Tag Archives: Appreciation

SqlSaturday Madison, WI 2016 reflection

If you’re in the database sector from time to time, check out in person events (and virtual events) at http://www.sqlpass.org/. It’s a great learning day and networking opportunity as well 🙂 These types of events seem to, without fail, help increase passion for working with IT tools and realize again why we’re in the field – to help end users and customers have a more feature-rich experience and be more quickly able to make business decisions.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity and great pleasure of attending this event. Was my first conference on the database side. I was very pleased by the variety and quality of sessions on topics of database, BI analytic, and reporting tools.

I had picked a mixture of Tuning, Reporting, and Azure sessions, which was great to learn more in depth about cloud based databases through Microsoft. I was surprised of the settings and tooling power shown inside of the Azure portal. Great stuff to be able to set alerts under certain performance conditions.

Have you gone to tech conferences as well, and how did it compare to your expectations? If you haven’t gone to a conference or meetup yet, I’d highly recommend it.


Using multiple monitors or getting by with one

What are you experiences?
I’ve used 2 and 3 monitor setups and have a nice docking station for my laptop to support this.

I really like having a monitor tilted each way (one horizontal, one vertical for reading and scanning long documents and webpages), or if walking on the treadmill, sometimes using 2 laptops to view a presentation/video on one and other work on the other side.

If you don’t have setup for multiple screens, go ahead and buy one 😀  And I’d recommend using MaxTo as it’s very customizable and has great hotkey support.

Tool for working at night or early morning

The few times I do work extended hours or end up being woken up in the midden of the night to journal some thoughts, I’m always thankful to have F.lux running on my current machine of choice.

It has been invaluable in not jolting me wide awake or if I’m near going to bed, it actually helps to slowly put a person to sleep and produce melatonin by changing the color level of your monitor to match the sunrise and sunset. They have more research type data available about why it may be practical for folks with sleeping disorders if you need that too.

Be sure to go into the settings and tap “Expand Color Range” and reboot to open up the grayed out warmth levels. It will get the levels even lower so you can have it candle style 🙂  Oh and in the base settings menu, there are also overrides if you happen to need it as well for Photoshop type work for an hour or so.
Flux Expanded Settings

Check it out at https://justgetflux.com/

You gotta Find Something that Speaks to you

Those are the wise words I heard from Richard Campbell of DotNetRocks.com. That was in August at an annual meetup named That Conference in Wisconsin Dells and was in regards to helping out on the Humanitarian Toolbox project.

What spoke to me the most is just being surrounded by great minds doing wonderful, and learning more of the GitHub Web UI. I did some flailing around with Auth0 for a few hours. It was very humbling. I was gracious and honored to learn more GitHub commands from a well known name in the industry, Bill Wagner.

Anyways, it’s a really cool project – there are 2 of them, one is CrisisCheckin, for the Red Cross and Disaster relief resources, and the other is allReady, which is “an open-source solution focused on increasing awareness, efficiency and impact of preparedness campaigns as they are delivered by humanitarian and disaster response organizations in local communities.”

The question begs to be asked for one’s own career too!

What speaks to me and what flows best is having planned days, but not having the plan be followed rigidly and allow for changes. I do like being a code monkey and sql dev anywhere from 20-60% ( may change as time goes on ).  But also helping other developers a part of the day (either via phone, IM, screen share, or sometimes in person); as well as straightening the kinks that happen during different projects by creating win-wins (also working on building this skill in life); attending conferences and meetups to gain passion, learn, and tech; creating wiki tech tips articles; giving tech presentations to small-medium groups; and lastly, slowly learning from others that know more than me in some subjects such as web development, mobile, and security. Those are my areas I’m building up at this point in time.

Now ask yourself, what speaks to YOU the most?

Getting out of a rut – Life Engagement

Wanted to post some ideas for others (and myself included. I benefit from the advice too) and also an audio podcast that’s short on the topic that I had made. It’s basic advice, nothing groundbreaking :), but may help you out if you’re in this situation (otherwise, why are you reading this post, huh? 😉 ).

If you’re in a low point in your life and aren’t finding many things exciting, it’s time to try a new hobby, a new programming language, new comrades, new workout routine, new sights, or possibly even a new job (obviously exercise caution on that one).

An alternative to all of that is also to develop deeper appreciation for what you do have and come to love those things even more – that’s fine too! Just as long as something is advancing you and creating growth/happiness/success in your life.

It can be a breath of fresh air into your life and helps spark and reinvigorate you for the future. Don’t take these words for it though, try it for yourself. ‘Til next time.

What I appreciate in a software program

The perfectionist in me says: Well structured, elegant code, that works flawlessly to meet all of the user’s feature wishes without bugs.  But that’s extreme perfection, and we can rarely reach that point. Not every code file of an app’s code base is going to be robust, but such are the down-to-earth time limits of life 🙂

The better answer is my realistic side: An app that first does what users need it to do, leaving out unnecessary features or ones that take too much time for their value, and depending on the estimated lifetime of the code base, that it’s appropriately structured into services, layers, and classes.

Now over the past 13 years, with the hundreds of small-large features and apps that I’d created, I’ve had about half of them (apps, reports, and db procedures) that I’m very proud of because they meet the above high standards, and others that I’m also proud of despite meeting those elevated expectations, because of useful features I helped add that benefited the end users and/or how stable the system was.

Examples of perfection based apps were ones that were on the smaller scale in size. Dealing with saving permission to a database, reports, or processing a small about of payments, stuff like that.

The ones where I had and continue to have to be more of a realist for are medium to larger apps where the payload and object graph was larger is where things got complex, as there were a lot of moving parts. The team I was on had made the program operate as needed together. Some features didn’t go out exactly as scheduled, but the best part was the most critical features were pushed out first, as they could be, and it helped the users get a starter of using the app and also able to report any remaining issues outside of dev or qa departments. I’ve moved away from my last position of 7 years as a Services and Database developer to be in a new IT environment to stimulate my mind, and solve business problems via software with users, and am pretty excited in this moment for what good things the future brings.