This month’s topic, A Day in the Life, is hosted by my friend Erin Stellato (blog | twitter).  Erin doesn’t typically let the community down on brilliant topics and valued content for all of us.  The topic really, to me, holds much value in mentoring and relating back to taking a look at what you do and how you can improve, or limit, your work and your life.  A lot of the community leaders and contributors are asked, repeatedly, “how do you get all that done?”  I’m not sure how the others do it but I can say, I just do it and it flows out at an even and steady pace.  It’s important to keep tuning that pace in your day and make sure it works in harmony with the people around you, primarily your family.


On to my day

I chose Wednesday because it was a day before I was taking two days, that I vowed to myself and family, I would not touch a computer (I think they call that a vacation).  After looking back at the day, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference that I was heading for two days of being away from work and everything SQL Server.  Here is how it went…

5:30 AM: Been awake for 40 minutes or so watching Law and Order.  Finally got up and checked the and MSDN forums and most recent emails to my primary accounts.  Yay, it wasn’t Tuesday so no shower needed.  (I may have been joking there)

6:30 AM: It is a work from home day so after getting cleaned up, I commuted to my office, closed the doors and woke up my laptops to check email (five different accounts…I need to fix that)

7:00 AM: Checked my pre-con announcement on that I will be giving for SQL Saturday in Minneapolis on September, 29th.  (It’s going to be a great time if you want to join me).  Logged onto and checked the forums and blog area.  Read Eli’s ORM performance blog.  Pretty cool blog but if anyone is using ORM for bulk loading data, I’m getting oil and fire.  Reviewed some topics on a BI Summit Magenic is setting up and being held soon. (Another great event and hope you join me…details to come)

7:20 AM: Found a problem with a subscriber to a merge replication publication.  Replmerg was causing a minidump midway into synchronizing.  Started a VM setup as a subscriber and recreated the exact environment where the problem was occurring.  Read the mdmp file via WinDbg and grabbed the method that was causing the minidump.  Looked into the MSMerge_genhistory and identified the remaining generations that had been left with a genstatus 4 from the minidump.   Testing the entire process again to ensure these rows were flagged as genstatus 4 again.  Tracked the the generations back to the articles and then from MSMerge_Contents, tracked further back to see if the rowguids had active or existing data related to them.  No data was found, flipped genstatus to 2 to allow the replication agents to skip the generations as they were completed.  Ran replmerg and synchronization was success and subscriber was in sync.  Snapshot of the VM taken so later analysis of how the rowguids came to be in the generation in the first place since they appeared out of partition.

8:00 AM: Reviewed an SSIS package import that was tested on a development system.  Validated the integrity of the data that was loaded, found a few issues, spent the next hour or so working on some changes.

10:00 AM: Wrote a design document on another SSIS transform and import.

10:30 AM: Read “SQL 2012: Bringing “Big Data” to the Desktop”, posted on

11:00 AM: Lunch – Made technical edits to an article that will soon be published on SQL Server Pro.

11:30 AM: Back to work on more SSIS loads

12:00 PM: Reviewed a transactional replication setup on data size and latency on loading.  Gave the thumbs up!

1:00 PM: Worked on a C# Program I rewrote and an installer for the program.  Reminded me how bad setup projects are limited to functionality.

2:00 PM: Meeting!!!!  Good meeting.  A lot accomplished and off to the races.  Worth noting it happened during the day (although a few short meetings already had)

2:30 PM: Reviewed more BI Summit documentation.

3:00 PM: Started four blogs.  Finding out what a subscriber changed in Merge Replication, Reading the lineage in Merge Replication, This blog and effectively indexing a LOB data type.  Got through 4 pages each (other than this one) and held off for lab testing.

4:00 PM: Reviewed client work for that day, wrote a status report (to myself), documented the next client day and what should and needs to be done and when.  Sent out some emails about being off for two days, contacts, phone numbers and my location in case needed.

4:30 PM: Got back into some client work.  Once something gets in your head, it’s just impossible to get it out until it is either resolved or a clear path to a solution is outlined.

5:20 PM: Spent time with the family without a laptop near me, look at the SR40c reviews, started a quick test for the client.

6:00 PM: Dinner!

9:00 PM: Went back to the previous blogs and started running the tests to show the steps of accomplishing all the scenarios.

10:30 PM: Checked to see if Expert Performance Indexing for SQL Server 2012 was in stock and added some sections to earlier mention blogs.  Reviewed the MSDN forums, did some moderation, checked on forums for anything and reviewed my session, SSIS: The DBA Multiplier, which I will be presenting on in two weeks for SQL Saturday in Indy.

12:30 AM: Woke up to Law and Order and started some recorded shows to go to sleep to Law and Order (I like that show).  Even knowing the day ended there, at 12:00 AM, I ended it around 1:30 AM when I had enough and couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Summary of my day

When I read back my notes of the day, it was really quiet, overall.  I feel that I could have accomplished another 6 hours of work in the middle of everything but the day was still rewarding and a good day.  The important and most critical part to my day that doesn’t show in a timed note taking session, the entire day has interactions with my family.  The kids ask for help with things, my wife comes in, says hi and we talk for a few minutes.  The laptop comes to the couch with me after client work is done and I work on blogs, articles, reading community articles and so on.  This all happens while still enjoying life with my family and chatting with my dear friends (one of which is the host of this TSQL Tuesday).  Without those things in the day, what’s the use in it all?

I only wrote down times that included a major factoring change in what I was working on or doing.  There were several short meetings, phone calls, chat sessions, popping into forums, twitter, facebook and so on, that are not recorded above.  Those things would need a keyboard trace to track.  Otherwise I think I could put 5:00 AM to 12:30 AM: Writing notes on what I’m doing, for the entire day.