T-SQL Tuesday: A Day in the Life

July 2012 is the thirty-second installation of T-SQL Tuesday – wow that’s a lot! I can still remember reading posts that were part of the first one…

This month’s topic comes from Erin Stellato (blog | @erinstellato), the newest employee of SQLskills (congrats Erin!!) She’s asking us to track what we do for a day and then write about it – what a nifty idea! Here’s what my workday looked like on Tuesday, July 10:

4:45am Up and at ‘em!

5:15am Out the door. I try to ride my bike to the train station whenever possible because
-it’s great exercise
-I'm cheap and will gladly ride my bike to avoid paying for parking.

5:40am On the train.

6:30am On the bus. I usually walk from the train station to my office (about 2.5 miles) but decided to be lazy today.

6:50am At the office.

7:05am Check emails, review SQL Server error logs & audit reports.

7:30am Prioritize my tasks for the day in Remember The Milk. It's by far the best task management system I've ever used.

7:45am Launch blog post on Eight Ways To Avoid Retaining Top Talent.

8:15am Put on pants. I like to wear shorts when biking to the train or walking to the office, so I do work for the first bit of my day in comfort before changing into pants.

8:20am Explain options to improve overall database speed to one of our internal clients. They have lots of room for improvement, but a great first step would be for them to create a filegroup with multiple files – the wait stats on their machine seem to indicate this is an issue.

9:10am Fix an issue with an SSIS package. When external data changes and you don't know about it, hilarity will ensue :)

9:30am Apply a patch for some vendor software we use.

10:00am Start a test restore of a backup from a randomly selected database. There's no better way to know that your backups are good than to actually restore them. I try to perform restore tests on a few randomly-selected backups each week, and hope to find time to automate this sometime soon.

10:05am Respond to emails.

10:35am Twitter conversation on Microsoft Management Console.

10:45am Discussion on indexes and how the query optimizer will select the narrowest index that can satisfy a query. Showed devs how even though the optimizer's choice of index was different than theirs, the performance is way better.

11:30am Eat lunch & watch Brent Ozar PLF webcast on SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn Availability Groups.

12:00pm Talk with the newest member of our team about query plans and introduce them to SQL Sentry Plan Explorer.

12:30pm Design Review with a developer from our group. This turned into a great discussion on how a lot of the issues they had were fundamental mistakes that could have been prevented had they reached out to myself and the data architects earlier in the process.

2:30pm Meet with developers from another team, explain transactional replication to them and why I think it’s the most appropriate method for us to pull data from their system.

3:15pm Catch up with more emails.

3:45pm Catch bus to train station.

4:20pm Catch train.

5:15pm Retrieve bike.

5:30pm Arrive home.


My favorite part of this job is the amount of time I get to spend helping people. There's a lot of opportunities for that here, along with plenty of people who are very eager to learn. Today was a great day because I got to give out a bunch of help.

My least favorite part of this job is the killer commute. I love my co-workers, the location, and everything about this place, but it's a real drag to know that I spend nearly 3.5 hours per day getting to and from work. I do my best to make good use of my travel time by doing things like reading, watching videos, writing blog posts, or anything else that doesn't require an internet connection, but it's still a ton of time that I could otherwise be working and fully productive. Hopefully sometime in the future I'll find a position that will allow me to work remotely!

So that's my day. It's actually pretty interesting to look at it like this – thank you Erin for such a great topic!