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In the middle of last year, I left Quest Software.  It was nothing against Quest – I loved what I was doing – but a better opportunity came up that I just couldn’t ignore.  The Microsoft Certified Master program was changing, and I wanted the chance to be one of the instructors.  I truly, passionately love teaching people about SQL Server, and I wanted to be part of the new generation of the MCM program.

The choice at the time was a no-brainer – I signed on with SQLskills as a consultant and trainer, and I went to work for  Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp.  They’re phenomenal people who I really enjoy spending time with because we share so many things in common.  I cringe when I think about the number of champagne bottles that we’ve emptied in just six months – I’m fairly sure I’ve cost them more in champagne than I’ve made them in profits.  We work hard and we laugh hard.

Gentlemen prefer blonde sheep.

My SQLskills Employee Badge Photo

However, just like last year, another opportunity has come along that I just can’t ignore.  I’ll explain more about my new gig here shortly, but in the meantime, I’d like to celebrate my SQLskills experience by listing the ten reasons I no longer work for Paul & Kim:

10. They refused to let me win a game of Blokus.

9. Paul kept calling my MacBook Air “your sticker carrier.”

8. Company meetings in the hot tub. ‘Nuff said.

7. They found out about my Richard Simmons costume.

6. Paul ran out of undocumented commands to show me.

5. We haven’t hired a junior employee, and I’m tired of being the water champagne boy.

4. Kimberly keeps cooking, and I keep gaining weight.

3. Erika doesn’t understand why I keep flying out to Seattle, and I can’t tell her about the free champagne.

2. I *still* don’t understand the source code for DBCC.

1. The sheep suit itches.  A lot.

Update: The Biggest Reason I No Longer Work for Paul & Kim

is that I work with them now.  I’m now part owner of SQLskills!  What a heck of a way to start the year, eh?  I’m still pinching myself, and not just because I enjoy doing that kind of thing.  Our titles are:

  • Kim – Founder/Owner
  • Paul – Managing Partner/Owner
  • Brent – Managing Partner/Owner

This came about because marketing is hard.  I was chock full of ideas of things I wanted to bring to the table to help market SQLskills consulting and training, but those things take a lot of work and time.  As a consultant, I only got paid when I was doing client work, so I couldn’t justify putting unpaid time in to do marketing.  Paul and Kim kept hearing my crazy ideas about how to do marketing, and they finally got fed up.  They were willing to make me part owner of the company if I’d stop talking and start unleashing my l33t marketing skillz.

This is awesome – now I get to work more without getting paid for it!  Wait, on second thought…

No, really, we’re all wildly excited about what’s coming next.  Every year, life keeps throwing me things I wouldn’t have expected just a year or two ago, and I trace it all back to one thing: community involvement.  You have to be willing to put yourself out there, get involved, and take chances.  This feels like the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, and yet the safest bet in the world.

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  1. You love it so much you bought the company?

  2. Sorry to hear. It’s always rough leaving a job you enjoy. Congrats on the new one though!

    • Paul – so does that mean you’ll let me win a game of Blokus now?

      • You should have looked at the incorporation papers if “winning a game of Blokus” was written in there somewhere. Congratulations on the new gig! SQLSkills might have gotten a “Seth-Godin-in-the-making” in you

  3. congrats!

  4. Ha… I knew it that you are part of the company and not work for the company.. :-) I tweeted that you would have a deeper relationship to @paulrandal .
    Anyways congrats.

  5. Wow Brent, you are truly on the Jedi Council now. Congratulations. Are you looking for any Padawans? :)

  6. You are just a job hopper with no loyalty! Seriously, congratulations, you have earned it. I am looking forward to seeing what marketing ideas you implement.

    • Yeah, I had to veto the first one… sheep suits for everyone. It was a hard battle (2 against 1) but I won.

      Only Brent and I get sheep suits!

      Cheers Glenn! And, we’re SUPER EXCITED about Brent (shoot, did I just say that out loud?? Don’t tell Brent, k?

      ;-)

  7. Congratulations, sir! I think you’re making a very wise investment with this move.

  8. Hearty congratulations!

  9. I was hoping it was because of some sort of depraved love triangle but this would have been my second choice. Congrats!

  10. Congratulations. Wish you, Paul and Kim a great success ahead.

  11. I have my speakers muted here at the office, but do believe I’ve been Rickrolled.

    Should have known they’d have never “given you up”.

  12. Congrats!! I also got some good news today, but I can’t talk about it yet… Alas, it does not involve sheep.

  13. Do we hear the wheels of SQLSkills Press cranking up? If so I wonder what your colophon image will be……

  14. It is nice to see that my 3 favorite SQL Server people are getting along so well. Congrats Brent! It has been fun watching you pursue your passion over the last couple of years.

  15. Congratulations!!! (seriously you had me going, thanks to a prod issue I had 359 twitter messages to read through to find out you were leaving, staying, and that Paul was an evil mastermind)

  16. Nicely done, and congrats.

  17. Congrats!! When I heard you were joining SQLSkills last year, I was expecting big things!! This is bigger than anything I had anticipated!!

    I guess we know now why SQLSkills laptop stickers suddenly became available!!

  18. Congratulations to you and to Paul and Kim too.

  19. Congratulations Brent!

    :{>

  20. Do I get a cut…? Having pointed Paul to your blog post on interviewing and how you’d hire someone like him (something to that effect…?) – I feel rather instrumental in having made all of this come about… ;)

  21. Here is a small piece of advice: There is never too much customer demand. Even if you cannot server all request, demand is still too low. How can that be? If demand is higher than supply, you can raise the price!

    btw, your skills will make up for the 1/3 share the other two partners lost when you increase income by >=50% so no easy task here!

    tobi

  22. Congrats to all of you. Great team of people to get together. I hope to make it to one of your Excellent courses in the future. :) Or at least send one of my team members. :)

  23. OMG !!! Congratulations to all of you what a great win/win!!!

  24. Congrats! Now one question: Was this a plot by Kim and Paul to take even more dive vacations? ;)

  25. Good for you! Best of luck.

  26. That rocks Brent, congrats!

  27. Congratulations Brent!!!!

    This is great news! Honestly your title was very interesting as I was very much surprised but then when I read it further, I felt good!

    One has to learn from you a lot!

    Good to see your progress.

  28. Congrats Brent!!!

    Have fun at the top!

  29. Congratulations Brent, all the best!

  30. Congrats Brent …I am sure you will be rock.

  31. Congrats Brent! Best of luck – work on building something truly spectacular :-)

  32. Wow Brent, you Sir are on a Roll! Congratulations and best wishes!

  33. Congrats,

    I wish all three of you the best and I can’t wait to see what you produce.

  34. I’ve got 5 words for ya, Brent:

    Con grat u la tions!

  35. I would say congrats but you realize now that you’re stuck there, you will never ever ever win a game of Blokus again. Ever.

    That and you’re gonna have to start letting Paul borrow the Richard Simmons outfit for those romantic get-away weekends he has with Kim.

    Oh well, at least while he’s out with Kim you get the hot tub to yourself.

    Congrats!

  36. Looks like something BIG is going to happen now….

  37. First, a pox on your house for the emotional roller coaster! Also, congrats Brent? Contgrats SQLskills! Today: SQLskills. Tomorrow: The World! Bwahahah!…or something.

  38. I know nothing about you,but I could sense that you are agreat person.I am so happy that I share the same surname.I Accidentally found your name in the internet as I searched for my surname OZAR.You are helping people.MORE POWER ! !

  39. Pingback: Pragmatic Transition: Lighthouses and Shipwrecks | The SQL UPDATE Statement

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