Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Looking for a DBA? Looking for a New Job?

Ryan Recruiter meet Dave DBA…

As a contractor and consultant I get to speak to many agents and recruiters and over the years I have built up a relationship with several agents that I have worked with on several assignments. I constantly get phone calls and emails  about jobs that for one reason or another are not right for me at that particular time. These are usually permanent roles and working as a contractor and consultant means that I end up turning these down and moving on with my day.

Earlier this year one of my clients got in touch and asked if I would help them look for a new permanent SQL Server DBA. For one reason or another they haven’t always been successful in getting good candidates to apply for their job vacancies.  The company in question are based in the South West UK. They had tried going to agencies directly but they had not had any luck finding suitable candidate. I said I’d happily post something out on twitter and LinkedIn and maybe a post on my blog and we’ll see if we get any responses. As I was typing into Tweetdeck I noticed a post by @FatherJack about the user group he runs, that gave me the idea that someone at the user group might be interested. I was also certain that if there were any interested candidate and  they were taking the time to attend a user group then probably had all the skills and drive and needed to fill the role at my client.

I pinged an email over to Jonathan who kindly agreed to mail the job description out to his user group, he also retweeted my tweet, Jonathan’s wife (@mrs_fatherjack)  also kindly retweeted my tweet and between us we found someone interested enough to apply in a very short space of time.Who woo! I’m not naming any names but the person who applied for the job following our little effort ended up being the best candidate for role and got offered the job. All from my initial tweet and the kind help from the SQL community.

I guess that’s the power of twitter blogs and social medial in general.

Anyway back to my story, one of my agent friends phoned up yesterday asking if I would be interested in Job. It was right on my doorstep (I live in South Wales in the UK) but it wasn’t right for me. So I passed. My agent friend then asked me if I knew anyone who would be interested  I initially said no and then I thought about how well this worked out previously and I said I would ask around. I thought there might be someone out there on twitter, LinkedIn or just reading this post that would be interested. I have worked with this agency previously and I know a few the guys, my agent friend asked if I knew anyone who might be interested…I said I’d mention it…Let me know if you want more details on a SQL Server BI developer  job in Newport South Wales UK, drop me an email

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

SQL Server 2012 Books

SQL Server 2012 was released to manufacturing last week, you can download it from MSDN if you have subscription or it will be on general release from the 1st April.

The last week has turned into SQL Server 2012 week in the SQL Server blog sphere and  here on I am going  to follow suite with a few SQL Server 2012 posts of my own. In this short post I am going to look at some of the SQL Server 2012 books that you can pre-order on Amazon. Most of the books I list here  have SQL Server 2008 equivalents, that I have bought and read. This is the basis of my list. I have not read any of these SQL Server 2012 books yet. They are available for pre-order on amazon, most with a release date of May 31st

Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting

Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services

SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning 3rd Edition

Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Administration

As you can see this is quite a short list, if there is book that you feel is missing and worthy of being included please do leave the details in a comment and I will update the list

Monday, 12 March 2012

SQL Server 2012 RTM–Are you waiting for SP1?

As you probably know by now SQL Server 2012 was launched last week, Microsoft had an online launch event that was pretty spectacular but  has also drawn some criticism following the event because the online platform initially struggled to cope with the load of 45,000 plus users. You can view the keynote and some of the sessions on the SQL Server launch website   We also had a release to manufacturing (RTM) this week. SQL Server 2012 is available to download on MSDN and has been available on there since the 7th March. SQL Server 2012 is on general release from the 1st April.

If you follow the SQL Server community on twitter, you will no doubt have seen a fair number number of SQL Server professional have downloaded and installed SQL Server 2012 RTM in their ‘sandpit’ or ‘test’ type environments. I have seen a few tweets over the weekend that suggest people have downloaded and installed the new version in their own time, probably on their own test kit. These are the people who are investing in their future and trying to keep ahead of the curve. Not everyone is a surfer though and not everyone likes to be in front of the wave, and not everyone, companies in particular,  like to be on the bleeding edge.

Many of my clients like their SQL Server platform to be stable, SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008 and SQ Server 2008 R2 are pretty stable and as such many of my clients have shown no interest in upgrading to SQL Server 2012 any time soon, they may plan to upgrade  in twelve to eighteen  months time but for now they are staying put. Some organisations might prefer to wait for perhaps the first service pack before they would consider upgrading their production systems to the new version, they are of the opinion that any early bugs or major bugs will be fixed with the Service Pack. They have a perception that the product will be more stable by the time the product has a service pack. I have other clients  who want to use the new AlwaysOn features as soon as possible and are currently the process of planning to upgrade.

I have also seen a few people on twitter  asking questions about possible bugs in the RTM release. Don’t look so shocked, we work in the software industry and all software has ‘bugs’ and it should not be a shock that SQL Server has some too. It was these bugs though, that got me thinking and asking some questions, I think it these bugs or perceived these bugs that put off some organisations from upgrading when the RTM version becomes available. So these are my questions…

  • Do people have solid plans in place to upgrade to SQL Server 2012?
  • If so what is the time scale?

I know organisations planning on doing this in the next few months and I have others who have a ‘policy’ that states they will be waiting until the first service pack before they would consider upgrading. I guess I’m just trying to get a feel for how many people are looking to put SQL Server 2012 in production now or later or more likely somewhere in between.

Please do leave a comment with your timescales or thoughts on this subject. I’d more than interested to hear your views

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

SQL Server 2012 RTM Today

So it looks like today is the day.

SQL Server 2012 has been RTM’d today.

General Release 1st April 2012

First SQL Server 2012 Launch Event

I asked a few questions on twitter this morning after a friend of mine said they were have problems downloading RC1 of SQL Server 2012 – I wasn’t aware there was an RC1 which prompted my question and after some discussion on twitter it seems that I was right. If anyone knows to the contrary please leave a comment below. Thanks to @retracement @fatherjack and  @onpnt for taking the time to answer my question.

The twitter conversation did bring up some other interesting comments too. Tomorrow is the first ‘launch event’ of SQL Server 2012. I’m not sure yet whether we are going to get an RTM version, another release candidate or nothing at all. From my twitter conversation it was obvious that nobody knows for certain when we will get an RTM of SQL Server 2012. Some thought it would be very soon with first launch event tomorrow, others remain unconvinced that it will be tomorrow, maybe later in the month or even later in the year. I guess time will tell.

The ‘virtual’ launch event that is taking place tomorrow is still open for registrations, if you would like to attend then you need to register. This link should have all you need to get yourself registered

Which leaves the questions, I wonder if its SQL Server 2012 RTM day tomorrow?

Monday, 5 March 2012

Reporting Services 2008–Books

I have had a few people ask me recently about books that I would recommend to help further develop your skills in using the Reporting Services. So I thought I’d put a list together here.

My top 3 Reporting Services 2008 R2 books

  1. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Step by Step, Book/CD Package by Stacia Misner
  2. Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services (Wrox Programmer to Programmer)
  3. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed

I hope you find these useful, what is your favourite SSRS book?

Featured post

Creating a Linked Server to an Azure SQL Database

Why would you create a Linked Server to an Azure SQL Database? If you work in a hybrid environment with some databases stored on your on ...