If you’re a community SQL Server presenter who wants to travel around to regional events, SQLSaturday pre-conference classes can help pay your expenses. I’ve settled into a sales routine that seems to work for me, so time for me to share it with you and keep moving the community forward. Teaching a pre-con in Pittsburgh Understand what you can teach in one day. Hone in on your target attendee, define the pain they’re facing, and come up with a list of actions they’ll take as soon as they get back to work. Figure out the fastest way you can teach them how to perform those actions.…Read
No pressure. Nooo pressure. The call for abstracts is open for the PASS Summit, the SQL Server industry’s biggest event. Every year, people just like you throw their hats in the ring, only to be told they have ugly hats. Here’s how to dress up your hat a little: How to Pick Blog & Presentation Topics – don’t write about what you learn. Write about what you already learned. It doesn’t seem sexy to you, but that’s the whole point – you’re already an expert on doing that thing. Define Your Presentation’s Attendee – no, your session doesn’t have something…Read
Conference season is about to start, and it’s time to think critically. (No, that doesn’t mean yelling “BOO!” from the back row.) Critical thinking (Wikipedia) means listening to what someone is saying, then analyzing the contents and coming to your own decision about the concepts involved. “The Wonder Widgetizer will make you 50% better looking.” When you’re listening to a conference session or keynote, ask yourself: Who does the speaker work for? On whose behalf is the speaker talking? Are they stating facts or opinions? If you wanted to prove their facts, how would you go about doing it? If you…Read
Last week, I spoke at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago: Where’s Waldo? (click for full size) I had an awesome time, and evidently the attendees did too – as I write this, I’m in the top 10 of 1000+ sessions overall. Microsoft does a couple of things different than other conferences I’ve attended, and if you go in knowing these, you can build a better session. Ignite session registration numbers are available in real time. Both my registration numbers and my room capacity were in the speaker portal leading up to the event. Room size influences my session delivery, so knowing that I had >500 registrants…Read
The next SQLBits agenda is out, and I’m particularly excited about one session in particular: Cool Story, Bro: The DBAreactions Guide to SQL Server 2014 You’re hearing a lot about the new features in SQL Server, but you’re not hearing a lot about the drawbacks. Ever wonder why? Join Brent Ozar, the guy behind DBAreactions.com, for a sarcastic, funny look at SQL Server 2014’s features, bugs, and gotchas. You’ll learn why Brent rarely deploys Hekaton, clustered columnstore indexes, Buffer Pool Extensions, Azure backups and secondaries, and even AlwaysOn Availability Groups. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and most importantly, you’ll learn real lessons…Read
One of the things I love about conferences is that I’m suddenly surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people who do exactly the same thing I do for a living. We work in kind of a loner field – data professionals often have to work alone in an organization, with nobody else to understand what we do. It’s incredibly therapeutic to suddenly be able to talk to someone else who gets it. We can vent together about how tough our work is (and how rewarding it is when we get it right.) Before you know it, you’ve made lifelong friends…Read
I did four sessions at this past SQLbits – so how’d I do? Watch Brent Tune Queries The content of this session is as self-explanatory as it gets. I start with a handful of slides explaining my thought process when I approach a slow query, and then I go into SQL Server Management Studio, show a slow query, and gradually make it go faster. The title alone breaks common conference rules – you’re not supposed to have your name in the abstract, for example – but I’m vain enough to think it makes sense here. If you like the title,…Read
Conferences have 4 parts: The attendees The material The speakers The organization Problem 1: PASS Doesn’t Have Enough Analytics Speakers or Content. PASS tried running a couple of business analytics (BA) conferences and got feedback from the attendees that the material wasn’t quite right. That’s because PASS’s traditional SQL-Server-focused membership doesn’t have enough presenters who can talk about real-world experience with cutting-edge analytics technologies. As a result, PASS has decided to skip the community call for speakers and instead just approach BA speakers with money. Read the PASS Board meeting minutes (PDF) for more details, including juicy details about free hands-on labs for the…Read
I’m ridiculously lucky to be able to attend so many conferences around the world as part of my job. (Hey, we’re self-employed, so we get to decide what our job is.) My favorite one out of them all is SQLBits, and since I just got back from SQLbits Telford, I should tell the story so you’ll understand why I like it so much. The SQLbits Planning Process Steampunk costumes at SQLbits (including Andrew Fryer and Grant Fritchey) Before anything is announced, the volunteers behind SQLbits start by secretly picking a unique UK venue every year – plus a unique theme…Read
Read this if you’re a #SQLPASS attendee – you’re the one I’m trying to help. Last week I wrote about how conference organizers pick sessions, and I closed by talking about how there’s no clear right or wrong way. However, some ways are wronger than others, and today let’s talk in general terms about what happens when things go wrong. I can’t possibly discuss this subject with actual speaker names lest I hurt people. (Disclaimer: that’s a dark music video about drugs and violence, but the song is insanely danceable and catchy, and it’s been stuck in my head for weeks. You’re welcome.)…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.