Using Slack for Conference Session Q&A

Next month at the PASS Summit in Seattle, Erik Darling and I are teaching a one-day pre-conference class on performance tuning. We sold ~300 seats, which is awesome – but that comes with some challenges, one of which is handling Q&A. As classes get over 100 people, folks can be hesitant to raise their hands, and they rarely want to walk up to a microphone to address the entire room. I’ve tried using Twitter for this in the past, but it can be hard to get people to: “Does anyone have any questions?” Fit the question in 140 characters (less…

Tools We Use for Remote Work

A reader emailed in to ask: We are in the process of trying to move to working remotely more often. I know that your team for the most part are all pretty remote and also work remotely with a lot of your customers. Just wondering if you could give me a list of what technologies you use for conferencing, team meetings, etc.  Also maybe some pros and cons and\or issues you have run into. Here’s my favorite apps: Slack for chat – we used to use Stride (formerly Hipchat), and it was alright, but Slack gained more traction WebEx for…

How I Manage Email and Tasks, 2017 Edition

In a recent podcast episode, @Guy_Glantser and @MatanYungman talked about how they organize their work. I wrote about how I managed emails and tasks in 2015, and a lot of that is still true. My work environment I have two older monitors: an old 32″ QHD primary, and a 24″ 1080p secondary with Slack and Google Analytics: Desktop circa fall 2017 In our company Slack #general room, we get notifications for stuff like new blog posts, relevant questions, and new PasteThePlan entries. We have a separate #development room for stuff like First Responder Kit Github issue changes, check-ins,…

Dream Car Track Garage: 4 Cars, $100k

In my dream car garage series, I’ve assumed that the garage is at home – but what if it’s at the Autobahn Country Club? Yes, that’s an actual thing. In the outskirts of Chicago, you can get a country club membership at a place where the focus is on the golf carts rather than the golf. Oh, and the golf carts are race cars. And you can buy property and build your dream garage. So what would I put in mine, you ask? 2013 Ariel Atom SRA ($40k) I CAN’T HEAR THE ENGINE OVER THAT COLOR Jeremy Clarkson made the Ariel…

Designing This Year’s PASS Summit Session

I’m honored to say that I’ll be presenting a session at the PASS Summit this year. The Summit is kinda like the Super Bowl of American SQL Server conferences: the competition to present is intense, and that makes you wanna bring your absolute best game. I try to bring something really different every year. I try to push myself into new presenting styles, bring some kind of new trick to show off. Past stunts have included: 2017 – Last Season’s Performance Tuning Techniques (24HOP) – Erik and I wore fashion costumes for the online delivery emphasizing how quickly your skills…

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…

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.

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