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Lessons learned by a time travelling SQL Server DBA – Part Three “The Present”

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To try something new, I thought for a few blog posts I would write a fictional tale about lessons learned by a time travelling SQL Server DBA. Because at the start of a new year people tend to look into the past and the future.

I decided it would be a good idea to cover some topics in a different way. In addition, there’s some important points I will share towards the end of the series.

In case you missed them you can read the first two parts by clicking the links below:

Return to normality

Our DBA woke to hear his regular alarm going off. He was now thinking all sorts after what he had witnessed recently. He was questioning what exactly had been happening?

In addition, he was beginning to question his sanity, and what today was going to bring him. He arrived at the station what condition the train was going to be in today. For example, was it going to be an extremely fast train or a steam engine?

Anyway, the train turned up in its expected quality. It was late as usual. However, he still arrived at the new office on time.

Once in the office he was greeted by a new colleague. Who looked like a younger version of the new boss who he was on due to meet in the future. After the initial surprise he was given a tour of his new working environment.

Looking around there appeared to be other faces that seemed familiar. In fact, the layout of the office seemed very familiar to him as well.

After meeting a few more people and a few apologies about his induction he seemed fine with everything.


During his first day one of his new colleagues asked him about some documentation from a vendor. Because it mentioned extents and logical scan fragmentation.

Remembering his experiences from the past, our DBA told them that it was the results of using DBCC SHOWCONTIG. In addition, he told them that they should ask their vendor to update their documentation because things have changed.

Afterwards, he helped another colleague modernise an old Log Shipping setup so that use the native compression.

Another of his colleagues asked if he could help setup Big Data Clusters. To their surprise, he was able to help with ease. In addition, he was able to explain its workings in detail to his new colleague.


Later that day his new boss asked him to join a meeting. During the meeting they discussed how they were going to move forwards in adopting DevOps.

Because our DBA was new to the team the boss asked him his opinion. Mostly because it was always good to get a view from somebody with a fresh pair of eyes.

Remembering what he had gone through during his adventure in the future he gave them some very interesting insights.

He discussed in detail a lot of things that they could do to introduce DevOps. For example, getting everybody throughout the entire team to use version control and implementing deployment pipelines.

In addition, he went through the advantages of creating deployment pipelines. Detailing all the tests they could put in it and the other ideas behind it.

End of the day

By the end of the day his enthusiasm had grown, and he was a lot happier. His colleagues were amazed at how confident he seemed on his first day.

Of course, they had no idea that whilst he was in the future he had looked on a popular networking site. He had seen that his colleague who had greeted him today would become the boss eventually.

In addition, he had also seen the face of the person who had the drive and vision to implement DevOps at that company and had gone on to do bigger things. For it was none other than himself.

The end


I hope you have enjoyed this experimental series of posts. I wanted to write ‘Lessons learned by a time travelling SQL Server DBA’ to get some important points across.

My main point was that to work with SQL Server at the moment it helps to look both backwards and forwards.

Using you experience can help you solve a lot of issues that occur. For example, the results of DBCC SHOWCONTIG actually came up as a question on the popular SQLHelp hashtag on Twitter a while back.

However, the role of the SQL Server DBA is changing. Which means that you have to have an awareness of newer methods and technologies. For example, Azure related technologies and implementing DevOps.


I’ve put resources into the previous posts. However, there are others I will recommend here.

For all the DMV’s I have mentioned, you can view them in SQL Server documentation online.

You can find out more about SQL Server related resources by watching a video I made last year here. It’s got a Christmas theme at the beginning. However, it will give you the introduction details that you need.

In addition, it shows you how you can create a Big Data Cluster yourself using Azure Data Studio. Which brings me nicely to the fact that I previously posted about Big Data Cluster learning resources, which you can read in detail here.

Alternatively, you can read the post for it in detail here.

Now, there are many DevOps resources available depending on your budget.

For example, you can buy books like ‘The Phoenix Project‘ and ‘The DevOps Handbook’. I have only put these links here, so you know you have the right books. Please shop around to find the best deal for yourself.

In addition, there are plenty of free videos you can find online. For instance, if looking to use Azure DevOps just type it into your friendly search engine.


Another way to discover more is to attend sessions about these topics at conferences. In fact, if you’ve enjoyed me using some imagination I actually have some sessions coming up at some conferences myself.

For instance, on 1st February I am co-presenting a session with Sander Stad called Azure DevOps Duet at SQL Saturday Edinburgh. Which, as you can probably guess is about Azure DevOps and is presented in a new way.

In addition, I am presenting my original Database Adventure session later that day. Which is my original adventure-based session that I have been presenting around Europe for the last couple of years.

In fact, a lot of sessions cover topics relating to this series at that event and you can find out more here. I’m hoping to present at other events this year so I will keep people who read my posts updated.

Final word

I hope you have all enjoyed my ‘Lessons learned by a time travelling SQL Server DBA’ series of posts. Because I certainly enjoyed writing them.

I have to admit, I found using my imagination to discuss the possibilities of the future was fun. In fact, there was a lot of material that did not make it to the final posts for various reasons.

Of course, the overall aim of them was to get my point across about having a healthy balance of keeping your knowledge from the past and looking at future trends.

With this in mind, I am interested in knowing people’s thoughts on the content in this series and the format. So please feel free to leave a comment.

Lessons learned by a time travelling SQL Server DBA - Part Three "The Present"
Published inAzure DevOpsFood for thought


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