The Path to Enlightenment – SQLSkills style!

Too often in my career I have heard “SQL Server doesn’t scale as well as DBMS x” or “We don’t need a DBA. You just install SQL Server and it runs itself”. Both of these are misconceptions that are reinforced by a lack of people who truly understand the deep magic that is SQL Server internals. My goal is to be a better evangelist for SQL Server, shedding light on the true power of our favorite DBMS. I want to better grok both the “Hows” and the “Whys” of SQL Server performance optimization, apply this knowledge in my daily work, and share this knowledge via my blog and presentations to SQL Server users groups in California (and maybe beyond!)

To that end, I am entering the contest to win a seat in the “IEPTO1: Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1” class offered by Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp at The folks at are giving away two seats… one each for their Level 1 and Level 2 performance classes. I see these classes as the gold standard in SQL Server training, and plan to attend someday by hook or by crook. The class would be a huge kickstart for query and performance tuning efforts in my current job.

In my work in Business Intelligence I am particularly interested in improving analytic queries against large (100’s of millions to billions of row) tables. I currently deal/struggle with queries against some pretty giant tables on a daily basis. I have found some strategies for choosing good indexes, tweaking storage/partitioning, and getting better stats in place. However, the depth and breadth of Paul and Kim’s class would unlock a treasure trove of knowledge and best practices around indexing and tuning strategies. I am excited by the prospect of learning to avoid performance killing problems in the first place, by implementing proper design and implementation of basic database structures. Training with two of the top minds in our SQL Server community would give me a huge boost in confidence to push forward on the speaking front, and provide acres of soil in which to grow ideas for future blog posts.

If you can attend these classes, you will be a giant leap ahead in the path that is SQL Server enlightenment. This is a great opportunity and anyone who is a SQL Server user/enthusiast/fan should head on over to and read how to win!

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