Databases, Development, and Other Anecdotes


In an SMB, roles may be filled by 1 or more people – but there more like hats – and a single person may be wearing many, many hats.  One-man IT shop?  You’re a hat shop.  Dynamic duo of IT crime fighting?  Hopefully you have a Batcave for your hats.

In large corporations you have a complex organizational structure within the IT department, it might be a hierarchical tree or a wheel of distributed teams serving different operational needs.  Within those large structures, roles can be generally defined by a person or group of people and what they are responsible for.

In a medium-sized team, the hats will shift around more often as there are more people to wear them but the organization is not so large that it is unable to adapt to change.  Role optimization in a team of 3-10 individuals is a process where the roles are all independently examined, along with the strengths and interests of the team members and the potential future needs of the organization as a whole.

Technical debt is like an overloaded truck, it might function – but it slows you down and exposes you to undue risk.  After (too many!) years of development, I’m finally able to dig in and split the application database structures off of the DotNetNuke system database.  With an entire web application platform built out in OpenWebStudio – that’s a lot of rewriting!  (or not, because I’m too lazy to do that)

During some SQL development, I ran into an instance where I wanted to evaluate the existing indexes on a table to see if any of them nearly covered my query.  Additionally, given a large number of existing indexes on the table, I figured I might be removing/consolidating some. I’m very visual, so opening each index individually didn’t seem to help me track which columns were used in which index. Enter sp_index_visual.

I used to leverage Outlook rules to properly sort and file my email – before I read it. Unfortunately, this resulted in my inbox being a cluster of folders with emails in a dizzying array of completeness.  I’ve recently resigned myself to not reducing the inbox influx anytime soon, so now I’m working on adjusting my habits to better manage correspondence.

For the last 5 years, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of what we can accomplishment as a team of developers.  We’re continually improving the project management system with the intention of truly supporting the evolving business needs of our host company.

We’re just a small team, and at the end of the day we’re an accessory to a construction project management business.  As a small/medium business, we’re constantly adapting enterprise-level technology practices to fit our growing business. It makes sense to emulate the big dogs – but you have to be able to execute with less resources.  Less money, less people, less focus.