This month, Todd Kleinhans (T) asked us what we use databases for, outside of learning or work.
My first thought was, i don’t. Because everytime i’m using a database, it’s connected to learning. But, outside of work, i’m using SQL Server databases for a volunteering ‘job’.
Besides working for an IT company (Axians) i’m a volunteer for a regional speedskating organisation (KNSB Groningen). My volunteering part consists mostly of timekeeping during speedskating races. To make sure we get the correct times for each and every speedskater, we use two applications.
The first one is used for the registration of speedskaters, the distances they want to skate and the composition of starting lists. The data then gets transferred to the second application that registers the times and passes the results back to the first application. In the background, a sort of server process is monitoring and storing the data inside a SQL Server database.
My main goal is to make sure the speedskater gets the correct times resulting in a classification. To get there, i have to make sure the database runs and is able to handle the requests. This means configuring, tuning and maintenance. Because the datavolume is small (about 2 or 3 gigabyte) it’s an easy task to keep the system up to speed. More challenges lie in the networking connections, the windows updates that choose to run during races (really fun if the server computer decides to reboot during a race).
All in all, this fills most of my spare time during the winter. In summer i get to use SQL Server the way i like. By trying stuff out, ruining databases because of a stupid statement or procedure but learning along the way.
But what about the future of personal data. What kind of personal data do i have. A few documents on Onedrive or GitHub. Thinking about it, i think most of my data resides in some sort of cloud. All but my photo’s that are stored on multiple local disks. Should i collect data about my use of electricity, water and gas? Maybe, but would it make a difference? Should i store the huge amount of books we have? Maybe, but would it make a difference? I don’t know.
In the end, i’ve had my unfair share of crashes or burnt disks that reduced my amount of data to almost zero. And after feeling bad for a few days, i never felt i missed something. I try and live in the present and avoid the past. The future, that’s where we’re going. As my first employer told me when he taught me to drive a tractor: “look ahead, that’s where it’s happening.”
Thanks for reading!
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