Like the Barenaked Ladies sang, it’s all been done, but you still have to come up with blog posts and presentations. Here’s how to do it. Step 1: Understand that you’re working a 2-year plan. If you wanna come up with a bunch of totally disconnected, unrelated, throwaway blog posts, then just put a bunch of Books Online page titles in a hat, and draw a different one out every week. Done. But if, on the other hand, you want to have a reputation as an expert, then you need to pick the topic and focus on it. I’m not…Read
Communicating is the single biggest part of my job. Whether I’m consulting, presenting, or recording training videos, I need to understand what the other person is trying to communicate, and get my own point across in the most effective way. The Storytellers Start-Up Book The tricky part, though, is that my audience (or clients) have already heard the boring ways of presenting the same information over and over. They’ve grown desensitized to hearing about backups or heaps or security or whatever, and they need to hear the important stuff in a way that really sinks in. I can’t just study…Read
Other people will share the same wave, and that’s okay. There’s plenty of room for people to share the same topics. Watch what other surfers are doing, but don’t be ruled by that. You want to learn from what they do right, but develop your own style. Know when to stay out of the water. No matter how skilled of a blogger you think you are, some topics are going to hurt you. You’re going to fall down. Repeatedly. In public. On camera. Don’t delete your bad blog posts, just explain your logic later and keep moving forward. Photo by Travis…Read
All year long, I pile up blog post ideas in my task list and work through them. As the year winds to a close, I go through my list and set some of the ideas free. I like the ideas – but there’s just not enough hours in the day to do justice to ’em. It’s kinda therapeutic to set the ideas free. Steve Jobs Almost Saved Windows Phone – When the iPhone first came out, Jobs didn’t want native apps running on the phone. He wanted all apps to be web sites so that you could build them once…Read
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…Read
Database administrators are lonely. In most companies, there’s only one DBA, and nobody else really understands the job duties. We don’t have anybody else we can talk to about the crazy things we run across. I think this is the biggest reason there’s such a vibrant SQL Server community on Twitter – we’re looking for other people who understand us. This January, Jeremiah turned me on to DevOpsReactions.tumblr.com, and I was hooked. DevOps is a new hybrid job, a cross between developers and system administrators. Like DBAs, they’re an unusual profession with very different challenges than most of their coworkers. I knew…Read
When you do something – anything – you’re going to get criticized. I used to lose a lot of sleep about it, but I’ve figured out there’s an easy way to filter criticism: treat it like incoming email. Use a series of filters and scores to determine whether it meets your threshold, and if not, throw it away. All criticism starts at 0 points. Filtering the Critic Is the critic anonymous? -5 points Does the critic know me in real life? +5 points Has the critic given me helpful criticism before? +5 points Has the critic given me unhelpful criticism…Read
It’s that time of year again – time to let go of baggage and give it away as presents. All through the year, I come up with all kinds of blog post ideas and I stash them in my to-do list. Any that I can’t manage to flesh out by the end of the year, I share them here. You’re welcome to use ’em as launching points for your own blog posts. Firing Clients to Save Your Reputation – I’ve fired a few clients over the years and I just can’t come up with a good way to write this up.…Read
I keep a list of blog post ideas in RememberTheMilk.comin case I run out of ideas. After piling up dozens of them, I’m giving up and setting some of my favorites free. If I couldn’t write these in 2011, I’ll probably never get around to it. If you’re looking for inspiration, here you go: Why Bad People Hate Good DBAs – Developers hate us because we find flaws. Sysadmins hate us because we identify hardware problems. Network admins hate us because they can’t blame the database. Just because people hate you doesn’t mean you’re doing a good job, though. 5…Read
Hi. I’m 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.