I love working with the community. Blogging, webcasting, and answering questions are a big part of who I am, and I wanted to be able to spend more time doing this stuff. For years, Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp of SQLskills.com have demonstrated their commitment to helping educate SQL Server professionals everywhere. They share knowledge – not just basic knowledge, but truly advanced topics – on their blogs, at events, and on Twitter. I don’t know any other consulting firm so dedicated to helping the public.
I love helping businesses solve tough SQL Server problems. In my spare time, I’ve been doing performance tuning, health checks, and staff training for a growing number of clients. I didn’t want to start a consulting practice on my own because it’s so much work, and I’m lazy. Paul and Kim have set a high bar here too – SQLskills is a widely respected consulting and training company that provides the best services to some big clients.
I love training and mentoring SQL Server professionals. I keep working to refine my presentations to make the learning experience more enjoyable and more involving. When I attended the Microsoft Certified Master program, the first week of training on database internals and performance tuning was the highlight of the course. I had a great time in the class and I learned a ton. And of course, Paul and Kim led that training.
I hate losing. Last year at the PASS Summit Celebrity Quiz Bowl, Kevin Kline and I were in the lead, coming down the home stretch, when Kim and Paul came out of nowhere, got every question right in the last two categories, and stole our lunch money. I would have been really angry except that I was amazed Kevin and I scored any points at ALL when we were up against those two plus the team of Grant Fritchey and Joe Webb.
I want to do more of what I love, so I’m joining Paul and Kim at SQLskills. In the last couple of months, after I achieved the Microsoft Certified Master certification, my steady stream of small side jobs has turned into a torrent of tuning and training. I got to the point where I had to start letting things slide in my life, and I had to turn down some clients in order to have enough time for the people I love. I’ve had a great time at Quest Software and I’ll miss my coworkers dearly, but something had to give. I decided to go into consulting full time, but I didn’t want to do it on my own – I’m all about community. I wanted to join forces with people I respected, people I knew personally, people I enjoyed spending time with. Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp are exactly those people.
And I know I keep beating this drum, but you should be used to it by now: get out, blog, present, get involved with the community, and invest in your career. Just three years ago, I went to the PASS Summit for the first time and I ate every meal alone. I saw the “insiders” in the community, and I wanted to become a part of it too. I took ownership of my career, invested time and money in myself, and didn’t rely on anyone else to pave the way for me.
And man, does it pay off. Today, I’m on top of the world.
You can learn more about the consulting, training, and upcoming events at SQLskills, and if you’ve got questions, feel free to contact us. Kim, Paul, and I are some of the most approachable people in the SQL Server business. We want to help you succeed, and we’re here for you!
I, for one, welcome my new Quiz Bowl overlords.
Update: you can read Paul’s announcement over at SQLskills, and ask him why on Earth he’d take a chance on this bozo.