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Ian Roke avatar image
Ian Roke asked

What do you require easily to hand on your desk while you work?

A little bit off topic but I am intruiged in what you guys require/beg/demand on your desk while you work. I don't mean you demand a certain plant or chair I mean what you require to be productive.

I'll start things off...

I have the following things on my desk ready to hand:

  1. Notepad open ready to jot down things as I work.
  2. Flash drive with template scripts, documentations, manuals, etc.
  3. Grant Fritchey's "Dissecting SQL Server Execution Plans".
  4. Brad McGehee's "How To Be An Exceptional DBA".
  5. "SQL Server MVP Deep Dives" book.
  6. "Pro SQL Server 2008 Relational Database Design And Implementation" book.

And that's it really. On my computer I have of course Google on pretty much all the time! ;-)

sql-serverbest-practice
2 comments
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I keep feeling amazed (and a little awed) that so many people value #5 so much.
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I keep feeling amazed that there is so much good info in one book Rob! :-D
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Matt Whitfield avatar image
Matt Whitfield answered
  • A picture of my kids (reminds me why I'm there)
  • Google
  • Headphones (nothing beats D&B for me to get in the zone)
  • A chocolate cookie (or multiples thereof)
  • One cup of coffee that I've just made, and the three half-drunk ones that I haven't taken downstairs yet
  • A pen & paper
  • ask.sqlservercentral.com (keeps me occupied during long compiles)
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CirqueDeSQLeil avatar image
CirqueDeSQLeil answered
  1. Google
  2. Books online
  3. Flash Drive
  4. Script Repository that I have created
  5. MP3 collection
  6. SQL Server MVP Deep Dives
  7. Notebook
  8. Post-It pad
  9. Water Fountain
  10. Motivating Employees Book
  11. PASS Summit DVD Collection
2 comments
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+1 Interesting list there, particularly 10 and 11. Do you really get an opportunity to motivate people being a DBA? ;-)
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I have the book due to being a team lead and needing to help the team keep a positive attitude.
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Fatherjack avatar image
Fatherjack answered
  • web connection - probably for Google but I tend to go straight to the source so SSC, Stack Overflow/Server Fault, MSDN, SQLServerpedia if I expect its a question thats been put to the community already
  • Two screens - script on one, UI/Report etc being developed on the other
  • Multiple desktop software - means I get one for email, SSMS one for monitoring s/w such as SQL Response and one for web browser/Twitter client
  • Nuts and dried fruit to chew on; lasts longer than chocolate!
  • Chilled Water + Hot Coffee supply
  • Any sort of paper to note times/values/phone numbers etc
  • Outlook - I run my task list in there and its also my work diary/reminder system
  • On the PC - SQL 2008 Dev Edn, SSMS+BIDS, LogParser, PowerShell, Visual Studio 2008, Excel (you can keep Word and put it somewhere uncomfortable, probably right beside Project), Chrome, Firefox, IE8 and Opera, Twhirl, PasswordSafe, ZipCentral, Acrobat Reader for ebooks
  • ageing library of dev books from VB6 onwards - mostly for comfort I think!
  • no photos - I dont want to remember that I'd rather be somewhere else
  • iPod
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two screens = +1
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Rob Farley avatar image
Rob Farley answered

My personal laptop, tethered to my phone... with my own stuff on it rather than the client's.

My phone will contain my todo list, which I need to have open most of the time. Without that, stuff gets missed for too long.

But generally, very little.

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+1 - for the minimalist DBA!
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Tom Staab avatar image
Tom Staab answered

I gave Matt a +1 but wish I could give more because it's so close to my own answer.

  • pictures of my wife and kids (cause they're awesome)
  • our wedding DVD -- I rarely actually watch any of it, but the editing was fantastic, and I sometimes like watching the parts that are essentially music videos to Coldplay's "Yellow" and Dido's "Thank you".
  • headphones -- my preference is psytrance
  • my green tea and ginseng pills (fantastic mid-day boost)
  • water and something to nibble on
  • ask.sqlservercental.com -- So I can try to help someone else during long builds or waiting for long processes to finish or when I'm stuck and just need a break.
  • a whiteboard as big as possible -- I prefer visual aids when explaining things. This was more important when I was a manager, but I still love my whiteboard.
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whiteboard = definite +1 - it's the first thing I ask for any time I go to someone's office for a contract.
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Jeff Moden avatar image
Jeff Moden answered

Coffee cup (filled regularly, of course), paper, and a pencil. On my person... personal collection of scripts on a flash drive. Any books I may have are in my satchel and only for the days that I need them to get a particular job done.

