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…

Default to Open

Most older companies and people default to closed. They build things in private and discuss what they’re doing behind closed doors. “Collaboration” usually means by invite only. Most newer companies and folks default to open. They build things out in public in their Github accounts while conducting discussions in public Slack rooms that anyone can join. Even if they’re private Slack rooms, they’re open to anyone inside the company. (I’m making a sweeping generalization here. Of course there were people doing open source for decades, and IRC has been around for forever. But note that Github and Slack are both…

47 Things You Incorrectly Assume About Shipping Database Changes #tsql2sday

For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, James Anderson’s chosen theme is shipping database changes. Hoo, boy, have I got some scars to talk about. I’ve been a developer who had to deploy changes, a DBA who had to deploy other peoples’ changes, an open source maintainer, and even been a software vendor who had to hand other people scripts to deploy in their own environment. Here’s some of the things I assumed over the years – only to learn the hard way that they weren’t always true: The deployment script you were given is the most recent one. The deployment script will…

Epic Life Quest: Level 9 Achieved. Let’s Talk About Passive Income.

Life’s little moments of success can pass us by so easily. If we don’t track the things we’re proud of, we lose track of how far we’ve come. Steve Kamb’s Epic Quest of Awesome inspired me to build my own Epic Life Quest. I keep track of achievements, and after five significant ones, I level up. When I became the sole fella in charge at Brent Ozar Unlimited® back in fall 2015, running the company dominated my calendar for a while. I struggled with trying to grow the consulting company, then ended up laying off half the staff. Once I stopped trying to grow consulting,…

So How Did the Pricing Test Work Out?

Last month, I wrote about the pricing tests we ran in advance of our subscription training class launch. I explained why the winner was this one: Price Test #3: The Highball Going into the launch, I had a lot of questions. Here’s how they turned out. Which option was the most popular? DBAs – 29% of buyers (126) opted for this Performance – 29% (125) Enterprise – 41% (177) Wow! The dead-even split between DBAs and Performance totally shocked me. I’m not sure yet how much of the split is due to lower pricing – maybe people are buying the $39 plan…

WordPress Plugins I Use to Sell Training Classes

First, a few disclaimers. If I started today with a mission to build a $1mm/year e-commerce business, I probably wouldn’t start with WordPress – I’d probably go with a purpose-built e-commerce tool like Shopify. There are even folks out there who will tell you not to start a blog on it either, and that there are better static content generation tools that don’t require web hosting. However, I’ve been powering BrentOzar.com with WordPress for over a decade, and it’s grown into one heck of a consulting and training business. I’m running over $1mm/year through it, so I should probably talk about the setup…

You Should Take a Career-Planning Retreat

I’m not talking about a vacation. Yes, you need to take vacations, but this is different. Every now and then, you need to step back and ask yourself: Do I like what I’m doing? Do I like where I’m doing it? Do I like the exchange of benefits for my work? Every quarter for over ten years, I’ve gone to a coffee shop or bar and spent the day thinking through the above questions, my Getting Things Done 50k foot goals, and my Epic Life Quest. The rule: no network connectivity: just me and a notepad, thinking. It usually takes me at…

How the Company-Startup Thing Worked Out For Me, Year 5

Every year, I stop to look back at what happened a couple of years ago. This post covers April 2015-April 2016. My cofounders and I were all ready to try something new. Jeremiah, Kendra, and I had the same vision for where the business was going next (on-premises software), what the next steps were, and the speed at which we’d make the journey. We didn’t want to kill consulting and training, mind you, just wanted to build up a third profitable leg for the business. At the company retreat in Oregon, mid-2015 But in year five, both Jeremiah and I had the…

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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