I Bought an Audi RS6 From BringATrailer’s Auctions

I’ve watched the BringATrailer.com auctions since they launched, and every week I’ve had to bite my fingers to keep from bidding. They curate a phenomenal list of cars, and at any given time, there’s at least one or two cars that I’d love to own. The comments are half the fun, too – the BaT readership is well-informed and loves to share stories. Special delivery: 2003 Audi RS6 When this Audi RS6 came up for bids, my heart fluttered. I really like sleepers – cars that don’t get a second glance from most of the population, but us real car fans recognize…

Wanna Own a Blog Topic? Here’s How to Pick One.

One of my training class attendees had an interesting observation: “All this week, when questions have come up about niche topics, you’ve been able to immediately give the name of one person who specializes in that topic. For example, when columnstore indexes came up, you immediately referred us to Niko Neugebauer’s blog post series. When Extended Events came up, you referred us to Jonathan Kehayias’s blog post series. If we wanted to start blogging about something, what areas are wide open for the taking?” With every release of SQL Server, Microsoft brings out cool new features. No one person can…

Working ON Your Business vs Working IN Your Business

Working IN your business means being a revenue-producing, product-fulfilling member of the team. Working ON your business means designing, planning, refining your business, but not directly producing revenue. Independent consultants typically work IN their business. When you’re a lone independent consultant or contractor, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spending all your time working IN your business. You find one or two good clients, and they’re willing to buy as much of your time as they can get. You work for them long hours, maybe 40-60 hours per week. Then one of them changes tacks, and doesn’t want…

Lessons Learned from Running Week-Long Online Classes

Over the last several years, I’ve been steadily amping up my teaching skills: 2010 – teaching day-long pre-cons alone 2013 – teaching 2-day in-person classes with others 2014 – teaching week-long classes with others 2016 – teaching week-long classes by myself Now – teaching 4-day classes online Here’s some of the things I’ve learned so far. Writing and Rehearsing the Material Test the material in person first. Teaching online is way harder than in-person because online, you can’t tell what material is working, what attendees aren’t understanding, or when you need to change tacks. Online, it feels like all your jokes are bombing and your…

Bring Your Readers and Attendees Backstage

The Song Exploder podcast has a different artist on every episode, telling the story of how they constructed one of their songs. The artist starts with the idea of the song, explains their writing process, and explains the choices around the beats and instruments. Episodes jump all over the music business, from rapping with Busdriver to country with Old Crow Medicine Show to pop with Carly Rae Jepsen. (And yes, you’ll actually like that last one, especially when you hear her story behind the song.) This week, Grimes explained Kill V Maim. After one of her musician friends told her that…

Epic Life Quest: Level 8 Achieved.

Following Steve Kamb’s lead, I treat my life as a video game with a series of levels. Whenever I unlock five new achievements, I count it as a level-up. Company retreat in Napa Valley Level 8’s 5 new achievements: Pass 50,000 Monday email subscribers. The Brent Ozar Unlimited mailing list has over 70,000 subscribers, but it feels pretty magical to know that over 50,000 folks want our favorite links in their inbox every Monday morning. Completed February 2016. Tour a winery in Napa, California. The Brent Ozar Unlimited team went to Napa for the 2016 company retreat and had a blast. My favorite…

How Comments Make Impostor Syndrome Worse

On a recent episode of Adam Savage’s Still Untitled podcast, he talked about what it was like to work at ILM: “Back when I was working at Industrial Light & Magic, I got in at the end of the wire at the end of an era and got to work with many of my heroes, in a place that I’ve been dreaming about working since I was 11 years old.   It was Valhalla, and there wasn’t a single job that I worked on at ILM that didn’t at some point in it include the feeling from of, ‘Like, wow,…

Cruise Vacation Tips

Aft balconies on the Ruby Princess I’m a huge fan of cruise vacations. They have a bad reputation for feeling like cattle crammed into a trailer, but that’s only true if you set your vacation up that way. I find it to be a really relaxing and quiet solo experience, and here’s how I do it. Finding and Booking a Cruise When picking a cruise, use the custom search at VacationsToGo.com. You have to put in your email address, but it’s totally worth it – these guys have the best search out there. You can filter by exact dates, length…

Feedback On My #SQLSummit 2016 Abstract Submissions

Today, PASS announced the lineup for the 2016 Summit. I like sharing the sessions I submitted, and the feedback my abstracts got, because it gives you a view inside what it’s like to be a speaker. Before I share this, a word of thanks to the PASS Program Committee. Allen White and his team of volunteers bust their humps to review hundreds of abstracts, and he’s written about the incredible work that goes into it. They are charged with building a top quality lineup of sessions that will get great feedback, and it ain’t easy. Anytime there’s a decision, somebody’s…

Behind the Scenes: Open Sourcing sp-Blitz

Yesterday, we announced that we open-sourced a bunch of our SQL Server tools. I say “yesterday,” but I’m writing this weeks in advance because a lot of thought and planning went into this. Here, I’m going to give you the behind-the-scenes story as a small business guy. sp-Blitz and friends were successful. About five years ago, I launched sp_Blitz onstage at the PASS Summit. I wanted to really blow the attendees’ minds by giving them a tool that would make their lives way easier. It worked – that session was voted #2 of the Summit overall. That script inspired more scripts:…

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.

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