Last week Erin Stellato (b|t) posted a great suggestion for T-SQL Tuesday topic. A day in the life—basically chronicling what we do on a given day and writing about it in or more detail. My job title is Principal Architect-SQL Server, but in reality I cover a lot more than that. There are only two members of my team who really work with Windows, so we end bouncing a lot of ideas off of each other. Additionally, I’ve also worked a lot on that other database platform, which lets me interact with the Oracle folks on my team and even get in and do some testing from time to time. All that being said, my job is still kind of vague, we work to write a lot of documents, set best practices, and engage the teams we service, with varying degrees of success. I don’t carry a pager anymore, but the problems I attempt to solve tend to be a lot bigger then fixing a single database problem.
So here is my Thursday July 17, in all of its glorious detail.
5:30 AM—I’m up early, as usual. After reading some email on my phone, I make a cappuccino to get the blood going. I go out for a short (16 mi/25 km) bike ride, legs feel really good, and my power output is pretty good. Get back and take quick shower.
7:30 AM—Usually, I work from my office, which is a lovely 5 min (5 km/3 mi) commute from my house. But this morning I have a meeting at our corporate headquarters, which is in Center City Philadelphia. This means two things 1) I need to take a train to the office 2) I need to iron a shirt, because their dress code there is more stringent than my office. So I iron a dress shirt, pack my laptop bag and drive to the train station.
8:30 AM—I’m taking Amtrak into the city—the Amtrak train has WiFi, so I can catch up on and send some emails before I get to the office. I also, start working on my status report.
9:20 AM—I arrive at the our Corporate HQ, one of my teammates is working from home today, so I go up to the 40th floor and hijack his desk. I complete my status reports and have an IM exchange with one of my storage colleagues about some testing we are performing with a new SAN vendor. This will take up most of my afternoon.
10:00 AM—I have another conference call with a storage engineer, about the potential of creating a SMB share for a multi-site AlwaysOn cluster I am helping to design. There is some confusion about the concepts of a multi-site cluster, so I break out my handy Visio diagrams, and we reach mutual understanding.
10:30 AM—Meeting with a Systems Architect from a Major Software vendor and one of our lead database architects about our goals and strategy in coming years as they apply to databases. Most of this meeting was NDA, but it was quite entertaining, and we got a lot off of our chests. I was hoping this meeting would end a bit early, so I could catch a 12:15 train back to the suburbs, and be at my storage test at 1300, but no such luck. I check the Amtrak schedule on my phone and see there is a 12:45 train that I can make, that will only leave me a few minutes late for my meeting.
Note: Normally if I have to go to my office in the city (which is like 1-2x/month, typically), I spend the whole day there. Today, I had to get back to my normal office for some meetings with a SAN vendor, but I really wanted to attend that architecture meeting in person.
12:00 PM I contact one of the Oracle guys on my team, and ask if he can go down to the SAN meeting, as one of my tasks was going to be to install Oracle on the test servers. He had the time, so I didn’t have to sweat being a few minutes late.
12:05 PM I grab a quick sandwich from the food court in our building. Normally, I try to have a really light lunch as I’m trying to lose some weight, but since I was probably doing 2 bike rides today, I was happy to indulge in a pulled pork, provolone and collard green sandwich from Percy Street BBQ. I sit down and have lunch, and there a two college age guys next to me. One of them spent the whole time talking and trashing his girlfriend. Classy. My favorite quote was “she’s good enough for right now”. Dude—you’re a jerk, and you aren’t that hot either. Rant over.
12:45 PM Catch Amtrak back to the burbs, with 5 min to spare (why is it you are always running in a train station)
1:15 PM Get back to car, proceed to drive back to West Chester office.
1:30 PM Walk into storage meeting right on time—nothing is configured enough to begin testing, but we talk a little more and go through some features of the hardware.
2:00 PM Hardware vendor goes off into unrelated sales pitch of another product. I happened to sit through this sales pitch last month and thought the product was a steaming pile. I’m not happy at this point and proceed to vent on twitter. Followed by catching up on some SQL things I had been working on in the morning.
2:45 PM I sneak out of the conference room, and go upstairs to catch up on news with my Windows colleague.
3:00 PM Go back to conference room, and figure out the the vendor needs our test hardware for a demo they are doing tomorrow, so we can’t really do anything yet. Continue to get frustrated, but also work with the vendor to have a deeper understanding of their product.
4:50 PM After a long afternoon, I take off—I was hoping to get more accomplished with this hardware test, so we are a couple of days behind on that.
5:05 PM Get home, change directly from dress clothes to cycling clothes, I eat a piece of fruit and fill up water bottles.
6:00 PM Go to training race that I do on Thursdays. It’s been a big step in my fitness to be fast enough to complete this race, and I’m really starting to enjoy it. Not enough to get the racing bug again, but enough to feed my competitive needs.
7:25 PM Get home from ride. I’m generally really into food, but after a big day and a pretty hard ride, I don’t want to eat much. So I have a bit of pasta, watch the tour (that’s the Tour de France, for all of you non-cyclists), and catch up on email.
This was a pretty long day, and slightly atypical, though not that far from normal.