Tim Mitchell
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Making a Difference: Andy Warren

Since I started working as a data professional some 15 years ago, I’ve had an enjoyable and successful career. I attribute the successes I’ve had to hard work, a good bit of luck, and having help from others who have walked the same path before me. Today, I want to recognize one of those folks in particular. A Long Line…


Real Time

Do You Really Need Real-Time?

It wasn’t so long ago that the first day of the month was the most common trigger event for updating key metrics. Indicators such as profit, efficiency, bonuses owed, and other markers would be published monthly after that month’s data was tabulated (which may be days or even weeks into the new month). In some organizations, the work required to calculate…


tools

My SQL Server Management Studio Setup

We’re all creatures of habit, and work more efficiently when we know exactly where to find the tools we need. The same holds true with digital tools, and those of us who work with SQL Server will spend a lot of time using SQL Server Management Studio. SSMS has a lot of features, but each data professional will likely use…


community

Some Thoughts on Community, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement

The SQL Server community is just awesome. I can’t say that enough. I may sound like a broken record when I keep repeating these things, but I owe a great deal to the community. I’ve worked hard in my career, but I am certain I would not be where I am today were it not for the connections and relationships…


shortcuts

The Value of Shortcuts

Decades ago when I was working as a retail clerk, I had a boss named Billy. Billy was a pragmatic guy who had worked in retail most of his adult life, and was full of practical tidbits of advice. He also had no tolerance for inefficiency, and was quick to point out when there was a more effective way to…


To Learn Teach

To Learn, Teach

Back before I started doing technical presentations or writing blog posts, I frequently found myself in awe at those who did those things. Watching someone present on a deeply technical topic or reading an article about a complex concept always made me wonder what chain of experiences would give the writer or author that type of encyclopedic knowledge about a…


Picking the right team

Picking The Right Team

Years ago, back before I became a consultant, a job search led me to an interview with a technical company. The company was large enough to offer a variety of challenges with room for advancement, but wasn’t so big that one would get lost in a sea of employees. The company’s line of business was one that I was already…


Value of Consistent Design

The Value of Consistent Design

Yesterday I wrote about best practices, illustrating that what may be an assumed technical design standard doesn’t fit every scenario. In a similar vein, I believe that consistency often trumps what are considered to be best practices. In this post, I’ll share some thoughts on the value of consistent design. The “Right Way” to Solve a Problem When I began…


best practices

When Best Practices Aren’t Best

Most everyone is familiar with the term best practices. This phrase describes an industry-specific design or methodology that can be applied to most problems in a given domain. Data professionals, carpenters, medical practitioners, retail professionals, hair stylists, and most any other craftsperson will learn through experience a set of rules that usually govern how to do a thing. That holds…


The Eleven Days of Festivus 2017

Last year, I celebrated the holiday season by blogging daily during the 11 days leading up to Festivus, writing about SSIS, reporting, and leaving data trails. I had so much fun doing that stretch that I’m doing it again this year for Festivus 2017. Starting today and continuing through Festivus Eve (December 22nd), I’ll publish a post per day on…