Goodbye SQLCruise, Hello Tech Outbound.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since I had an idea, booked a cruise, and emailed a few friends: SQLCruise: My Next Bad Idea I really didn’t expect anybody else to join in with me – there was a ton of risk, and there hadn’t been anything like that in the SQL Server community before. Other communities were doing it, though: Burleson offered Oracle classes at sea, and a company called Geek Cruises (now defunct, archived PDF brochure) had done something similar with geek superstars like Wozniak and Linux Torvalds. I figured my buddies would poke holes in the…

The DBA Job I Turned Down – #TSQL2sday

For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, Kendra Little asked us to share our interview patterns, anti-patterns, highs, and lows. Several years ago, I was talking to a prospective employer via phone, and things were sounding really interesting. I made it past the first couple rounds of remote interviews, and they wanted me to come into the office for the final round. The interview started with a tour of the offices, and things seemed alright enough at first until we got to the part of the building where the technical people worked. We stepped into one room maybe 20′ x 20′, and…

Thoughts on Building Community Tools

The nice folks over at the SQL Data Partners Podcast, Carlos & Steve, talked to me and Chrissy LeMaire (of fame) recently about what it’s like to build an open source project with the community. Here’s the episode: Building Community Tools – and you can listen to it while you read this. I really like how they edited it together, mixing their thoughts in with ours. Since the podcast, I’ve had a few other thoughts that I wanted to include. At first, you have to be consumer #1. Build something that solves a real pain for you every day.…
Porsche 911 Targa that I definitely don't own

Should You Take a Salary When Starting a Consulting Company?

In the startup world, the general advice is for founders to pay themselves $50k-$100k/year until they get outside funding. Your net worth ends up higher – but only if you hustle and grow the value of your company, since your net work mostly consists of your ownership stake. When you build a consulting company, there’s an unbelievable amount of unpaid labor to be done: hiring staff, training them, managing them, improving the deliverable product, marketing, sales, contract negotiations, expenses, accounting, taxes, web site maintenance, you name it. It’s all too easy to say, “We should really pay ourselves for doing…

Dream Car Garage: 4 Cars, $250k

In the last couple of posts in my dream car garage series, I’ve kept a low budget. Screw that – let’s spend some money. Let’s pretend we’ve hit the big time, maybe sold the company for a few million bucks, and it’s time to build a really classic garage to see me through retirement. 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo ($73k) Guards red, my favorite 80s 911 color These did 0-60mph in just under 5 seconds, which was unbelievable at the time – a total handful of a car. 911s have long been infamous for their snap oversteer (video), and un-intuitively, the…

What if Microsoft Open Sourced Books Online?

Careful observers may have noticed a few little icons at the top of Books Online pages recently: Click to see Books Online, because I know you can’t get enough of that The little round contributors icons take you to their Github profiles, like Rick Byham’s. The all link – well, that doesn’t actually work, because it goes here: Which isn’t visible to the public. Yet. But note that not only is .NET open source, but even Azure’s documentation is open source. That’s right – you can make a pull request and update Azure’s equivalent of Books Online. So it’s…

Updating My About-Me Slide, 2017 Edition

As I was prepping for SQLSaturday Houston, I realized it’s been two years since I updated my About-Me slide at the start of my presentations. Here’s what it was for quite a while: About Me, circa 2016 This time around, I decided to start from scratch and ask: Who am I writing this for? Like any presenter, it’s tough for me to generalize everyone in the audience into a single bucket. Some folks have chosen to sit in my session because they recognized my name, but others don’t know me or why I’m talking about this topic. That makes defining a…

The Freelance Calculator

If you’re thinking about going freelance, here’s a handy Freelance Calculator by Chelsea Shaw (@chelshaw). See the Pen Freelance Calculator by Chelsea (@chelshaw) on CodePen. (Big props to Chelsea – I originally just sketched out the UI, and she knocked out all the code! You readers are amazing.) Hours per week = the number of hours you’re going to work, but work includes both billable hours as well as non-billable (paperwork, email, travel, blogging, presenting.) % billable = the percent of your work that you can actually charge for. Hourly rate = what the clients actually pay. Being an independent…

What #SQLSaturday Organizers and Volunteers Do

Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at SQLSaturday Houston. Allen Kinsel, Devon Leann, Joe Hellsten, and so many more volunteers did a fantastic job of putting on a totally free event for hundreds of attendees. I’ve never organized one of these events myself – I’m just not that ambitious – but because I get to see some of what goes on behind the scenes on event day, I want to give you a quick peek at just how much selfless work these volunteers do for you, dear reader. Here’s just a sampling of the work they have to…

Book Review: Google’s Site Reliability Engineering #tsql2sday

For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, Grant Fritchey’s topic is Databases and DevOps. Summary: you should skim this free online book to see inspiring ideas of how administration works at scale, although don’t expect to put the practices into place without management buy-in. Let’s get one thing out of the way first: you, dear reader, probably don’t work at Google scale. Google faces similar problems that your employer does, but just at a different quantity. Instead of keeping a 3-server applications reliable, they need to keep 3,000-server applications reliable. As a result, they have very different budgets than you do, and…

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.

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