On Twitter this morning, Paul Randal announced his SQLSkills blog count: 865! That’s impressive. And kind of intimidating for someone who’s just getting started–I’m not sure why someone would spend time reading my little blog when they could be reading any of his 865 posts, but since he’s offered to mentor six lucky SQL students and the application is via blog post, I decided that it’s time I got started. If you stumble across this and decide that I’ve got no business being in the blog-o-sphere, you can blame Paul Randal for his unintentional encouragement.
In all fairness, Paul Randal is the reason that I’m finally blogging. I decided that I should blog over a year ago. At that time, I was planning to rename sa on our ERP system database server and add a fake sa login with more limited permissions. Our ERP system vendor requires that we use the sa account with a very insecure 4-character password that’s hard-coded into their system. My predecessor’s predecessor had made this change, but when the system was upgraded by my predecessor, the configuration was botched and the real sa account was again being used.
To prepare, I googled changing the sa password to find out if there were any hidden gotchas that I should be aware of. And I stumbled across my predecessor’s predecessor’s blog post describing the steps he took to do the project the first time. I was shocked. It was exactly the information that I was looking for–specific to my environment.
That day, I went on to read all of his posts from the times that he worked for my company. He had posts that explained why he had purchased certain software packages, some of the things he struggled with when he worked at the company, and some posts that just helped me know him better. Reading about his experiences first hand was invaluable. I knew that he was well respected at the company, which made it more challenging when I wanted to take a different approach from what he had established. Understanding where he was coming from made it much easier to decide how to move forward.
That was the day that I decided that I should blog. It was the day that for me, it sank in at a personal level that even though there are many more authoritative voices in the community than mine, I still may be able to record information that will help someone else.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the fantastic leaders of the SQL community who regularly and freely share their expertise–I could not be where I am today without the benefit of all of your information. For this, my first blog, I owe a special thanks to Brent Ozar for all of the practical advice on how get started blogging:
Not that I want more competition, but since I referenced Paul Randal’s mentorship competition, here’s that link, too: