Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago for Brent Ozar Unlimited’s in-person training on SQL Server Performance for Developers.
I’ve been following Brent’s firm since their first few months and annoying him on Twitter just as long. They firmly believe that to win business you have to give stuff away, and they have put together some great stuff in the last 3 years.
Advice on the internet is usually fraught with peril, but an association with a “big name expert” will make people accept it, especially when it’s absolute (never do X; always do Y) or quantifiable (A should always be < Z) (even though she wrote that blog post in 2008). This way lies madness, and Brent would be the first person to tell you to test, test, test in non-production environments and only implement if you’ve proven with production-sized data that your change is helping to fix a big issue that you actually have.
One of the best things about the class is that it seemed to attract a very advanced level of student. There were lots of new and interesting people to chat with and I was able to make some great new contacts. I might have thought before that I was too advanced for this class, but it soon became apparent that my fellow students were not only SQL Saturday attendees, but speakers.
There are many breaks and pre-9am Q&A session where you can ask the gang questions on your specific burning needs. It would really help if you could run the whole sp_Blitz suite a day or two before the training and bring a dump of that with you.
I have been working with SQL Server since 1998, and I still learned a ton of new stuff. My notebook is brimming with all kinds of new information and I setup a new SQL 2014 RTM environment so that I can go through all the demos on my own at home. You get all the slides in a very thick workbook with plenty of room for notes, and downloadable scripts.
I also got to really know the whole team as people, and that is only going to make their webinars and video trainings more rewarding for me. I learned that Jes runs so much so that she can still eat lots of cheese. Jeremiah will always say something inappropriate first, then give you very good information. I swear Kendra’s hair got more colorful as the week went on. Doug is already showing that he loves processing high def video streams.
Assuming that the next Chicago training is at Catalyst Ranch, it’s also a great venue to chillax for a few days and learn some new things. The food was great, the WiFi actually worked, and being in a sunny downtown location beats a hotel meeting room any day. For me, this was a much better use of my training budget than a conference. What I learned was practical and is going to be immediately helpful at work.