SQL Server Tracking Tempdb Size

Here is a quick Extended Events script I knocked up where I wanted to track Tempdb file size changes for both the data and log file. I wanted to know who caused the tempdb growth, when it was done, what the T-SQL was and what sizes were involved. Not exactly complicated but hopefully useful.

Continue reading


About Me


I am passionate about using Cloud Technology.

So any questions/ feedback – please Get In Touch

Copyright ©  in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. You are free to use any of the content here for personal use but need permission to use it anywhere or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise).

Setting SQL Server Max Memory Dangerously Low

Hopefully you know the relevance and importance of setting a correct value for max memory on your SQL Server. By default it will be the value 2147483647 which is not a random number but the 8th Mersenne prime! In a computing sense it is the maximum positive value for a 32-bit signed binary integer and that is big.

Continue reading

SQL Server vNext

I have been pretty busy recently working with Joe Sack from Microsoft and  getting my hands dirty with SQL Server vNext accessing some cool stuff (which obviously I can’t talk about – under NDA) and believe me it is pretty powerful stuff.

Taking a step back vNext is going to be a big deal, bringing us new features such as support for running SQL Server on Linux (Red Hat, SUSE, and Ubuntu) and Docker containers, adaptive query processing, SQL graph, improvements to R Services, Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services.

I was working with the most recent release SQL Server vNext CTP 1.2 (January 2017) and more specifically the adaptive query processing area and it is a powerful concept. Just helping the guys at Microsoft validate some things made me realise what amazing stuff is in the pipeline. Joe has already blogged about a section within this space called batch mode adaptive memory grant feedback. https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlserverstorageengine/2016/11/29/introducing-batch-mode-adaptive-memory-grant-feedback/ but I was working on something else <BIG SMILE>.

It really is an exciting time to be involved with the SQL Server product because I know there is more to come. It’s probably the right time to thank Joe for answering my questions and being very patient with me to really allow me to help them.

Hopefully I can keep helping with future releases of this product because from writing articles, blogging and building my codeplex project it is mini projects like this that really makes me smile. (Yes I include the SQLskills waits library in that too)

Thanks for reading!

My application to Microsoft

I have been eager to write this blog post for a while now.

I want to share my experience of the process that I went through (last year) when I applied to Microsoft for a SQL PFE (Premier Field Engineer) role. Why would I want to do this? Well when I was going though the process I was online all day trying to get some insight into what I was going to go through, so I hope for those that are thinking of applying they will find this useful.

I will say that I received some advice from Gail Shaw about contacting Microsoft before writing this in case I was violating some piece of legislation; I thank her for this as I was sent some documentation by Microsoft to read before writing. So I am going to play it safe and not indulged on what was asked but what I went through (from my perspective).

Stage 1

Send your CV! If you have dreams of working for Microsoft then why not try and send your CV? I was sent an email with a Job description and thought why not?

If they like the look of your CV then you move to the next stage.

Stage 2

Technical telephone interview, exactly what it says on the tin. At this stage they engage with you to see if you know the basics i.e. if you have a solid foundation. You know you are not going to get far if you don’t really know something as simple as Minimum Server Memory or isolation levels.

Without going into too much detail (question types etc) it was quite evident that their requirements on the Job description would be the source of questions here around the following:

  • SQL Server (core product)
  • SQL HA/DR solutions.
  • Experiences with SQL Server Integration Services, Reporting Services, Analysis Services.
  • PowerShell
  • Azure

This started of fairly easy but if they feel you know more they will probe you. My advice here is if you don’t know the answer then be honest! This stage lasted around 1 hour. By the way if you lied on your CV you might get embarrassed here so be honest, this isn’t your local company interviewing you.

Stage 3

A Competency telephone interview was next. I found this quite tough. A lot of complex scenario based questions where Microsoft tries to find out how you would react to certain scenarios / situations. My advice here is to learn about Microsoft competencies and their expectations.

I was surprised to be invited to the last stage(s) the assessment day located at their HQ – Reading. If you reach this stage you will be in for a long but fun day.

Stage 4-5-6

Stage 4 – technical interview with 2 senior engineers.  Yes I was nervous, they knew it and I knew but they were really nice people. They DO NOT try to trick you here, all they want to know if how deep you can go.

Its starts of basic, you answer it then they build a question on your answer and that keeps going until you either don’t know or they move on to the next question – and yes there were times we were talking about SQL internals ( Think allocation bitmaps etc).

Many times I did not know the answer and I was not shy in saying “sorry I don’t know”.

Stage 5 – Technical presentation – after stage 3 you will be sent material to digest and prepare a presentation on your findings. This required A LOT of effort in terms of information preparation and practicing in front of a mirror for the presenting side of things. Be confident! I wore my favourite tie so I felt good too.

Stage 6- competency interview with 2 senior managers – Here they want to get to know you and what makes you “tick”. It’s up to them to decide if you will fit in at Microsoft. The questions here were complex ones designed to understand what your personality is like.

Even though I didn’t get the job I really enjoyed going through this process, I learnt a lot about myself, ultimately giving me the platform to improve myself. If you have any questions leave me a comment – I will try and answer without violating any T/Cs I was sent.