On the computer... other than the stuff that comes with SQL Server, something that can open huge files, display line numbers, and hex characters. MS Office, Visio, and access to professional sites like SQLServerCentral.com are extremely helpful. Also, if people actually want me to do something, privs. ;-)

I despise IM but find email to be essential so long as people don't abuse it.

Other than that, I keep it pretty spartan on my desk and I don't need/want tunes. Such is the life of a semi-permanent consultant.

5 comments
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Sounds very minimalistic! ;-)
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It sure is. I don't have much need for distraction (heh... I have enough voices in my head ;-) and I have to be able to move at a moment's notice.
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Interested that you hate IM. I find it very useful to get things done in my company. We have teams in India and scattered across the UK so it helps to have one centralised location where we can chat about things.
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I am a big fan of IM when it is not abused. It can get disruptive if overused though, and it can be intrusive when you really get deep into coding. It is good to be able to turn it off when you are really trying to focus. Of course, I say the same about phones and e-mail notifications when I am really trying to focus.
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Hi Ian, Used properly, IM is great. The problem is the people in the next cubes or sitting across from me are constantly IM'ing me instead of just getting off their dead you-know-what's for a simple 2 minute conversation instead of 20 minutes worth of partial questions. I also get IM's from a lot of folks who think I'm "Books Online". When I go to turn the darned thing off, my boss gets all bent out of shape because he might actually have to pick up the phone and call me. I have to look at each IM popup because my boss said he really doesn't want me to miss one of his.
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sp_lock avatar image
sp_lock answered

"It Depends".. ha had to get that in...

Most of my requirement have all ready been mentioned, but I like to keep my nicotine close just in case I come across a bofh. Other useful things are "redbull", chocolate, Protein shakes and wine gums!

I like to also use delicous, so that all the useful blogs are saved and if my machine dies then it "simples" to get them back.

More recently, I like to keep "Deep Dives" on hand!

5 comments
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+1 Delicious is definately a saver. If you have Firefox try using Xmarks too which allows you to sync bookmarks between different machines. Very useful!
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-1 For saying "it depends"!!! :-p
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Will take a look... Cheers Ian
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Only joking about the -1. I know what you mean. Today for example I've got nothing but junk on my desk! :-)
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I love delicious. I also am a big fan of weave if using firefox. It is like Xmarks in some ways, but with more capabilities and after the initial set up you can effectively give it no thought and have it work in the background.
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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered

Does Claudia Black count as something I need in order to be more productive?

Anyway...

  • Books Online
  • Google
  • Inside SQL Server T-SQL Querying
  • Inside SQL Server The Storage Engine
  • Pad & Pen

Those are the "can't live without" list. On the nice to have list:

  • Zune
  • My stack of SQL Server books (and it's a big stack)
  • Twitter
  • SQL Server Central
4 comments
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@Grant, what about "SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled".. ha. Excellent book by the way!
1 Like 1 ·
+1 Love it. I've got that book too!
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Thanks guys, and yeah, I actually look stuff up in my books too. I wish I had one of those brains that remembers everything.
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+1 for Inside SQL Server T-SQL Querying. A brilliant book.
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Jeff Oresik avatar image
Jeff Oresik answered

Desk:

  • Separate Coffee & Tea Mugs
  • #2 Pencils(3)
  • My business card - can't remember office address & phone#
  • headphones
  • Train Schedule

Drawer:

  • SQL Pocket Guide
  • Transact-SQL: User Defined Functions - Andrew Novick (Received copy from auther)
  • Phone Charger
  • Granola Bars

Cube Wall: White Board

software:

  • Evernote
  • Notepad
  • Outlook
  • Internet Explorer: Home Page: about:blank
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KenJ avatar image
KenJ answered

wide-mouth mason jar for a drink

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