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Expert in 5 Minutes

eilert - 2020-02-22 00:00:00.00

I've found in my personal career path (your mileage may vary) there are a lot of things I don't necessarily need to be an expert in, but it's useful to .

I put more value in knowing what things are possible to do than how to actually do them.

For example, I know SQL Server 2019 introduces a Mongo DB connection in Polybase.

Now, I have no experience with either Polybase and very, very little with Mongo DB. However, I am vaguely familiar with the technologies from browsing articles - sometimes just headlines - and that gives me enough knowledge to "become an expert in 5 minutes".

I'm using both "expert" and "5 minutes" pretty loosely here, but the point is I'm fairly confident that by knowing that things are possible, and having some familiarity with the foundational tech it's built on, I can probably spend a short amount of time looking at a few articles and get something put together and working.

I subscribe to emails from SQL Server Central. I get them in my inbox daily. Most of the time, I just browse the headlines for some of the articles. If something really jumps out at me, I click through and start reading. However, for most of the emails I spend 1 minute looking at it, then archive the email. In that 1 minute (less, actually) I've collected some helpful information that I've stored away for future use.

For example, here are the headlines I glanced at in a recent email:

  • Azure Data Factory Triggers
  • Why you Should Always Specify Whether a Column Accepts Nulls
  • Text Mining and Sentiment Analysis: Introduction
  • From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Change Outlook sender mailbox with PowerShell – A workaround
  • From the SQL Server Central Blogs - String Split Function in SQL Server

Now I know that Azure Data Factory has the concept of "triggers". I'm already aware of triggers in SQL Server, and I can guess how the dictionary would define "trigger", so if I ever find myself working with Azure Data Factory and need something like a trigger, I know it's possible.

I also know that there is likely a compelling reason to be judicious about defining the nullability of a column. I'm slightly curious to click through and read that one in a little more detail. These kind of articles typically have little nuggets that can save you time/headaches.

Text mining? I've done a lot of that already, so I'm not too intrigued, but earlier in my career I'd probably click on that.

Outlook + PowerShell can be very useful. I've already done a bit, but simply seeing this headline makes me revisit thoughts on how I could potentially use PowerShell with Outlook to make my life easier.

String Split Function in SQL Server!? Awesome! Well, I already know about that, but if I didn't this kind of thing would be super helpful to store away in my memory. Then one day when I need to split a string in SQL Server I know if I google that I'm going to likely get some resources showing me how to do it.
Again, I might not have spent the time reading the article now to understand how to do it, but I've seen that it can be done, and in the future if I need to do it, I can exercise my "become an expert in 5 minutes" mindset to work it out.

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I've been working with SQL Server for the last 12 years and have found it to be a marvelous data platform. I love writing SQL and sharing my knowledge.

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