As we reflect on the #SQLPASS selection process this year, let’s take a big step back and look at a lot of possibilities. When you’re building a conference or training class, there’s so many ways to build a good agenda. There’s no right way or wrong way – it’s all up to the organizers. Let’s pretend you’re building an all-new event from scratch. Will the final decisions be based on numbers or personal curation? Sounds like a loaded question, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with picking sessions based on feelings. Heck, that’s how we do it as a company – when Jeremiah, Kendra, and…Read
When volunteer speakers submit a session for the PASS Summit conference, volunteers on the Program Committee have the tough job of ranking them and picking winners. In the past, this has been done completely in private, and speakers had no idea why their sessions weren’t accepted. This meant they couldn’t work to get better. Thanks to requests from the community, that’s changing this year! Amy Lewis, the Board of Director member responsible for the process, writes in her blog post announcement: “If you submitted a session proposal for Summit 2014 and would like the comments from the abstract review team,…Read
It looks so easy from the outside – just slap together a title and an abstract, set up a web page, and the money just comes rolling in, right? Nope. I’ve done training classes around the world, from conferences to private classes to cruise ships. Since we just launched another one, I figured it’s a great time to share some of the logistical questions you’ll want to consider. It’s not a complete guide on how to plan a training class – it’s just a starting point: Who will attend your training class? Who’s your target audience? What’s their job description? What’s the pain they’re facing?…Read
Badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges badges MUSHROOM MUSHROOM Before I did a lot of speaking, I assumed there were two types of speakers. One group just loved volunteering to help people. The other group was a bunch of money-hungry people that wanted to talk attendees out of their wallets. Now that I do a lot more speaking, I don’t just assume that this is true – I am convinced it’s true. For example, I accidentally sat in a vendor session at SQLSaturday Chicago, and I was flabbergasted by the blatant advertising – frankly, hucksterism – coming from…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
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
My Home Office Setup I do a lot of webcasts and training videos (here’s an example), so I wanted better quality video. Sure, MacBooks come with a built-in webcam, but it’s over the laptop display, and that doesn’t really help much when I’m using a desktop monitor. I’ve tried USB HD webcams like the Mac-friendly Logitech C615, and the results were okay, but not amazing. After a lot of experimenting, here’s the combination of parts that worked well for me: Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen2 - USB 3.0 HD Video Capture Dongle Model 32060 (Replaces XI100DUSB HDMI) Price: $299.00 Price…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
I like trying new ways of delivering presentations, pushing the boundaries of what’s normal at conferences. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying a few different things: Giving out a stored proc and walking the audience through using it Making webcast attendees run queries on their systems while they watch the session Handing out pieces of paper making attendees fulfill queries This year at the PASS Summit in Charlotte, I wanted to try another new experiment – simulate what a DBA’s life is really like onstage. I brought them in to learn about performance troubleshooting basics, just like…Read
I’m lucky enough to attend a lot of conferences – in Chicago, Vegas, Charlotte, Amsterdam, and Stockholm over the next six weeks – and I’ve put together two systems that work well for me. When Your Employer is Paying the Bill Your #1 goal – even above learning things or meeting people – is to get your employer to pay for it again next year. To pull that off, ask your manager, “What’s the one thing you want me to bring back? Is there a problem that you want help solving, or a category of tools you want to know about,…Read
Hi. I’m Brent Ozar.
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.