OK, I was tagged by Ward Pond here. Ward was tagged by Jimmy May here. Jimmy was tagged by Kevin Kline here. Kevin was tagged by Chris Shaw here. Chris was tagged by Michelle Uford here. And, Michelle was tagged by Mike Walsh here.

Ah… at least I know who to blame. Ah, thanks Mike! ;-)

So, as for some things I know now that I wish I knew then and/or what I value the most. First, I took a peek at a lot of the other posts. There are some really good tips and tricks in all of them and so it's hard to come up with something really clever. But, I had to admit the following:

You don't know what you don't know..

Yeah, I know. Then you don't know. So, does it matter?! Actually, yes. There have been times where I wished I had listened better before I jumped to what turned out to be the wrong solution. Sometimes taking more time at design – can REALLY help. This is something that I've been working really hard to prove in a lot of my recent posts. We've all thrown together a schema… got things working… and then found out it wasn't ideal… But, how much can you really know if you don't know the workload? Well, this is where the listening part comes in. Talk to your users (as painful as it may be ;). Talk to the stakeholders. Even if you can't figure out the specific queries that are going to run, give them sheets of paper on which they can draw their own dialogs and tell you what they'd LIKE to see (tell them to visualize what they want to see on the screen – on the paper). This is an ideal way of getting to the meat of what they want/need – without getting lost in the "glitz" of the UI. Even if you only have some insight into what they'll be doing – some is WAY better than none and the more you listen – the better you'll design. The better you design; the better it will scale/perform.

You can't know it all!!!

Give up now. Don't try to know everything – you'll never sleep. I work really hard knowing a lot about a lot of different things – but, I still specialize AND, I'm HAPPY to say "I don't know" (and say it often). In fact, what I pride myself on the most is that I'm never afraid to prototype and/or try something out. One of my favorite sayings for SQL Server is: "Jack of all trades, master of SOME." Know enough to know you need to learn more (because you plan to use that feature)… And, know enough to know when a feature is NOT appropriate. But, don't get lost in all of the minutia. We just don't have time for it. Choose your battles.

And, since I'm starving and I know when to quit. ;-) I'm going to tag a few folks including a couple of NON-SQL folks and hear what they say!! And, Paul was also tagged – check out his post here: http://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/PAUL/post/Things-you-know-now.aspx.

And, I'd love to hear what you know now!

Thanks,
kt