Articles by Tim Mitchell

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…


Career Advice

The One Piece of Career Advice I Wish I’d Gotten

Over the years, I’ve been approached numerous times with requests for advice from folks who are looking to get started in technical careers. Some of these questions come from new or soon-to-be college graduates who are just starting their journey, while others are from experienced professionals looking to move into technical roles. While I do my best to advise them…


Resurrection of OLE DB

Long Live OLE DB!

Back in August of 2011, an announcement from Microsoft started a wave of angst among those who build and support solutions on the Microsoft data platform. In that brief blog post, the data access team announced the deprecation of the OLE DB data interface driver, and that SQL Server 2012 would be the last version to include OLE DB. The…


Training Day in London: Building Better SSIS Packages

I am delighted to announce that I’ll be delivering my full-day course, Building Better SSIS Packages, at the SQLBits conference in London on Thursday, February 22nd. This course is aimed at data professionals with experience in SQL Server and a general understanding of SQL Server Integration Services concepts. This will be my second time to present at SQLBits, and my…


PASS Summit 2017

PASS Summit 2017 Day 2

It’s day 2 of the PASS Summit. Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day, after my early-morning post-Halloween trip to Seattle. I spent some time with my Microsoft friends in the SQL Clinic and visited several vendor receptions, followed by a quick visit to the karaoke party. Today is the Cosmos DB keynote by Rimma Nehme. I’ve heard Dr. Nehme…


SQL PASS Summit 2017

PASS Summit 2017 Day 1

It’s the first full day of the 2017 PASS Summit. As I write this, I am somewhere over the panhandle of Texas headed for Seattle and the rest of my #SQLFamily who are are already at the Summit. It’s been a bit strange for the last few days as I kept up with Summit goings-on. I typically arrive in Seattle…


SQL Server temporal tables

SQL Server Temporal Tables

Temporal data storage, which was defined in the ANSI SQL:2011 standard, describes an architecture in which relational databases maintain row-level versioned copies of data. When using temporal data, the database does automatically what many DBAs and application developers have had to do manually for years to track point-in-time versioning for individual tables. Starting in 2016, Microsoft added SQL Server temporal…