Learning to listen

Fellow MVP Chris Shaw (b | t) wrote a blog post earlier this week on learning from mistakes and tagged me to write a similar post – so here it is. Let me start with a story first. Back in April 1999 I was working for Microsoft on the SQL team as a developer in […]

New online course on communication skills

My latest online training course was published by Pluralsight on Friday: Communications: How to Talk, Write, Present, and Get Ahead! The course is 2.5 hours long and draws on my extensive experience communicating and mentoring people on how to communicate more effectively. It’s aimed at everyone who needs to communicate, no matter which industry they […]

Video recording of PASS session on communication skills available

Last week I presented for the PASS Virtual Chapter on Professional Development about Communication Skills and the whole thing was recorded via LiveMeeting. It's 70 minutes of distilled experience with some stories thrown in. Check it out at https://www323.livemeeting.com/cc/usergroups/view?id=7KH9ZW. Enjoy! PS Many thanks to Mark Caldwell for hosting the meeting!

December 15th PASS online lecture on communications skills

Every so often I do non-SQL blog posts about things and one of the topics that comes up again and again is communication skills. The PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter invited me to present a lecture for them and so at 10am Pacific Time on Thursday, December 15th I'll be presenting on communication skills. I'll […]

SQLskills community mentoring

Jonathan Kehayias is such a nice guy. After our recent perf tuning Immersion Event in Chicago last month he had an idea for each of us to pick someone who's attended a SQLskills class and offer general mentoring (career, technical, professional development – whatever) to them for a few hours a month for six months. […]

RTFM. No seriously, R.T.F.M. Then ask your question.

There are several reasons why I've drastically cut back on the amount of time I spend in the various online SQL Server forums, including: People continuing to argue that the advice given to them is wrong (and I mean arguing even after me giving references suppporting the advice and explaining why my advice is correct) […]

It depends. It really, really does.

This is almost our catch phrase. In every class we teach Kimberly and I always say that the answer to every question about SQL Server *starts* with "It depends" – except one: "should auto-shrink be enabled?" :-) Seriously though, there's a bit of an unnecessary backlash against the phrase "it depends" and I'd like to clarify […]

Ignorance is not stupidity

You're ignorant. About lots of things. Yes, you are. Feel offended? We're all ignorant about lots and lots of things. Last week I wrote a non-technical blog post The Golden Rule – maybe just optional now? about the growing lack of civility in the world at large. That elicited almost 40 responses (thanks!) so I'm going to intersperse […]

The most important consulting skill is… effective communication

I think many people imagine that technical acumen and razor-sharp problem solving skills are the most important skills to be a successful consultant. I would strongly disagree. While these two skills are *absolutely* essential for success, I think they are less important than the ability to effectively communicate with your clients. Effective communication is a […]

Salary survey results – are YOU being paid enough?

   (Used with permission from Dilbert.com) Following on from the survey I did about what your company is doing for you and vice-versa (see Job security, loyalty, and employee retention: you need to take control), people asked for a salary survey – so I complied a couple of weeks ago (see here for the survey). […]

Anonymous survey: salaries in the SQL Server world

Following my survey on company and employee loyalty, job security, and retention, I think it'll be very useful to the community to do a survey on salary vs experience for the SQL Server world – so here it is! This survey is completely anonymous – there is no way for anyone to know what you voted. […]

Job security, loyalty, and employee retention: you need to take control

  (Used with permission from Dilbert.com) It's an interesting marketplace for DBAs right now. Depending on who you speak to, and what your view into the DBA world is, a few data points are evident: There's a view that all the good people already have jobs There's a view that it's pretty hard right now […]