Want to be mentored by me?

Every year Redgate hands out a series of Tribal Awards, voted for by the SQL Server community around the world. In the 2013 awards I won the “Most Authoritative Voice” category (I think just because I’m very tall and have a deep voice :-) and in the 2014 awards, announced a few weeks ago, I won the “Person You’d Most Like to be Mentored By” category.

Cool! I like to mentor people and that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of managing teams, both when I was at Microsoft, and my team here at SQLskills.

Given that you all voted for me, I’m going to give you the opportunity to be mentored by me. I’ll mentor up to three men and three women during March and April to help with career guidance, skills growth, or whatever I can help you with (disclaimers: I do all mentoring over email – asynchronicity rules! I reserve the right to change the mix of mentees if I’m short on applicants.).

How do you qualify? Write a blog post explaining why you should be mentored, and then post a link to your post as a comment on this post (it won’t appear right away as comments are moderated due to the amount of spam comments).

Don’t make the post about me, make it about you. I already know about me :-)

You’ve got until Sunday 15th February at 23:59:59 PST. I’ll pick the winners based on my sole judgment and announce them on Monday 16th February. I don’t care who you are, where you are, who you work for, or how good your English is; you have an equal chance of being picked as anyone else. It’s all down to the blog post.

Note: the contest is over, please do not submit any further entries.

Have fun!

PS So far people are focusing on what they know about SQL Server. I’m not going to teach you what I know about SQL Server in two months – that’s what my blog and training materials are for – but I could help you figure out *how* to learn more, if that’s really the most important thing in your career that you need help with. A blog post about what you do and have done with SQL Server tells me nothing about you or what you want to get out of being mentored….

PPS Remember that mentoring means you working to figure out what you need help with first of all – if you can’t tell me what you need help with (and I’ll provide a whole bunch of suggestions) then there’s nothing I can do…

PPPS Mentoring (as far as I’m concerned) isn’t about firing off a bunch of questions about day-to-day SQL Server problems you’re having – that’s not what I’ll help you with…

70 thoughts on “Want to be mentored by me?

  1. Hi Paul,
    I have been dealing with SQL Server for 4 years now and I am really enjoying this journey. You said to write about me so here it is :) I am really very passionate about SQL and with regards to this I became a MCT and I am delivering SQL courses and also participating as a lecturer at SQL Saturday PASS events. I have read tons of stuff (literally) about SQL Server but I always enjoyed your articles the most. My favourite SQL Server topic is recovery and the transaction log and it is fully inspired by you 7-hours training on Pluralsight. Before I watched it I thought that I have a good level of SQL knowledge but the training made me understand that I still have a long way to go. I really find this opportunity very appealing and I would love to help me improve my SQL Server knowledge :) Thanks.

  2. Success leaves a trail .. I will be incredible bless to follow your steps. I’ve been doing database administration for many years and and could probably build a 3 node cluster in 2 hours, but to learn the skills that makes a successful SQL figure like you would probably take me a lifetime. I am very dedicated, hard worker and love to LEARN, give me the chance I will be a mentor the next generation of successful SQL girls.

  3. Hi Paul,

    I just came across this article and am really glad I did so, before Feb 15th. I have been a SQL Developer for a little under 3 years now and so far I have dealt with concepts like Performance tuning by examining the IO Statistics, Execution Plan (How Scans and Heap’s should be converted to Seeks), Good Indexing, apart from implementing business logic through SP’s, Table Functions, Triggers and other good stuff.

    My interest in learning from someone like you is to get a sound grip on Architectural concepts of Database. Currently, I am working on a Migration project and the Data Architect here is less that competent, to say the least. The first time where I have seen temp tables are not preferred is here. Also, it was surprising to hear when a senior DBA here said that, nested selects are better than transferring the dataset of that select, into a temp table and joining on that table in the main select.

    In my current project, there is a huge DataWarehouse which is a central point of data dissemination. Now, there might be certain drawbacks of my concepts, on this Warehouse. However, since my lack of knowledge on the DB Architecture concepts, I am starting to feel that my ideas aren’t a good way to go, and moreover I fail to understand the reasoning of the concepts that are going to be implemented.

    My biggest achievement in the past 3 years while working with SQL, has been the performance tuning of an enormously complicated sproc during my very 1st Job (complicated in terms with business logic), which used to run for over 3.5 hrs with about 1.5 Billion reads and had been running that way for about 1.5 years, on a daily basis. So the client used to get their data refreshed only 3 times a day. It took me about 2 months to break the sproc and make sure the older query’s logic was exact same as the newer query’s logic and it came down to 32 min with 456 million reads. In further gradual optimization processes after getting to know the business side better, the run time gradually came down and after 3 weeks, the final run time was 12 minutes and 212 million reads.

    I have learnt a lot in a very short time on SQL, SSIS, SSRS and am very dedicated and ready to bust it out, if that’s necessary. Since I have always been a DIY kind on Job, I haven’t had a proper chance to learn from someone, who possess skills like yourself.

    Thanks a lot!!

    P.S.: After seeing your profile on LinkedIn, I noticed we both are UoE’s alumni’s :).

  4. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for this opportunity. Here is my blog post. I must admit, I stop writing it from last 2 years but will start again. Hopefully I will be selected.

    Gurpreet Sethi

  5. Hi Paul,

    I wrote a blog post recently about mentorship (talk about excellent timing!) and about my own experiences of being mentee as well as about the qualities I would look in a mentor. As you’re already quite an inspiration to me and many other aspiring SQL Server DBAs, I’d be honored to add you to my list of mentors.

    The post can be found here: https://sqlstarters.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/you-should-find-yourself-a-mentor/

    Best regards,
    Mika Sutinen

    1. For anyone reading this, although the post says the contest is over, Kyle had already submitted a comment with his post in before the deadline – this one just makes it explicit.

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