Well, 2011 is over and 2012 is here and I am welcoming it with open arms! This last month of 2011 has been crazy. Where do I start…
How about getting thrown into 2 major projects with super tight, end of the year deadlines and both claiming to have priority over the other. I felt like I was in new Barbie doll on Christmas that my girls were fighting over (Thank goodness is still have both my arms, unlike her). One of the projects included building out 2 clustered virtual environments, one 2005 and one 2008 in a few days. I got to say that the cluster install on 2008 is a
major improvement to 2005! Once I had them built out and configured, we discovered that the max processor’s allowed on the current version of VM we had were 8. After load testing, it was decided that this wasn’t going to fly and 16 procs, which was what had been originally spec’d in the design documents (excellent research work done here), was required. So a brand new physical environment had to be built. Not sure where the servers came from, but we got the physical servers up and running in short time, rebuilt and configured with about 2 days left for testing. I spent a good part of a week assisting the developers in troubleshooting application and BizTalk connectivity errors. Every log they showed me had the letters S-Q-L in it, so they immediately thought it was SQL errors and I had a bad configuration in the cluster. In the end, it was firewall misconfiguration. All in all, we got the system up and running on the 29th, 2 days before the deadline which allowed us to be on-call, rather than on-site for the New Year’s weekend. The other project, due to a losing legal battle, had to be created from the ground up in 2 weeks. Thankfully, most of the work was on the web/app front end, so all I had to do was merge data from 4 different sources into a few different tables. The problem was the output was only as good as the input and needless to say the comma delimited files for input were as clean as a newborns diaper. It took a while to find the data issues, but once I did, the data loading process went smooth.
On top of all of this, one of my peers, who happens to be my other technical cohort in all of this, ups and leaves for India for a month (well deserved trip) and left me to deal with all of this. Keep in mind that had the tables been turned, I would have left too! My manager went on vacation for 2 weeks as well and put me in charge of any issues that arose in her absence. That left me here alone to administer 180+ SQL instances, hosting 850+ DB’s and the entire daily and weekly maintenance routines as well, not to mention trouble tickets, code reviews, code promotions and any other issues that came up.
Needless to say, my blogging, twitter’ing, emailing, reading and general personal life went out the window. The big bonus was the weeks went by incredibly fast and I got my PASS Summit dvd’s as a reward! In all honesty, I enjoyed the months’ workload. I think it is important to show that even when down a man/woman, you can step up to the challenge, fill the voids as needed, make the deadlines and still, for the most part, enjoy the work that you do.
So what did I learn for all of this? Be prepared for anything, accept new challenges and use them to learn and always get your vacation request in early (or earlier than you coworkers).
Oh, and I won the office mustache contest! Now, back to blogging.