I work in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia specialising in SQL Server data warehouse architecture. I enjoy problem solving and performance tuning large complex systems, and strive to make them simpler. I’m lucky to work with enough dedicated and talented programmers and managers to make these things happen,  and clients who appreciate the value of what we do.

I used to think that everything that could be written about SQL Server had already been documented and blogged to death, save perhaps for features of new versions. Now I sometimes wonder if there is a secret code among bloggers and speakers to omit a whole bunch of really useful stuff from the public domain to allow them to wow clients as highly paid on-site consultants.

When I’m told my solution is “um, creative” I’m cynical enough to suspect a euphemism, but as Einstein said (presumably in German) “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. Now I’m not comparing myself to Einstein… OK, maybe I am, but my point is there is a lot of information on the net, but not a whole lot of knowledge (or application of that information).

My lofty goal with this modest blog hidden in a dark corner of the net is to publish occasional examples of the original application of readily available information to solve real problems. If it gets you thinking rather than memorising then I’ve done my (unpaid) job. If I publish something that you already use or read somewhere else, then I’d like to know about it, and if you see flaws in my work then I’d really appreciate your feedback.

In my spare time I enjoy unicycling. As an older rider this doesn’t come easily to me, but I think I enjoy it so much because it’s all about problem solving. A trick will seem impossible at first, so how can I break it down into components, work on those components, and assemble into the finished product?  No one can tell you how you will learn a trick (though you can get some pointers from youtube), you just have to work stuff out for yourself. I always think the best thing kids learn from unicycling is not actually how to ride a unicycle, but how to solve problems.  Sometimes it just requires hard work, patience and commitment, but it’s always satisfying the first time you land something new, just like it’s satisfying to see your designs sailing through test cycles and into production.

That’s how I roll.



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