Tim Mitchell
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Professional Development

Studying Failures

Over the weekend, I went to the local theater to watch Sully, the movie about the US Airways pilot who successfully landed his A320 jet on an icy river after losing both engines shortly after takeoff. I enjoyed the movie for its main story line but also for some of the back story elements that were included that were scarcely…


What if Your Employer Won’t Support Your Career?

I’ve had a lot of luck in my career, especially as it pertains to my work environment. Although I can’t say every technical job I’ve had was all unicorns and bacon, I’ve been very fortunate to have been treated fairly and professionally through most of my employment history. Not only was I treated respectfully, but the last three employers I…


Above All, Good Judgment

What is permissible is not always honorable. – Marcus Tullius Cicero Rules. Best practices. Guidelines. Design patterns. Policies. All are good and necessary, and you’ll rarely find anyone who will argue against the need to establish boundaries and set expectations. But can adherence to rules and design patterns be taken too far? I believe it can. The Rules Gone Amok:…


In 2012, It’s Me and Vanilla Ice

Like many others, I’m planning a few changes for my life for next year.  I’m a believer in finding one’s own way, while still abiding the advice of the wise.  Often called upon for inspirations are the timeless words of Confucius, the inspiring speeches of Martin Luther King, the controversial yet insightful analyses of Sigmund Freud, and the various authors…


Crap Code

T-SQL Tuesday (er, Wednesday): Crap Code

Ok, I have two admissions that I must bare to the world in this post.  The first is that I’ve been a little lazy.  I’ve admired – from a distance – this T-SQL Tuesday thing ever since it started.  It’s been great!  A bunch of people blogging on the same day about their own interpretation of some common topic –…


Can you endorse me?

Can You Endorse Me?

“Hey man, this is Ty*, what’s happening?” roared the familiar voice in my Bluetooth earpiece.  It was a voice I knew well, and briefly brought a smile to my face.  After exchanging pleasantries and catching up a bit, Ty revealed the real reason for his call:  “Say, dude, I’m looking for a new job, and I was hoping you’d write…


A New Season (A Networking Success Story)

I’d like to share a networking success story.  Last year, I blogged about my experience at the PASS Summit of 2005, where I was essentially a wallflower and didn’t really do any networking.  Since then, I’ve realized its importance and have embraced professional networking as a key component in a successful career. Ever since then I have carried through on…


No Picture

Getting Into the Biz, Part 2

In a previous blog post, I began writing about how one might start a career as a database professional, and agreed to share my own experience in doing so.  Since every person and every situation is different, I don’t declare my experience to be a recipe for success, but I’m happy to share it in hopes that someone can learn…


No Picture

Getting Into the Biz, Part 1

I’ve seen a good deal of coverage recently that is geared toward those who have recently begun a career as a database professional.  Brad McGehee posted this week about some potential topics for a book for new SQL Server developers, and Craig Outcalt is publishing a series of articles on SQLServerCentral.com aimed at new DBAs.  Brent Ozar also has a…


SQL Server certification

Microsoft SQL Server certification

A few weeks ago I was chatting with some colleagues about the merits of Microsoft SQL Server certification exams.  A number of people I’ve talked with about the MCDBA certification share my opinion that these tests were too easy and therefore held limited value to one’s career.  After all, what does it matter if you have a mess of alphabet…