T-SQL Tuesday #157–The End of Year

tsqltuesdayIt’s that time of the month, and I’m late. I’ve been on holiday for a week, so this is a quick post for T-SQL Tuesday. This month is hosted by Garry Bargsley, and is a fitting topic for the last month of the year.

Garry asks about end of the year data activities. Most of his examples are administrative, but I’m sure there might be some dev activities as well. I’ve got a few thoughts on each, some of which I’ve done, some of which I wish I’d have done in the past, but recommend now.

T-SQL Tuesday is a great place to participate in the community and a great way to show your knowledge and skills off as well for potential employees. Write your own posts on a blog, or somewhere like LinkedIn, Medium, or another site. If you want to host, ping me @way0utwest or sjones at sqlservercentral dot com.

End of Year Administration

When I’ve been in the Operations side of data, there aren’t a lot of things I do at the end of the year, but I do find the downtime useful for some maintenance and cleanup. Usually we are doing well reactive stuff as business slows down, so I spend time on things that I’ve wanted to do all year, but haven’t had time to tackle.

The things I try to do:

  • Index cleanup – look for dups, unused, etc.
  • archive/delete data or tables – I try to clean data where possible. Less always makes things faster
  • Chronic issues – Think about how I can solve something and prevent future problems
  • Space planning – look over trends and be sure we’re ready for next year.
  • Security – remove old accounts (or disable) as much as possible.

End of Year Development

Development tasks tend to be more tightly specified, and there often isn’t a good end of year list. However, similar to administration, one thing I have tried to do when times are slow is tackle things I’d want to change, but never have time. End of year is like this, as are some times after deployments.

Apart from code I might want to refactor or change, the big things I might look at during the end of year are:

  • Branch cleanup – easy to have some of these hanging around.
  • Pipelines – Use time to improve these, or ensure that they are noisy. Either change something, reduce tests, or try to avoid any unnecessary things causing the pipeline to go red.
  • Learning – covered below.

Bonus – End of Year Career

This isn’t specifically for SQL Server, but it could be. This is a good time of year to stop and try to assess how things went. It’s also good to look forward, and use slower times to make the future better. A few recommendations:

  • Always have a list of things to read/learn/practice. Use slow times to work on something. If nothing else, tackle the Advent of Code.
  • Assess your career – is this the place for you? The job, the employer, the field? Think about what things excite you and what don’t, what make days drag, or go by quickly.
  • Plan for the future – Make a few career goals. I’ve done this for a few years, and it helps me continue to learn and grow.

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