How to Attend a Conference

I’m lucky enough to attend a lot of conferences – in Chicago, Vegas, Charlotte, Amsterdam, and Stockholm over the next six weeks – and I’ve put together two systems that work well for me. When Your Employer is Paying the Bill Your #1 goal – even above learning things or meeting people – is to get your employer to pay for it again next year. To pull that off, ask your manager, “What’s the one thing you want me to bring back? Is there a problem that you want help solving, or a category of tools you want to know about,…

What Kind of Consulting Company Would You Build?

Companies are like Dungeons and Dragons characters. While it’d be awesome roll perfect 18s for all of your attributes, but the reality is that you’re not going to be strong AND wise AND charismatic. You’re going to have to make some tough decisions. You’ve only got so many hours in the day, and only so much resources at your disposal. What’s your product? When I first got started consulting, I thought the product was just me, full stop. I’m here – I’m a smart fella – what do you need done? That doesn’t scale well, though – it’s hard to…

Training Products are the New Blogs

In the old days, when you wanted to learn about photography or you bought a new gadget, you went to the bookstore – in person – and you bought a book. Maybe if you had some spare time, you joined a local user group, and if you had all kinds of time, you’d sign up for a college course. Over the last several years, the consumer gadget training market – yes, there actually is such a thing – has evolved at a breakneck pace. When you want to learn photography, you’ve got some amazing options: Free email newsletters like Photojojo…

Why I Take Vacations

I’m not going to name names here because that’s not what this is about, but life is short in my family. One of my relatives was in his 30s when his first heart attack struck. Another had his first cardiac event sometime in his 40s, but we’re not exactly sure when because it struck silently. Years later, when he had his next one, the doctors found the damage from the first one, and basically told him his heart was a ticking time bomb. (TICKING! Get it? Oh, I kill me.) Another one retired after a long, productive career. He got a physical,…

The #SQLMCM is Dead, but the Experiments Go On

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They’re the five stages of grief. I went through all of them over this long holiday weekend. Saturday morning, I woke up to an email announcing that Microsoft Learning killed the Microsoft Certified Master program. I happened to be taking a road trip alone, giving me a dozen hours alone in the car to think through things. I must have written a dozen blog posts in my head, including: Microsoft Deprecations: A Visual Timeline [Video]: Can a Drunk Hobo Pass the MCSE Test? Microsoft Learning Doesn’t 5 Signs Your Database Software is Heading for the Grave…

Stop Ignoring These Signs That Your Job Sucks

I work with a lot of developers, sysadmins, DBAs, and IT managers. I’m a consultant, so companies don’t bring me in when times are good. They bring me in when the room is covered with poop, and they can’t unplug the fan because it’s mission-critical. Sometimes I just want to pull specific employees aside and say, “You are way, way, way too good to be working in this brown hole.” Unfortunately, I can’t do that, so instead here’s the signs I see. If you recognize ’em, find a new room to work in. You haven’t learned anything new at work…

Ernie’s Morning Routine

No Comments
Step 1 – stand at the patio door. Step 2: when someone comes to open it for you, head out. Step 3: bask for about five minutes, until you can’t handle the heat anymore. Step 4: retreat into the house somewhere to cool down. Repeat for hours.        

The Blogger Isn’t The Devil

This morning, Ted Kreuger wrote a post called Microsoft Isn’t the Devil. He writes: “What does kill me is the people that insist on the public bashing of a product, like SQL Server.  I’m not referring to the daily Oracle DBA that has to install SQL Server.  I’m referring to the people that have based their career, income, and livelihood to supplying services to customers based on the product.  Truly speaking, I’d like to see those people move on.  Work on something you think is perfect in your own little world.  My only hope is that really does happen and…

Charging People to Find Free Stuff? Are You Crazy?

Last week I launched a video course called The Best Free SQL Server Downloads. It costs $29, and I gave out coupon codes to drop it to $19 for the launch. I expected to get a few questions: How Can You Charge People for a List of Free Stuff? If you’ve ever watched TV late at night, you’ve probably stumbled across one of Matthew Lesko’s informercials. He wears a suit covered in question marks, and he sells information about how to get free money from the government. Matthew LeskoPhoto by I have never bought one of Lesko’s books. The cynic in…

How to Negotiate Your Consulting Rates

It’s really hard to find good DBAs these days, so some of my friends have started doing part-time consulting after hours and on weekends. They often ask me how to set their rate, and there’s a lot of interesting questions around that. Cooperation Options Working Together – You and the client staff must both be online together, sharing screens, and talking through a problem. This is what clients usually want by default. Solo – You get access to the client’s systems via VPN, and you can do the work on your own without having the client involved. Examples of this…

Hi. I’m Brent.

That's me, Brent.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. 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.

My current car collection includes a Jaguar XKR-S, Porsche 944 Turbo, Porsche 356 Speedster replica, and a Ferrari 328 GTS.

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