T-SQL Tuesday #32 – A Life in the Day

tsqltuesdayIt’s T-SQL Tuesday time again, delayed a week this month, so I had  a whole extra week to get ready. This month the party is hosted by Erin Stallato, fellow MVP, runner, and a SQL Server expert. Such an expert, she was recently hired by SQL Skills, one of the top SQL Server consulting firms in the world.

The T-SQL Tuesday party is the brainchild of Adam Machanic and it’s been a lot of fun to participate over the last few years. If you’re like to host one, you just need a blog, and then contact Adam for a month with your topic.

A Life in the Day

This month’s topic is a life in the day of your job. Erin’s plan was to track your life on Wednesday, July 11 or Thursday, July 12. That won’t work for me, as you can see from my tracking on Wed and Thur.

Wed, July 11

Wake up, check email, kiss the wife and kids and drive to the Denver Airport. Board a flight for London.

Thur, July 12

Arrive in London, clear customs, get a tube to Central London. Leave my bags at the hotel, find some food, read, run in Hyde Park, nap, practice SQL in the City presentations, dinner with Red Gate people, sleep.


This is a travel/talk week for me, so I don’t have a lot going on those days. So for this post, I’m going to track Monday, July 9, 2012 as it’s a semi-normal day for me.

Mon, July 9

It’s summer, and I work at home, so that means that I can sleep in a bit. A party with friends last night, so I wasn’t up until 8:30. I usually wake up, and reach over to grab my phone. I can check email and lay there for a few minutes, slowly getting going. Today there weren’t any big items to handle. No meetings, a few updates for my SQL in the City talk, and regular mix of reported posts, new content submitted, newsletters, etc. I also usually check Twitter to see if any news is breaking in the SQL world.

Make coffee. Usually the first thing I do, heading downstairs before I walk into the office. Then I walk up to my standing desk and log in, checking the site.

Most mornings I have a bit of a routine. I double check email to see anything new since I’ve walked downstairs and then start to handle any of the items I read in bed. Usually that means removing SPAM posts, answering questions from Red Gate or members of the community. I get a fair number of normal business queries each day, and try to get them answered. Today I had a note about travel in London with my reservations and questions about my dinner order Thur (we are well taken care of at Red Gate). I had a few notes about my talks I responded to and a few posts to remove.

Go get coffee.

Next I flip through all my post notifications. I have my daily editorial thread, but I also answer or participate in about 80-100 threads a month on SQLServerCentral. I answer some as I sip coffee, usually spending 30-60 minutes on discussions.

Moar coffee (as Jes Borland would tweet)

I flip through a few newsletters, just to see what others are doing/writing about. I get a lot of editorial ideas from here (and Twitter, and Google, etc), so I subscribe to 20-30 different newsletters. The SQLskills and Brent Ozar, PLF newsletters come out Monday, and I usually read through them. They are always interesting to me.


I’m doing the Body for Life diet with my wife. We’ve done it a few times, so lots of water throughout the day. I also eat every 2-3 hours, smaller meals. These have some good matches with the standing desk. I need to regularly hit the bathroom, or break for 10-15 minutes to cook something. Those breaks are good for the standing desk. If I ever run out of water, I walk away to fill it.

This Friday and Saturday I have to give two presentations each day for SQL in the City. I’m traveling Wed/Thur, so my first step is to get newsletter scheduled for the week. I am usually 2-3 days ahead on podcasts and 4-5 days on editorials. Last week I scheduled a few re-runs for Thur/Fri, so today I edit down a podcast for Tuesday and upload it. Wed is a guest, so I schedule out newsletters through Friday.

Now it’s practice time. These are new presentations, so first I run through the demos I have. I want the demos working and then backed out and ready. I go through each one with a setup and a reset script for the demo. Most of these are with Red Gate tools, so they’re easy.

Once demos are ready, I’ll go through the presentation here, incorporating the demos and checking timing. The SQL in the City events are packed and scheduled fairly tight, so I don’t want to go over my time. Today I’ll do two rehearsals of each presentation to be ready.

Throughout the day I have Twitter up (using Twhirl). I’ll glance at the stream periodically, but I rarely scroll back or look at things. It’s a nice break, and it lets me see what’s happening in the SQL world. Between run throughs of the demos and decks, I’ll glance around.

I keep email open, but I don’t check all that often, maybe once every couple hours. With Pandora on headphones, I can concentrate on looking over my demos and notes. Not a good day. My VMs ran slow, and I blew up each demo twice, which was slightly worrisome. However I made a few notes on how to smooth things out for the actual delivery, and I’ll go over them live, on the laptop, tomorrow. The contained databases demos were especially problematic as I found a few problems with my reset scripts. I’ll clean those tomorrow as well.

After two runs, that’s enough. I glanced at the forums on SQLServerCentral to see if anything much had popped up, then spent an hour working on a few editorials. I polished off 2 that were mostly written. I’ll give those a review tomorrow. I started two new ones, getting about 2-3 paragraphs written. Those are mostly done, but I ran out of thoughts. I copied in 2 other links, with just draft titles. I’ll try to work on those while I’m traveling.

6:00 and I’m calling it a day. Time to run.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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3 Responses to T-SQL Tuesday #32 – A Life in the Day

  1. Nick Hodgson says:

    Steve, really interesting to get an insight into your day, especially as I was at SQL in the city on Friday and saw your presentations! The prep definitely paid off, you seemed relaxed and the presentations were fun and informative so well done! We met briefly at the end of the day just before the beers beckoned, hopefully I’ll get a chat with you next year! Hope you’ve recovered for the jet-lag!


  2. way0utwest says:

    Thanks, glad it sounded well from that end. I was nervous before I gave it, since I’m always a bit concerned over timing and flow.

    Doing well on the jet lag, and ready to go back next year.


  3. Pingback: T-SQL Tuesday #32 Round Up | Erin Stellato | Erin Stellato

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