July 2011 Blog Posts

The Tipping Point - DISTINCT Causes Timeouts

Everything worked fine for the last six years…and then today we hit the tipping point.  I lost many hours today due to the misuse of DISTINCT which was the root cause of timeout errors in our web application. In one of my most frequently read posts, Why I Hate Distinct, I talk about how this SQL keyword is often abused by SQL developers who are just trying to get their job done, but don’t know enough about either the SQL language or the data architecture to really do it right.  Now, I realize that in the development world (of...

Interview Tip: Do Some Basic Research

A lot of job candidates out there are wondering how they can set themselves apart from the crowd and increase the odds of landing the job they want.  Well here’s a really easy way… Do your basic research and due diligence on the prospective employer before your first interview.  This is good practice whether you’re looking for full-time employment or just a little contract work.  Show the interviewer that you are at least interested enough in the work to hit a search engine or two. I have conducted numerous interviews for application and database developers over the past...

Regaining SysAdmin Access after a Lockout

Today I had to find a way to regain SysAdmin access to an instance of SQL Server when I technically had no permissions.  Here is how I did that. Every developer on my team is setup to be able to work 100% stand-alone.  That is, they have everything on their local machine, including a recent copy of the database, to do all their work even if the network goes down, which it used to do on occasion.  For SQL Server development, each has a copy of SQL Server 2008 R2 Developer Edition installed, and it was one of these...