Is this thing on?

My Next Crazy Idea: A Free Online Conference

I wanna build something awesome where: Speakers submit session abstracts publicly online Vendors can be speakers, too (anybody can submit a talk on anything – your own open source project, paid project, Microsoft can apply, hardware vendors, etc) Readers can leave comments on the abstracts to help the author clarify and improve them Everybody votes for the abstracts they’d like to see most Once a month, voting closes, and the top X speakers/abstracts for next month are picked (maybe 5, maybe 10, let’s play this by ear) Sessions are held online in an easy-to-watch platform, on a predictable day/time (like the first Tuesday of every month,…
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One Bold Change to Help SQLSaturday Scale

Alex Yates wrote a very interesting post called 5 bold changes to support the scale problem of SQL Saturdays (and other data platform conferences.) The short story: Cut costs (and no free lunches) Attract new sponsors Attract new attendees Get more diversified attendees Attendees have a duty to talk to sponsors They’re a lot of great ideas, and I’m going to suggest one of my own. Sponsors need to deliver sponsor sessions that don’t suck. Today, sponsors buy attendee eyeball time by doing things like sponsoring sessions at lunch. SQLSaturday organizers usually set up the time slots so that no “real” sessions are given during lunch,…
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Book Reviews: Gear List of the Golden Moon, and The Book of Leadership

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Have you ever thought about rowing up the coast in an open boat for, I dunno, a month? Yeah, me neither. But on vacation, I saw this book, and I just had to open it up: “What to pack for coastal travel in an open boat with notes on anchoring, hazards, money, and other helpful things” I had to know if the author, Dick Callahan, was trolling me. He was not. He describes his journey up the coast from Seattle to Alaska in yes, an open boat. Watch the book’s trailer to see some of the book’s pictures. He gives specific…
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PasteThePlan.com’s September Hosting Costs: $3.43

We launched PasteThePlan.com on September 11th, and it got just shy of 5K pageviews in 3 weeks: PasteThePlan pageviews After launch, it stabilized at around 125 pageviews per weekday. (That’ll bump up this week with a new page that lets you see the 20 most recently pasted plans. I kinda find that addicting.) In Richie’s architecture explanation, he wrote that PasteThePlan runs on Amazon Web Services: The web requests are handled by AWS Lambda, aka serverless code or function-as-a-service The plans are logged in AWS DynamoDB, a managed NoSQL database So what’s it all cost to host? PasteThePlan Costs for September Yep,…
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My First and Second Consulting Projects

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First, the projects that didn’t count: For a couple of years, I acted as an internal consultant at a hotel management company, jumping around from project to project and hotel to hotel. I treated my full-time job as a series of consulting projects, but that doesn’t really count here. I did side work for past bosses – that doesn’t count either. I ended my presentations with “for help, contact me” and that got me a few half-day gigs on the weekends For a project to count, I figure it had to involve multiple days, and at least 3 zeroes on…
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500-Level Guide to Career Internals: Attendee Questions & Answers

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In my 24 Hours of PASS session, 500-Level Guide to Career Internals (video), I got a few great questions that we didn’t have the time to answer during the live webcast. Let’s talk through ’em now. Q: Does speaking at SQL Sat, etc. and learning presentation skills help with blog writing skills? Yes, and vice versa – it’s all about: Learning who your audience is Learning what their pain points are Learning the best ways to relieve those pains Learning how to teach the audience how to get pain relief Presenting helps you learn the audience better by hearing what their questions…
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What Career Success (and Misery) Means to Me

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To me, success means: Doing challenging work that I love While surrounded by people I admire Working for a company that I respect Getting a fair trade between the hours I put in, and the reward The ability to make that tradeoff choice myself Success doesn’t have to mean starting a company or being a freelance consultant, and indeed, for me, starting a company was never something that was important to me. I can achieve those five bullet points – or rather, as many of ’em as possible – regardless of the organizational structure I’m in. I am successful at Pandemic,…
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Why My Latest Project Uses NoSQL

I really like building free stuff to make Microsoft SQL Server data professionals’ jobs easier and more enjoyable, and I’ve been picking up speed: 2011 – sp_Blitz®, easy free SQL Server health check script 2013 – DBAreactions.com, DBA life in animated GIF form 2015 – SQLServerUpdates.com, easy free way to find current patches 2016 – First Responder Kit, an open sourced set of scripts for health checks and performance tuning We’re about to announce our first free online service, not just a web site or script, and that comes with some interesting design decisions and restrictions. My free projects have to be…
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Networking Doesn’t Scale. Coding and Blogging Do.

I hate networking. Even just typing the word makes me cringe because it makes me think walking up to a complete stranger and striking up a conversation. I hate approaching strangers. Ever since the time with the van and the candy, I… I’d rather not talk about it. Networking is a time suck that doesn’t scale. Whenever you want to make new connections, you have to go to a location, be mentally present, and you can’t be doing anything else. It’s an active task, not a passive task. You don’t have time for more active tasks because your day job is already overworking…
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How to Find Out if Independent Consulting is Right for You

Wanna be a freelance consultant? Wanna do the same thing you’re doing today as an employee, but on your own, getting your own clients directly? There’s an easy way to tell if you’ll be good at it: start doing it today in your full time role. Here’s how. Step 1: Treat your internal users like customers. Think about these people as paying your check. Rather than cringing when your phone rings, you want to get into the frame of mind where you’re excited. Try to figure out how you can make them happy, make them want to work with you again,…
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Hi. I’m Brent.

That's me, Brent.

I live in Iceland 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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