My last ticket

February 13, 2024

There are a bunch of different things I do for clients, so it’s a bit strange to try to think what to write about in response to a question about what I’m working on at the moment. Or what the last ticket I closed was, as is the T-SQL Tuesday topic for this month. Hosted by Brent Ozar (@brento).

Sometimes the work I do is part of a long project, where we’ve been engaged to provide an analytics platform, including a breakdown of data quality issues, and cultural change to help the people at the customer embrace a newfound confidence in their data. If this is the type of thing I’m working on, an individual ticket might be quite small such as including a new column in an transformation process, or changing the layout of a report in Power BI.

Sometimes there is no long project, and we’ve been engaged to solve an immediate problem. Maybe there’s some code that has suddenly started performing badly, or there’s a corruption in a database and they don’t know what to do. In this case there is no “ticket” – I’m just turning up, finding the cause, and providing a fix.

Many of the customers who we’ve known for a long time become repeat callers. They reach out when they want our expertise, and we respond when we can, helping them through some process. Maybe this is configuring something differently, such as relocating a process to use cloud-hosted databases, getting rid of SQL logins, or turning on Transparent Data Encryption.

It’s not always a SQL thing either. Sometimes it’s about other processes, or an overall architectural review. Or the engagement is to mentor someone (quite possibly unpaid), and there’s little to no technology involved at all.

So it’s very odd to try to describe what the last thing I worked on was. Most of my days involve working with two or three different customers, and a range of different tasks.

And besides, I don’t tend to talk about the particular things I do.


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