T-SQL Tuesday 135 - The outstanding tools of the trade that make your job awesome

3 minute read

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Winter Spring is coming

It is February already, and the good thing is that it is the shortest month, so March is around the corner. I have a pleasure to invite the community for another edition of #TSQL2SDAY.

The T-SQL Tuesday is a monthly blog party that happens on the second Tuesday of each month. The very first one was started over a decade ago by Adam Machanic (blog|twitter), and currently is being maintained by Steve Jones (blog|twitter). More about the concept on its website.

TL;DR

Without tools, most of the work would be much harder to do or could not be done at all. Write a blog post about the most helpful and effective tools you use or know of.

If you do not own the blog – Tweet your contribution or post on LinkedIn with #tsql2sday and put the link back in the comments here.

Tools are great Can you imagine your day without them? How do you make your coffee or slice the bread? How do you cook breakfast or dinner?

We are surrounded by tools, and there is a special class of them called “tools of the trade”. Those are needed to do your job whatever it is.

I would like you to write about the tools that help you at work, those that helped you the most or were the most effective. It can by anything really, does not have to be related to SQL at all. Here is the list of example, but you can go beyond that and share the tools you cannot live without. Are you…

  • writing code?
  • recording videos or streaming live sessions?
  • creating podcasts or taking pictures?
  • migrating loads of data or environments?
  • writing documentation?
  • maintaining the open-source projects?
  • managing the team?
  • travelling a lot (well, not currently)?
  • learning a new language?
  • renovating house?

Everyone has its own experience and workstyle. The goal of this post is for everyone to learn about a new tool, or starting to use one, so life gets easier a little bit.

My tools

As a SQL Server DBA, I use PowerShell a lot to make things easier. The examples of only a few PowerShell modules: dbatools, dbachecks, Pester, ImportExcel. Before those tools, I was using PowerShell but had to write my own version of each script. It was time-consuming and prone to bugs, so switching to the tools created by the community was a life-changer.

When doing my research for blog posts I come across other people’ blogs/websites. I try to mention them and this list is particularly handy. This way I can “tag” Andy Mallon (blog|twitter) without spending too much time trying to track Andy’s Twitter handle.

For writing blog posts, but as well for creating documentation I take lots of screenshots. I like to see what was done exactly, so want to share that with my readers. Windows 10 (my main OS) has a tool to take screenshots out of the box (Snip & Sketch), however, I use the tool called Greenshot.

If you are new or want to expand your reading sources have a look at Brent Ozar’s list on GitHub. PS: “Brent Ozar” is generally a good “thing” to have in your toolbelt.

The last thing I want to share is password managers. I admit I started using them very late, but it is better later than never, right? My two selections are KeePass (offline) and LastPass (online). There is a number of password managers out there in the wild, so I invite you to do your research and pick what works the best for you.

T-SQL Tuesday rules

Your blog post must be published on Tuesday, 9 February 2021 – the time zone is irrelevant. If you see that date anywhere on the site you are good to go. Include the T-SQL Tuesday logo, and have the logo link back to this blog post. If you do not see your post in trackbacks, please add the link to the comments below. If you are on Twitter, tweet your post using hashtag #tsql2sday. Also, it does not need to be a written post, it can be a video or meme or animated GIF you create, comics strip, even a poem.

Want to be a host?

If you like to host one of the T-SQL Tuesday events please contact Steve Jones (blog|twitter) for more information.

Thank you,

Mikey