October 14, 2015 — Go inside PASS Summit 2015 session in this Q&A series with our presenters. In this interview, Melody Zacharias takes us inside her session “Distributed Replay: Testing with Your Data, Your Way!”.
Q: Who is your favorite super-hero, and which SQL Server or BI super-power do you hope your session will give attendees?
Melody: My favorite super-hero is not a classic hero but the Disney character Goofy. Goofy is good natured and down to earth; he treats everyone the same and never takes himself too seriously. I would like people to have the super-power of seeing into the future after my session. Distributed Replay helps you determine how changes to hardware, software, or index can affect how things run in your system. It allows you to see what will happen in your future production system.
Q: What’s your origin story? How did you become interested in working with data, and how did you take that initial interest to the expert level?
Melody: I discovered the SQL language in university and it was as obvious to me as breathing. I have had a passion for it ever since, and wanting to share it with others has lead me to presenting and teaching. I was once told that you don’t really know something until you can teach it. Teaching encourages me to be a better professional and allows me to grow that passion in others.
Q: What’s your favorite data solution’s secret power—the biggest strength that most people don’t really know about or use to full advantage?
Melody: I have to say that Distributed Replay is a great super-power within SQL Server 2012. It allows you to predict the future and determine how changes will make your system react.
Q: What about data’s biggest kryptonite or nemesis--the biggest mistake you see data professionals make?
Melody: The nemesis of data professionals is often forgetting the customer, whether that is your boss, CEO, or client. I think we sometimes forget that our job is to solve a problem or create a solution, not just to play with cool technical tools.
Q: What still excites you or trips you up in the real world when working with SQL Server or BI?
Melody: Anything new excites me. When someone finds a new way to solve an old problem or finds a more efficient way to solve it. New ideas are exiting, particularly when they are shared!
Q: What do you see as the next step after attending your session?
Melody: After my session, I hope people will try set up Distributed Replay in their test environment and try it out to see all that it can do for them. The best part of being a data professional is the toys we get to play with, and this is a really fun one.
Find Melody on her blog at SQLMelody.blogspot.caor on Twitter @SQLMelody, and check out our other Q&As with PASS Summit 2015 speakers.