This is Blog Party Week for T-SQL Tuesday, and I think it’s a good choice for a topic. This month’s hosts are Mickey Bronowski, and his Invitation is on the device. I work for an appliance vendor, and I’ve used them a lot in my life, so I want to share what I think is 2021. I would also say that Mickey has made a good list in his invitation to use. I particularly like my use of PoSh things and Greenshot.
I’m going to tackle this in some ways because I actually have two parts of my job, so I’ll look at technical tools and then productivity tools.
- SQL prompt – Can’t live without it, and struggle to write t-SQL when it’s not working.
- SQL source control / SQL change automation – I use these regularly, and while I prefer SQL Source Control for many functions, I love migration. Slowly, I’m moving flyway For some things, as I think this is our future.
- SQL Clone / SQL Provisioning – I regularly copy and mask database. This makes testing copies quick and easy.
Outside Redgate, I really like VS Code For lots of editing, whether C #, Python or PowerShell. I am trying to use Azure Data Studio More, but I just prefer VS code. There is no real good reason here. I have Sublime text Also, which I use for text / HTML / markdown, but I think I’m going to move slowly to VS code, and I can’t install Sublime on my next machine.
I still live in SSMS most of the time, rarely in VS, but occasionally. However, as I do more DevOps stuff, I also have a few other key tools that I use every day and continue to learn about:
- Git – I do a lot of command line stuff, and continue to do better with the VSCode client as well. I used GitHub and AzDO for repose, but a lot of basic Git stuff is important for my work
- Azure DevOps – I’ve used other tools, but my goto, and what I’ve used for SQLMemorial.org is Azure DevOps
- Chocolate – Install the tool for Package Manager and Windows. It let me install a machine in an hour, as opposed to a day.
- Doctor – I use containers more and more instead of installing software.
I can use other objects, like salt, but these are big tools that help me get code written.
My job is writing more. I run essentially a newspaper in SQLServerCentral, and I produce a lot of content. As a result, I have some tools that make me easier and help me to coordinate with others.
Here is a list with some comments:
- Evergreen – I subscribe to and use it to keep random notes for editorial and work things. I leave notes here from meetings. I have various items for my personal life, such as maintenance logging on vehicles, license plates, recipes for cooking, and more. Worth my $$$. There are other good note applications, but I’ve been living on Evernote for 6-7 years, so no one has made a good case for my switch
- Dropbox / OneDrive – I sync stuff between machines and my phone. I have used DropBox for years, but their changes on mobile, which do not store and make files available, make me consider a full-time move to OneDrive. A sync tool is important. Choose any one, but use it.
- Password protected – Everyone needs a password manager. I have had it since its release in 2002. Works on free, secure, platforms, I see no reason to change. Use some here.
- Greenshot – I have tried various screen capture tools, but it is lightweight, stable, and easy to install.
- Live writer – I use open source projects for blogging. A drive sync tool keeps drafts on all machines.
- Camtasia – While there are plenty of ways to capture screen video, Camtasia works just for me. Not the best for producing my screen presentations and other recordings, but fairly simple and stable. I can record something quickly, and then edit a video or animated gif in minutes.
While I definitely use Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), they are less than these tools in my day. I usually outline some stuff in Evernote before going to PPT. I do a little spreadsheet work, and some Power BI, but I’m really productive with these tools.
The last tool I mentioned lightly is Spotify. I love music, and I sometimes appreciate being in the background. My wife likes Pandora, but use whatever helps get you in a good mood.
My advice, try a few things, find out how someone works well, and be better at it.
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