Last year, I unveiled GroupBy.org, a new free community event where anybody could submit a session on any topic, and the attendees would vote to see what sessions made the cut. I had a lot of questions when we started. Would people submit sessions? What kinds of sessions would readers vote for? Would they prefer attending live, or getting the recordings? When the event first took off and got a lot of abstracts and attendees, I purposely took my hands off the wheel and started letting the audience decide where things went. I stopped doing marketing, stopped pushing for abstracts,…Read
When clients and class students email us a question, we answer. It’s not always right away, but since everybody in the team has access to our shared public email address, somebody’s going to be available sooner or later to give a good answer. But when people I don’t know email me with a technical support question, I respond with a GMail canned response: Thank you for thinking of us! We’re busy tending to sick SQL Servers, so for questions, here are a few ways to get an answer: Free, at StackExchange 24/7 – post your question at https://DBA.StackExchange.com, and if…Read
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…Read
GroupBy.org is off to an awesome start: Dozens of speakers submitted abstracts and collaborated on ’em Hundreds of readers voted to pick their favorites The winning speakers put on a heck of a show Almost 700 of you showed up to watch live Our A/V team kicked butt and got the recordings up on YouTube the very next day And I have to say the site looks pretty spiffy these days Preliminary podcast artwork I’m really proud of what you and I built over there. Here’s what’s coming next: Friday, we’ve got another 6 live sessions Our A/V team will launch the podcast…Read
This year at the PASS Summit, I submitted one of my favorite abstracts, How to Think Like the Engine. It’s an introduction to SQL Server internals. I was really excited when the session was accepted – I love this presentation, and I figured the attendees would love it too. When the Summit schedule came out, I saw that I was in the largest room. That’s super-flattering, a champagne moment, because I wasn’t really expecting that. That room comes with a perk, too: a camera man doing a live broadcast on the web. It’s exciting to be going out live online, free…Read
I wanna build something awesome where: Speakers submit session abstracts publicly online Vendors can be speakers, too (anybody can submit a talk on anything – your own open source project, paid project, Microsoft can apply, hardware vendors, etc) Readers can leave comments on the abstracts to help the author clarify and improve them Everybody votes for the abstracts they’d like to see most Once a month, voting closes, and the top X speakers/abstracts for next month are picked (maybe 5, maybe 10, let’s play this by ear) Sessions are held online in an easy-to-watch platform, on a predictable day/time (like the first Tuesday of every month,…Read
Alex Yates wrote a very interesting post called 5 bold changes to support the scale problem of SQL Saturdays (and other data platform conferences.) The short story: Cut costs (and no free lunches) Attract new sponsors Attract new attendees Get more diversified attendees Attendees have a duty to talk to sponsors They’re a lot of great ideas, and I’m going to suggest one of my own. Sponsors need to deliver sponsor sessions that don’t suck. Today, sponsors buy attendee eyeball time by doing things like sponsoring sessions at lunch. SQLSaturday organizers usually set up the time slots so that no “real” sessions are given during lunch,…Read
On a recent episode of Adam Savage’s Still Untitled podcast, he talked about what it was like to work at ILM: “Back when I was working at Industrial Light & Magic, I got in at the end of the wire at the end of an era and got to work with many of my heroes, in a place that I’ve been dreaming about working since I was 11 years old. It was Valhalla, and there wasn’t a single job that I worked on at ILM that didn’t at some point in it include the feeling from of, ‘Like, wow,…Read
Things are gonna go disastrously wrong. Sure, every presenter should bring their laptop, a wireless presenter remote, an array of video adapters, a stack of business cards, and so on. But that’s just assuming that things go right. Here’s what I carry to help reduce the carnage when things go awry: Slippery Elm throat coat lozenges. Speaking for an hour or more can burn your throat up, especially if you have to yell because the audio system isn’t working well. These things are like magic. I take one as a preventative measure when I start setting up my laptop, and I’ll…Read
Back in 2001, Steve Jones, aka @way0utwest on Twitter, cofounded SQLServerCentral.com. He shepherded it into an incredibly large resource, well-known in the industry for its active forum, strong email list, Question of the Day, and the really well-done Stairways series of tutorials. He’s been a pioneer in our industry, and he freely gives away knowledge. Along with his cofounders, he sold SQLServerCentral to Red Gate years ago, and he’s still managed to keep the site as a fun place to be that has its own personality. It’s not vendor spam – it’s a fountain of helpful information and community participation.…Read
Hi. I’m 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.