Assembling Your Own Toolbox

Last month Brent Ozar posted that September was community tools month. He had a number of posts that highlighted tools and a number of other people (Francesco, Erik, VladDBA ) did as well. I didn’t do any blogging because, well, it was a busy month for me. I was gone from home for 21 days, so a bit harried in life.

As a part of this effort, I saw Ken Fisher write about being a Script Magpie, which is an interesting analogy. A magpie is a bird that collects various shiny objects. Ken collects scripts in the same way. Things that catch his eye are added to his repo of scripts that he keeps handy.

I used to do something similar. I didn’t have a repo back then, though I should have. However, all VCSes in the past lacked some of the ubiquity of Git. Instead I had a folder that I kept synched on various flash drives that I carried from job to job. I’ve also usually had a share inside companies where a team of developers or DBAs could share SQL scripts.

I’d hope that most technology professionals would share scripts, especially when they can be tokenized or added as SQL Prompt snippets. Reusing work is a big part of working with computers and why many people have embraced tools and utilities that they didn’t write themselves. I certainly think having a toolbox is important, especially tools that integrate well with an existing environment.

I don’t think it’s worth rewriting many tools inside a company. I work for a software vendor, and I’ve seen the effort put into building tools. Both free and paid tools can save you a lot of time and effort inside your job, not the least of which is maintaining the tools over time as versions and editions change.

What are the contents of your toolbox? Which things are those that you’d bring to a new position if you moved organizations or groups? Let us know today.

Steve Jones

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