[Video] Why Performance Tuning Wisdom Needs Expiration Dates

Several months ago, Erik said something like, “We should do a performance art piece where one person does the talking, while another person does demos that contradicts everything they say.”

I thought it was a brilliant idea. We just had to find the right place and time to try it, and find the right topic. When we got the chance to speak at the 24 Hours of PASS 2018, we figured it was a perfect fit.

Here’s how it went:

During the webcast, I played the part of an overconfident DBA with stale knowledge – hey, real stretch, I know – and Erik played the part of the person who really knew what was going on, running demos to contradict what I was saying.

This one was really fun to build. Erik and I worked on the demos in the weeks leading up to the session, trying to stitch together a series of old-school myths in a way that they played into a casual story, start to finish. It’s funny what they say – the more casual you want something to look, the harder you have to work on it – and that was really true here. Right up until the morning of the webcast, we were rehearsing and moving things around, trying to make it seem more natural.

It was especially tricky to deliver because part of the premise relied on Erik not talking at all, as if his microphone was broken, a la Penn and Teller. We didn’t want to break character. If some part of the demo went awry, he wasn’t supposed to speak up to say anything, or to say, “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be talking about ___ right now?” That takes a lot of rehearsal, plus confidence that the other person is gonna do what you expect, when you expect it.

We hope you like it – and if you do, join us at our PASS Summit pre-con, Performance Tuning in 21 Demos. Let’s have some fun while we learn.

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