What Makes a Good Online Presentation?

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The inaugural GroupBy.org online event finished recently, and I had the sublime pleasure of watching a bunch of presenters at work. Because I was staffing the Q&A, Twitter, and Slack, I also got to watch the community reactions firsthand. People love different sessions for different reasons. Let’s start with Pinal Dave. He runs SQLauthority.com, a site that has surely shown up in your search results countless times. I bet you’ve never seen him present, and I need you to spend just a couple minutes watching him get to work. Start the video, and either watch a few minutes from the beginning, or…
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The Two Best Things Paul Randal Taught Me

Several years back, I had the pleasure of working with Paul Randal (blog – @PaulRandal) – first in the Microsoft Certified Master program, and then later at SQLskills with Paul & Kim. I had a phenomenal time – they’re truly wonderful people – and I want to share two of my favorite lessons that still come in handy every week. 1. When answering, be comfortable saying “I don’t know.” When someone asks you a question that stumps you, be honest immediately and say: “I don’t know, but here’s where I would go look: ____.” Paul Randal never did teach me the…
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GroupBy: We Did It!

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GroupBy.org is off to an awesome start: Dozens of speakers submitted abstracts and collaborated on ’em Hundreds of readers voted to pick their favorites The winning speakers put on a heck of a show Almost 700 of you showed up to watch live Our A/V team kicked butt and got the recordings up on YouTube the very next day And I have to say the site looks pretty spiffy these days Preliminary podcast artwork I’m really proud of what you and I built over there. Here’s what’s coming next: Friday, we’ve got another 6 live sessions Our A/V team will launch the podcast…
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Early Thoughts About the 2017 Data Professional Salary Survey Results

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The 2017 Data Professional Salary Survey is going on now, but with over 1,300 2,400 results in already, I’ve noticed some interesting trends in the raw data. (I did this analysis on Friday, so if you redo it, you’ll see even higher response counts and possibly different results.) 2017/01/06 responses by job title, count: A good chunk of the responders are DBAs (no surprise, BrentOzar.com is a DBA-focused blog.) Since DBAs are near and dear to my heart, I’m going to filter for just them, and then analyze responses by country: Good! We’ve got just over 500 responses from US DBAs.…
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Specialized Input Devices: The MacBook Pro Touch Bar and the Ergodox-EZ

For the last month, I’ve been using two different keyboards: At home, I’m using the Ergodox-EZ split ergonomic keyboard. On the road, I’m using the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. Both of them forced me to slow down and look at my hands for a while. The Ergodox EZ: Wildly Ergonomic I type a lot (and quickly), and maybe fifteen years ago, I started having wrist pains. I switched to ergonomic keyboards, and the pain disappeared pretty quickly. Thing is, most ergonomic keyboards have craptacular key feel and they don’t promote great posture. There’s a better way. I…
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April Fool’s Blog Posts I Couldn’t Develop in 2016

All year long, I pile up blog post ideas and work through them. Somehow, the vast majority of my ideas are actually April Fool’s Day posts. I can’t possibly write all these, so I’m tossing ’em out in my end-of-year housecleaning. Enjoy. DBAsOnly.com – a dating site for database administrators. Someone who understands the constant on-call lifestyle. You’ll never have to do tech support for your partner. Use the power of data to find the right match. Powerless BI – new product for disenfranchised line-level employees that want to correlate metrics to employee dissatisfaction. DBA Job Candidate Verification Service – For $29, we’ll check…
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THE Sales Question: “What Does Success Look Like to You?”

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Most of my sales work involves a productized service: the SQL Critical Care®, a package of consulting work with a defined set of steps and a finish line. But sometimes on introductory calls, prospective customers just start venting. They complain about performance, management, capacity planning, architecture, upgrades, downtime, cost, staffing, the last guy, and a litany of stuff. As a consultant, though, I can’t write a Statement of Work for that. Or to be more specific, I can’t write it up in a way that an executive will actually sign the contract to let us start work. So when I’m not…
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How I Handle Weekend and Holiday Work

Vegas, baby! When you’re independent, sooner or later, somebody’s gonna want you to work on the weekend or on a holiday. Or, they may say something like, “Is there any way we could get into your calendar earlier, or get this done faster?” Here’s how I handle that: any money I make on weekends or holidays goes directly to my wife as purely discretionary income. This has an interesting effect on negotiations: it takes away all of my emotions from the negotiations process. Normally, when there’s money at stake, I’m interested in getting the deal signed, but since none of the money’s going…
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The Tools and Services I Used to Build GroupBy.org

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About a month ago when I announced my plans to build GroupBy.org, I wrote: And I bet I can do this whole thing for free, without charging attendees or speakers. Although I’m not betting too much – I’m a huge believer in the Lean Methodology, which means you risk as little as possible when you’re building something up from scratch. Here’s the tools I used to do it. GroupBy’s Infrastructure WordPress – it’s free, powers something like 25% of the web, is crazy extensible, and has an amazing number of plugins available. Pretty much anything I build online involves WordPress in…
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What Sessions I’m Attending at AWS re:Invent This Week

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Richie and I are at the AWS re:Invent conference because: AWS Reinvent 2016 A good number of our customers run SQL Server on Amazon Web Services We use AWS ourselves (our first project, PasteThePlan, was built on AWS because we wanted to keep costs low) Clients and friends kept telling me how awesome the conference was We’re recruiting clients (this isn’t a marketing event for us at all – we’re just there to learn, and Richie jokes that it’ll be fun to walk around at a conference where Brent Ozar isn’t BRENT OZAR) Vegas, baby (and in March 2017, I’m attending Google Cloud Next in SF) Here’s some…
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Hi. I’m Brent.

That's me, Brent.

I live in California with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.

I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.

profile for Brent Ozar on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites
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