SQL MCM Day 2: NDA Club

One of the classic lines from the movie Fight Club is:

“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!”

Tom LaRock (Blog@SQLRockstar) used this line (and many others) to explain what happens at the MVP Summit, and I had to come back to it after my experience yesterday at the Microsoft Certified Master training.

Microsoft Certified Masters get trained on not just the current version of SQL Server, but past versions as well.  Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp have done a great job throughout of saying, “This covers 2008, but if you’re doing this on SQL Server 2005, then ___ applies, and if you’re using SQL Server 2000 then ___ applies.”  We’ve even talked 6.5 and 7.0.  Before the training, a few readers asked why someone should pay $20k for training that isn’t applicable when the next version of SQL Server comes out.  Sitting in the training, the answer’s really obvious: it’s about answers.  People still ask me questions about SQL Server 2000, especially when I present on DMVs, and it’s so helpful to get the 2008 training in the context of how it became to be the way it is.

During yesterday’s training, someone asked a future-feature question and there was some quick discussion about NDAs.  I feel for Microsoft employees who have to deal with this; all day long, they’re working on projects with tomorrow’s software, but whenever they run into an outsider, they have to stop and ask what the audience’s NDA covers.  I was sitting in the audience armed with information I’ve learned under three different NDAs:

  • MVP-level NDA
  • Quest Software MS-partner level NDA
  • MCM-attendee-level NDA

It’s funny to see who knows what first.  The focus of the MCM isn’t on future versions – it’s tough enough just to get trained on the way things are today – so MCM candidates don’t get the lowdown on vNext.

I hate posting stuff like this because I don’t want you, dear reader, to think that I’m bragging about what I know.  I could go on for days about the things I don’t know that are way more valuable than the things I know.  Bear Grylls knows six ways to kill me with my NDAs and live on them for a week underwater.  If I gave you the choice between listening to the NDA stuff I know for an hour, versus watching a free Kimberly Tripp video on indexing strategies, you should choose the latter.  If that link doesn’t take you straight to Kim’s video, use the right-side menus to search for her under speakers.

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • So what you are saying is you are in trouble for revealing the MCM bottle opener.

    • Ha! Yep. Side note – I giggle whenever I publish a post like this because I know that someone, somewhere, is reading it and trying to decide whether I’m violating my NDA. I’ve had 3 episodes in the past when I’ve been contacted by PR or lawyers to clarify something (how I knew it, where I got it from, whether it was supposed to be public, etc). The first time it happened, I nearly fell out of my chair. Now, it’s funny to me because I *know* people read it. I almost wanna wave to the camera when I hit publish. “Hi, Mr. or Mrs. Lawyer! I promise, I’m being good!”

  • The more important question is, did you use the bottle opener yet? I have one of them as well and it’s by far my favorite bottle opener. Solid, one sweep and the cap pops off. None of this prying around the edge of the cap that you get with lesser openers.


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