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: https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/sql-docs-pr/blob/live/docs/sql-server/what-s-new-in-sql-server-2017.md 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 #DataSaturday 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…

I Failed 13 College Courses.

A couple years ago, I mentioned that I failed high school psychology because I didn’t show up to class often enough. In high school, they actually track your attendance. In college, not so much – and that came with disastrous consequences for me. I had kind of an odd curse: I was a sharp kid, so public high school didn’t present much of a problem for me. With hardly any studying, I did well enough to score a National Merit Scholarship, which at the time got you a full ride to a lot of different schools. I picked the University of Houston for their…

Dream Car Garage: 4 Cars, $50k

Last week, I designed my dream 4-car, $100k garage. This week, I’m cutting the budget in half. Now, I know what you’re thinking: if you only have $50k to spend on collector cars, why wouldn’t you just buy one awesome car, and be done with it? Well, because if you only have one collector car, you sweat bullets if something goes wrong with it, or if somebody dings it in the parking lot. On the other hand, if you have a handful of really sharp undervalued bargains, you shrug your shoulders and say, “Ah, well, it didn’t cost all that much…

Dream Car Garage: 4 Cars, $100k

I’ve always loved cars, but as a telecommuter living in urban Chicago, I have near-zero need for one. I bought an Audi RS6, and absolutely adored it, but pretty quickly realized I had no need for yet another car – especially not one that I anguished over every time it got a scratch. I sold the RS6 and resolved not to get another fun car until I retire – or until we move to a place in the country where I can have a 3-4 car garage and not feel guilty about leaving a bunch of cars in the garage. In…

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