I recently self-answered this question because I noticed a lot of questions that seemed to be about parameter sniffing, without users knowing the term for it, or how to provide information that would help us help them.

Since it seemed like a pretty popular Q&A, I'd be open to doing more (or letting other folks do them if they feel like it) to help.

Before I do that, I'd like to solicit community ideas for what helpful Q&A would look like.

What I'd like to know:

  • What other common scenarios would be good to document
  • Would you like to do them?

Possible scenarios:

  • Deadlocks
  • Blocking
  • Query performance
  • Query rewrites
  • Index tuning

The reason I'm posting this here is because I don't want anyone to feel like I'm spamming the board with useless Q&A. The information in the one on Parameter Sniffing has good general information about what information to provide and how to provide it, so more might be overlapping overkill.

There's some stuff like security, HA/DR, audits, Change Tracking, CDC, and encryption that I'm not well versed enough with to do.

There's also the crazy possibility that someone may want to do something similar for a platform other than SQL Server. I couldn't possibly do that justice, so that's totally open.

  • 5
    Self-Q&A is awesome, and encouraged. I've done a handful myself. Just a minor nit-pick in this specific case, that I didn't want to pollute the question with, but the title of your question is slightly misleading. Yes, parameter sniffing might be the reason a query is slower today than it was yesterday, but a slew of other things could cause that as well. This is a tough one because of chicken and egg - if I already know the problem is parameter sniffing, I don't need the post. But I think it's fair for users to answer with other potential reasons, too, and you need to be receptive to that.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 0:09
  • @AaronBertrand I think the failing is how I ultimately worded the question. I should have been more clear that it was about when nothing else has changed. I'm receptive to other answers, I just want them to be detailed. Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


First, none of your Q&A's would be useless. A great many people would find them (a) highly informative, and (b) quite wonderfully amusing. Keep up the good work, Erik!

We have quite a few canonical answers mentioned on meta.dba.se; it would be great to expand on that list with a wishlist of potentially unanswered questions.

Which brings me to, how do you word the question so that people will find your answer via Google or SE search?

That's what duplicate questions are for. I suggest formulating the question without too much emphasis on lols; that's what your answer is for (well, that and actually, you know, providing an answer!)

Focus the question on the typical thing you would ask Google to locate for you. So, "my query is fast in the application, but slow in SSMS", or "my query provides results quickly via our web app, but slowly via our internal app". Or perhaps just, "my query sometimes runs slowly, sometimes it runs fast, what gives?". Then, once you post your question/answer combo, search [dba.se] for potential duplicate unanswered questions. You might even look for poorly answered questions along the same vein. With 65,000+ questions, I can almost guarantee you'll find at least a few that can be "closed as duplicate", pointing at your question.

Also, consider publishing your question to the canonical answers meta post so experienced users can close-as-duplicate for you.

And, just as a side note, try not to be condescending. And, as a self-aware person, I know that statement could easily be construed as condescending in-and-of itself. What can I say, no one is perfect.

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