Year 4: May 2017 – May 2018

In Year Three, I had a pretty big year. I kind of felt like I had peaked. I had received the Community Influencer of the Year Award and Microsoft MVP Award. Where do you go from there? Mostly, I just wanted to keep up what I was doing, and keep sharing what I was doing.

Over my career, I’d been collecting tidbits of code, like we all do. I decided that I could start sharing my code tidbits more fully, more formally. At the end of 2017, I decided to throw my code up on GitHub.

Open-sourcing my DBA database

I created a repo for my DBA database, and pushed my code up to GitHub. In the process of putting my code out there for the whole world, I put in some extra effort to clean up my code to make it a bit more consistent, and easier for others to adopt & support it. I didn’t (and don’t) want to spend a ton of effort providing support for the whole world. It would be super cool if a bunch of people started using my code, but since it’s a side project, I didn’t want to create a situation where people needed help to get it to work. I didn’t have time to hold everyone’s hand, so a little attention to detail up front would be helpful.

I improved the installation script, so that the install & upgrade was really streamlined. Since publishing my DBA database, I’ve continued to polish it–eventually sorting out licensing under the GPL, and creating a Code of Conduct.

Blogging about my published code

Publishing my code was just the first half of the equation. I also needed to tell people it was there. If I didn’t advertise it, how would anybody find it?

I blogged about using my DBA database to find the leading blocker, alert on blocking, parse filenames from paths using T-SQL, and finding active transactions. I honestly have no idea how many people have used my DBA database, or installed it in their environments. I do know that people starred & watched my repo. For the most part, there has been a slow, steady trickle of people who visit & clone the repo. (Fast forward to today: In the last 2 weeks, there have been 30 unique visitors, who viewed 175 pages/files, and one cloner.)

Best month ever

January 2018 was my best month ever…at least according to my blog stats. The week of Christmas 2017, my post on alerting on blocking was in the Brent Ozar Unlimited (blog|twitter) Weekly Links newsletter. The traffic bump from that bled over into the new year, then in January my post on parsing filenames from paths using T-SQL was in the Weekly Links newsletter again. I could tell from both my blog stats, and the GitHub stats that people enjoyed both the blog posts describing the code, and were kicking the tires on my code.

I’ve never considered myself much of a “developer”, so publishing my code was intimidating. I suppose when I started blogging, I didn’t consider myself a blogger either, and look where I ended up. Publishing my code was a big step from an emotional perspective, but the year as a whole felt kind of…meh. Mostly I felt like I was treading water. Would next year be better? Stick around for

  • tomorrow’s post on Year Five–it was a bit of a roller coaster.

    Additional Reading