Year 1: May 2014 – May 2015

I wrote a little bit about starting my blog in my last post. But let’s take a closer look at that first 12 months.

I’ve lost my blog stats for that first year, so I can’t say exactly how many visitors I had. I can say that the number of views was so low that it didn’t matter. If I were going to offer a generous estimate, I would guess I got whopping 100 page views in year one (mostly from me).

I wrote a total of six blog posts that year. Let’s look at two of my favorites.

Moving Replication to a new server (without re-snapshotting)

This post came out of a lot of research at my day job. As I mention in the post, we were doing a server migration, and re-snapshotting all of the publications was a cost we didn’t want to bear. I dug through the distribution database and tested migrations in our QA environment for several days. Ultimately, spending that effort up-front saved the team many hours of babysitting snapshots, and more importantly, saved the business many hours of waiting for multiple terabytes of data to replicate–and it was all done without losing any transactions, and minimal effort during the migration window.

That script went into a repository, and was able to be reused for multiple server migrations, saving the team effort even after I was no longer with the company. Recently, the DBA from a $1 Billion consumer brand used my script when they migrated servers to the cloud–without re-snapshotting replication. Knowing I helped a company that I don’t even work for is a really cool feeling.

The script isn’t perfect. It only covers transactional replication, and I wanted to do some more testing & bulletproofing. I saved the script on my Google Drive, and planned to go back later. In 2015, I reorganized my Google Drive, and accidentally deleted a bunch of content including that script. After that, I never went back to polish up those scripts. Even without that extra work, I know that what is published has been helpful to people, and that’s pretty awesome.

sp_executesql with output parameters

This post was both my first post in response to a “you should blog this” request, and the first post that I whipped up without torturing myself, nor trying to produce something supremely unique. The post came easily, and I wasn’t too timid to post it.

As an interesting aside, that coworker and I stayed in touch–and several jobs later, Mike & I work together again at my current employer. Your network of past, present, and future coworkers can be pretty vast, but it can also be pretty small.

Getting back to the post…I simply wrote a post about something simple, which I felt I was able to explain in a way that was easy to understand. This was actually a break through for me–that I could just explain something my own way, and that would be a good post. This is a point that I see most new bloggers struggling with. When you’re starting out, you want to create some sort of magnum opus to prove yourself. In reality, offering a clear explanation in plain language is probably going to be more valuable than anything else. Just write.

What else happened during that time?

On March 17, 2015, I got a Twitter notification that made me pretty excited. I had a fangirl moment when a SQL Server MVP followed me. Not just any MVP either–one that I have looked up to since I was first starting out with SQL Server a decade earlier: Aaron Bertrand (blog|twitter).

I assume that Aaron followed me related to two tweets (here and here) about SQL Sentry. I was just trying to give some product feedback, but apparently it got me noticed. To this day, Aaron regrets his decision to follow me. This won’t be the only time Aaron pops up in this 5-year retrospective. Keep reading with tomorrow’s post to see how Year Two went.

Additional Reading