine, this session will have lots of trivia for you as well it will be extremely interactive. If you prefer to stay quite during the session, this session will a perfect technology opener for you. Once you are in the session – you will be talking and discussion various aspect of performance along with your co-attendees and me.
Additionally, I am personally waiting for the sessions of Rick Morelan who is founder of Joes 2 Pros series. Do not miss any of the sessions of SQL Saturday – here is the complete schedule.