Things I know now…

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:

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


4 thoughts on “Things I know now…

  1. Haha Sorry! :)

    I didn’t expect it to still be circulating around. I will have to update my link of responses. Great information from both you and Paul.

    Thanks for playing and sharing.

  2. No worries. This is excellent. Honestly, I enjoyed thinking up my responses. And, a post from you with ALL of the participants would be cool… scary as it’s spread far and wide – but cool.

    Thanks Mike!!

  3. Actually, just to add another "follow-on" for this series and something that even further leans toward the "you can’t know it all"… Yesterday, I was presenting at SQLConnections (as part of a fullday pre-con workshop with Paul) and as I was presenting I changed the powerpoint pen color. It’s something that I always do *when* I’m on stage and inevitably, I always forget to look into changing it before I’m on stage again. It’s one of those things that I really only think about *when* I’m presenting. But, it’s a presentation tool – so, knowing how to tweak it is always helpful. So, I asked the group (somewhat sarcastically) "if anyone knows how to change the default color – let me know". And, sure enough, I have an email today from Matt (one of the attendees) that shows me how to setup for the "show" in PPT.

    So, this helped me and will probably help quite a few of you:
    You asked:

    Pen color
    The default pen color depends on the design template you are using. Click the right mouse button on the page while running the show. Choose Pointer Options – Pen Color. Choose color you want.

    To change the Pen color prior to running your show, Select SLIDE SHOW, Set Up Show. Change the color in the "Set up show" dialog box.

    Press the letter E to erase all pen markings on a page.

    And, the final letter E to erase – that’s cool!
    Enjoy and THANKS MATT!!!

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