Mike Walsh asked a few folks for 4 things they wish they’d have known earlier. 1. You have customers, not users or coworkers. Every person you work with today is a potential reference and a customer for you down the road. Treat them with professionalism and respect. 2. Focus on your customers’ pains. Ask them what sucks, and how you can relieve that pain. Your database server won’t give you a raise for decreasing fragmentation. 3. Keep it short and sweet. Typing a lot doesn’t show off your knowledge – it shows that you don’t respect others’ time. Give them the right information…Read
Get them while you can. Always assume that the person on the other end gets hundreds of emails per day, and they’ve got 60 seconds free as they walk to their next meeting with their phone in their hand. Your goal is to give them everything they need to understand your request in the first 30 seconds, and use the next 30 seconds to give it to you. Write these six sentences – no more, no less: Say hi like a human being. Explain your connection to them. Explain what you need. Explain why you need it. Give them everything they need…Read
So you want to be “Internet Famous” in the IT community, but you don’t want to spend your mornings and weekends slaving away on the work I described in my last post? I’ve got good news – there’s an easier way. Think About Celebrities You “Know” If you’re like me, you watch television, and you’d count some/many/most of the people on TV as celebrities, for various values of celebrity. For example, I was walking down a New Orleans street after dark once and saw Josh Harris, now skipper of the Cornelia Marie, a crab boat on the show Deadliest Catch. He had…Read
There’s a lot of reasons to blog, present, and build a brand – get a better job, change careers, raise your billable rate – but what if you just want to be known by name amongst the community? I was chatting with a blogger about how to be successful, and the first step was defining what success meant to him. One of his goals was to be recognized when he walked into a conference – but he didn’t want to “be famous for being famous,” like a Kardashian kind of thing. I know some of you are going to cringe,…Read
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
Every now and then in my consulting work, I see pending doom. Here’s how it looks: The geek doesn’t talk to the business users. The geek gets all of their marching orders directly from the manager, and the manager is the one talking to the business. The geek reports their project status to the manager, but never gets invited to company-wide status meetings. The manager is losing business requirements in translation. Maybe the business users are getting angrier and angrier about bad database performance, but the manager isn’t clearly communicating that to the geek. The geek is marching on about their…Read
As you transition into database administration full time, you’re going to be working with more people in different departments. The developers, systems administrators, SAN admins, BI team, project managers, and end users will all interact with you because you hold the keys to the data. Jeremiah presenting at SQL Intersection in Vegas It’s tempting to think of yourself as an all-knowing magical guardian, and to think of others as morons. As you gain knowledge, you might become condescending to others. You’ll get angry with developers who don’t write flawless queries, or project managers who think they can host a multi-terabyte…Read
The worse the job, the more money the company has to pay to get the right candidate. The more fun and relaxing the job, the less the company has to pay to get the right candidate. But this doesn’t mean when you see a low-paying job from a recruiter that it’s actually a good job. Remember, that’s their asking price, not what they paid to get the right candidate. Why Jobs From Recruiters Usually Suck When a really good company has a really good job opening, all of their employees tell all of their friends. The position is filled instantly…Read
Companies are like Dungeons and Dragons characters. While it’d be awesome roll perfect 18s for all of your attributes, but the reality is that you’re not going to be strong AND wise AND charismatic. You’re going to have to make some tough decisions. You’ve only got so many hours in the day, and only so much resources at your disposal. What’s your product? When I first got started consulting, I thought the product was just me, full stop. I’m here – I’m a smart fella – what do you need done? That doesn’t scale well, though – it’s hard to…Read
I work with a lot of developers, sysadmins, DBAs, and IT managers. I’m a consultant, so companies don’t bring me in when times are good. They bring me in when the room is covered with poop, and they can’t unplug the fan because it’s mission-critical. Sometimes I just want to pull specific employees aside and say, “You are way, way, way too good to be working in this brown hole.” Unfortunately, I can’t do that, so instead here’s the signs I see. If you recognize ’em, find a new room to work in. You haven’t learned anything new at work…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.