Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Un-SQL Friday 001 – Branding & Bunny Murder

November 19th, 2010

Jen McCown in her SQL Awesomesauce blog today raised the challenge for us to wax poetic on the topic of ‘branding’ for the ceremonious very first Un-SQL Friday. I’m sure more will follow as the day progresses, but as of now, I’ve seen only two fellow bloggers chiming in; Andy Leonard & Thomas LaRock. Well, here’s my two cents on this very interesting topic.

Those six of you who come here and also follow me on Twitter, may be already aware of my appreciation for the musings of Seth Godin. While I’ve never been employed in any formal capacity as a marketer, I’ve recently had quite an internal debate over branding; and specifically my own. As he often does, Seth puts it quite succinctly:

Take the time and money and effort you'd put into an expensive logo and put them into creating a product and experience and story that people remember instead.

And while a free Twitter account and a $4.99 monthly investment to Go-Daddy for this blog don’t necessarily qualify as “money and effort” or an “expensive logo”, on my smaller scale, the decision to brand myself as the Grateful DBA ultimately comes down to just what Seth preaches. Who are you and what do you want to be known for? What does your brand say about you? And maybe most importantly, what will your brand say about you in the future? We live in an electronic age; nothing goes away forever anymore. Those familiar with the saga of our poor friend “@SQLTech2” on Twitter can certainly attest to this.

On the most basic level, we need to think about whether we should spend effort and time with a brand that may or may not even be appropriate one, two, or even 10 years down the line. While for the foreseeable future I see myself continuing in my career as a SQL Server DBA, who knows what next year may hold. Maybe I’ll move into a developer role sometime again; perhaps not even with good ol’ T-SQL, maybe even C#, Java, or who know what. Similarly, what if in the future it comes out that Jerry Garcia was the owner of a international consortium of bunny-killers? Well, I may have to seriously reconsider being associated with such a character. Well, maybe not, bunnies CAN get pretty vicious you know…

We also have to consider if people are even going to understand what your brand means, right? It occurs to me that perhaps in some third-world corner of the globe, they’ve never even heard of the Grateful Dead. Blastphemy…I know! But let’s play make believe then. The next question when they hit my site via a Bing search is of course, “what the heck is he all grateful about?” I concede this possibility tongue-in-cheek, but it’s a real issue to consider.

Once your audience knows what your brand means/refers to, what connotations does that carry with it? Are these connections something you wish to carry with you? Who would you rather do business with, “The #1 Microsoft DBA 5-years Running” or “The Crackhead DBA”?? Impressions before knowledge is dangerous territory, but unfortunately reality as well. By the way, the first guy was just arrested for embezzlement and is a polygamist. The second gal’s actual given name is “Crackhead”; don’t blame her, it’s mom & dad’s fault.

Ultimately, what it came down for me was that I’m not ashamed in any way to be associated with the band and people that have meant so much to me in the last 20 years of my life. Whereas some may carry the notion with them that the Dead are only about sex, drugs, & rock-n-roll; any truly informed person knows the band was about peace, order, & caring for your fellow man. None of those are EVER anything to be embarrassed about. So, the decision to brand myself “The Grateful DBA” was made quite easily. The band, it’s scene, & followers have actually MADE me what I am today; a more-than-competent DBA and a valued contributor to the SQL community and the world in general.

So, what does your brand say about you?

Have a Grateful day…Troy

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Posted in Branding, Grateful Dead | Comments (2)

What NOT To Do. True SQL Confessions.

February 24th, 2010

I just love irony…
Irony

Flipping through the channel guide last night and I came across TLC’s What Not to Wear. Reminded me of the hilarious meme floating around the SQL Twitter community yesterday regarding SQL confessions. Basically, we were “baring our soul” and confessing to committing some of the cardinal of database sins. And while the conversation was 110% tongue-in-cheek, it occurred to me that just like the yentas on TLC telling you what not to wear, this thread is in essence an excellent guide on what NOT to do with SQL. Seriously, here we have some of the best SQL minds in the world not only having a blast and amusing the crap out of anyone following the hashtag, but also teaching us valuable lessons. Albeit in a backwards offhanded manner, but nonetheless I see a tremendous amount of wisdom if one can remember to look at it correctly.

So, I repost just a small percentage of the wackiness that ensued yesterday with a few stipulations. First and MOST IMPORTANT; this is not a list of advice from me. PLEASE don’t go running into the IT Director’s office and insist all your company’s clients databases get converted to Access, just because the Grateful DBA posted it. But…maybe it will get you to think once or twice when a client is starting to hint that maybe they’d prefer an Access solution because they’ve already forked out coin for Office.

Second, while I’m all for giving credit where credit is due…99% of the time, I think this may be the exception to the rule. While this is all in good fun, I shudder at the thought of some lazy slob happening upon this blog and seeing a highly respected MVP’s name next to something outrageously ridiculous and taking it out of context. To avoid any possibility of that, I’m not including any author names here. Understand these are all “overheards,” and only a couple of them were written by myself. If you’re truly industrious I suppose you could do Twitter searches for the phrases below and determine who wrote them. If you do, I say you have too much time on your hands.

So, enjoy this list of true SQL confessions. And like I stated, while these are all meant as jokes, I honestly believe there’s a lot to be gained by slapping on the ol’ irony glasses and examining exactly what they’re trying to tell you.

  • “I shrunk a database last week.”
  • “I ran DBCC CHECKDB in production without telling anyone.”
  • “I go in the server room and pull random wires as soon as I go off call.”
  • “I sneak cursors into others’ code.”
  • “I have a production account whose username and password are the same.”
  • “I have tlogs on RAID 5.”
  • “My sa password is sa.”
  • “A query I wrote yesterday not only uses dynamic sql but in a loop executing it hundreds of times.”
  • “I’ve made developers sysadmin in production so they could push code changes without testing them.”
  • “I used rollback within a trigger.”
  • “I eat bacon 3 meals a day.”
  • “I sometimes do exactly the thing I tell you not to in my blogs.”
  • “I run CHECKPOINT every 2 seconds.”
  • “I used a cross join to fill a table variable.”
  • “When my tempdb drive fills up, I hook up a USB drive and create a new tempdb file there.”
  • “I randomly kill other people’s queries, just to make my day interesting.”
  • “I’ve turned off database mirroring on all production sql servers as a quick fix for performance issues.”
  • “I’m not really a DBA…but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”
  • “I am not a DBA, but I sleep with one.
  • “I don’t enforce refferential integrity . Chaos is much more fun.”
  • “I play Lady Gaga without remorse before presentations now.” (Breaking my rule; giving @SQLChicken credit for this one)
  • “I’ve given a developer db_owner just to shut them up.”
  • “I like clustered GUIDs. They make it really easy to speed up a database. By unclustering them.”
  • “I tried installing SQL 2008 on Microsoft Bob.”

Have a Grateful day…Troy

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Posted in Best Practices | Comments (3)

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