Mala Mahadevan

Mala Mahadevan

SQL Server DBA/Database Engineer , ChannelAdvisor Corp, Passionate about community, co lead #DPWIT and #TriPASSUG

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Mala Mahadevan is a senior database professional with over 20 years of experience working with data, primarily in SQL Server and related technologies. She has been volunteering with SQL Server community for the past 15 years and is also a recipient of the PASSion award for being an outstanding volunteer. She is a featured blogger on sqlservercentral.com and also blogs frequently at curiousaboutdata.com. She is active on twitter as @sqlmal.

Area of Expertise

  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Information & Communications Technology


  • SQL Server Developer
  • Automation with PowerShell
  • Women in Tech

Communication across Cultures

Language and communication are two different things...we may all speak English, but what we say and mean by what we say is primarily influenced by culture/upbringing and context. In an essentially global economy-driven world, we need to communicate with many people whose styles are very different from our own. How do we make ourselves understood by other people? How do we place their words in the proper context and respond appropriately? This short talk attempts to address some of these questions and help us talk to each other in mutually respectful and effective ways.

Worrying well

To allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles
constantly is a habit - one that is chronic with some, lesser with others
but exists nonetheless and contributes significantly to decline in our
mental and emotional health.In this session, I'd like to share some tips
on how I came to terms with my chronic worry and learned to turn it around
in ways that are helpful and beneficial.

Until the paperwork is done - Database Documentation, why and how.

Many of us are familiar with the line 'no job is complete until the paperwork is done'. Documentation, even if it is not on 'paper'
is the least liked task with software development. Database documentation is poorly understood and rarely prioritized. In this presentation, we will go through -
Why documentation is important
What is database documentation - Data dictionary, ER diagrams, Database scripts
How to derive business value from documentation
What are tools available for documentation
Using Extended Properties to get a simple documentation process started.

SQL Graph Revealed

‘Graph data’ is normally used to describe data that is highly interconnected.
Transportation routes, social media friends or connections, organizational charts, genealogical charts,
product and customer data, electrical grids and pipelines…the scenarios where you can find them are endless.
The most common way graph data is modeled in the relational world is by using many-many-relationships..querying such structures can be very painful and expensive in terms of time and computing power.
Modeling it the graph way instead allows for efficient querying, detection of associations and patterns, performing affinity analysis, and adding business value in a variety of different ways.
There are dedicated graph databases that do this..such as Neo4j..
but what if most of your data is in a relational engine already?
What if you want to keep the gains of a relational engine such as security, ACID properties, and high availability
and still, do some graph modeling?
SQL Server 2016+ supports graph data modeling as well.
In this talk on SQL Graph Revealed we will learn about origins of graph theory,
components of graph data, and advantages of modeling relationships using graph capabilities of SQL Server.

Finding and Fixing T-SQL Anti-Patterns with ScriptDOM

Quality code is free of things we call 'anti-patterns' - nolock hints, using SELECT *, queries without table aliases and so on.
We may also need to enforce certains standards: naming conventions, ending statements with semicolons, indenting code the right way etc. Furthermore, we may need to apply specific configurations on database objects, such as to create tables on certain filegroups or use specific settings for indexes.

All of this may be easy with a small database and a small volume of code to handle, but what happens when we need to deal with a large volume of code? What if we inherit something full of these anti-patterns, and we just don't have time to go through all of it manually and fix it? But suppose we had an automated utility that could do this for us? Even better, if we could integrate it in our Azure Devops pipelines?

ScriptDOM is a lesser-known free tool from SQL Server DacFx which has the ability to help with finding programmatic and stylistic errors (a.k.a linting) in T-SQL code.It can even fix some of these errors!
In this session we will learn about what it is, how we can harness its power to read code and tell us what it finds, and actually fix some of those anti-patterns.
Join us for this highly interactive and demo-packed session for great insights on how to improve the quality of your code. Basic knowledge of T-SQL and Powershell is recommended to get the most out of this session.

feedback link: https://sqlb.it/?7110

Counting connections - basics of graph data

Understand graph and hierarchial data structures

Nurturing Team Spirit and Connection in the Virtual World

This session is about understanding the root causes of exhaustion and fatigue in virtual work environments, exploring the "why" and "how" in measuring and addressing these issues.
As part of this, we will look into managing cross-cultural teams, which can be both exhilarating and challenging. Participants will gain an appreciation for the richness and diversity such teams bring while also acknowledging the complexities they introduce.
We will then dissect the unique challenges faced when communicating across cultural boundaries in areas such as providing constructive criticism, resolving conflicts, and grappling with leadership dynamics.
We will then move on to distinctions between these challenges in the virtual and physical worlds and the necessity of tailoring strategies to suit the nuances of virtual interactions.

Drawing from real-world experiences and research findings, the session will conclude by unveiling a curated toolkit of practical techniques and solutions to infuse virtual, cross-cultural teams with fun and effectiveness. Attendees will gain a deep understanding of the mechanisms behind nurturing a sense of belonging and team spirit and will explore ways to maintain these vital components while embracing the virtual work environment.

Mala Mahadevan

SQL Server DBA/Database Engineer , ChannelAdvisor Corp, Passionate about community, co lead #DPWIT and #TriPASSUG

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

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