So why do you want to come to our training? And the winners are…

Wow! We had 22 entries for our competition (writing a post is a high bar so I was expecting 20-30) to win a free seat in either our IEPTO1 or IEPTO2 training classes in Chicago in October. That was a lot of reading to get through to pick the winners, but we made it. A bunch of the entrants even started SQL Server blogs so they could participate!

First off – we’d like to thank you all for the kind words about us.

Here are some quotes:

  • “For anyone who’s seen their PluralSight or MCM videos, or been lucky enough to see them at conferences, you know the kind of quality you can expect.”
  • “When it comes to SQL Server, they don’t just work with it, they helped develop it!  That alone keeps me in a little state of awe.”
  • “I see these classes as the gold standard in SQL Server training, and plan to attend someday by hook or by crook.”
  • “If you can attend these classes, you will be a giant leap ahead in the path that is SQL Server enlightenment.”
  • “The wealth of information available on SQLskills website is astounding…”
  • “I want to attend training because I want to be better at my job today, tomorrow and next year.”
  • “I want my brain to be filled past the brim with SQL Server internals and performance tuning knowledge.”
  • “No other blogger goes into SQL’s internal mechanics like he does, and word on the street is that his class is phenomenal.”
  • “I’d be able to better support our development team, know WHY something broke, and the best way to fix it, and continue being the vital asset that the company hired me to be.”
  • “I attended the IE2 course a few years ago and it was easily the best training I’ve ever been to for anything. The attention to detail was a big part of that. No questions went unanswered and the PowerPoint slides were packed with the full content rather than high-level tag lines. So when you got home and opened the course materials again you knew what they referred to.”
  • “When you are attending these courses you are not being taught by some schmuck who is reading through a book. You are being taught and guided by people who live and breathe the subject.”
  • “…where the the mysterious is made mundane and the pieces of the puzzles, even the pieces that were lost, are found and put together.”
  • “Also, out of all the places I have learned from, SQLSkills training is by far the best.  It is the best training that I have found anywhere.”
  • “I have used the skills Jonathan and Erin conveyed to troubleshoot a plethora of SQL Server administrative problems experienced both internally at my current company and externally on many of our customer’s production sites.”
  • “SQL has a lot of Red buttons,  I want to know which ones to push,  but more importantly I want to know what they do so I can know why to push them.”

There were so many good entries that we literally couldn’t decide, and we struggled *really* hard. We narrowed it down to the top 5 entries and then tried to figure out some way to pick the winners. Then we said “screw it, we’ll give all five a seat”. So there are five winners!

The grand prize winners for IEPTO1 are…
ALAN HORSMAN, BERT WAGNER, and LISA HESS – who each win US$3,795 of training!

The grand prize winners for IEPTO2 are…
BRIAN AVERITT and DAVID STOKES – who each win US$3,795 of training!

Woohoo! Well done to all of you! I’ve sent the winners an email with instructions on what to do next (if you’re a winner and haven’t received an email, please check your junk folder). All prizes are non-transferable and have no cash value.

Commiserations to those who didn’t win, but again, thank you for trying.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Chicago in six weeks! (Btw, we’ve extended the early-bird pricing for all Chicago classes until the end of this month…)

Paul and Kimberly

Here are all the entries, divided by class requested, in the order in which they were posted – if you need some way of justifying the training to your company, just point them here! Winning posts have an asterisk.


  1. * Alan Horsman: SQL Server Performance and Optimization Training
  2. Justin Onstot: The Path to Enlightenment – SQLSkills style!
  3. Josh Smith: Why I’m Hoping I Can Attend Training with the SQL Skills Team
  4. * Bert Wagner: SQLskills is Giving Away Free Training!
  5. David Clary: When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear
  6. Sina Hassanpour: SQLSkills-Challenge
  7. Ryan Boyer: Head over to! They’re giving away training!
  8. Chris Albert: The Gift of Training
  9. Matt Bowler: Immersion Submission!!
  10. * Lisa Hess: Missing Puzzle Pieces
  11. Vijai Kingston: Learn from the expert – “For FREE?”
  12. Mike Laugle: SQLSkills Competition
  13. Zach Wagner: SQL Skills Competition
  14. Kevin Crisci: PLEASE PICK ME


  1. Mike McKay: Training course rant & SQLSkills
  2. * Brian Averitt: Not All Training Is Created Equal
  3. Francis Hanlon: Improving your SQLskills
  4. Aleksey Fomchenko: The best SQL Server training ever
  5. Vedran Ikonic: Will SQLskills IEPTO2 Class make me a better DBA? IT DEPENDS!
  6. Karthick Jayavelu: Tune Yourself to Optimize SQL Performance
  7. * David Stokes: What an opportunity!
  8. Mohammad Darab: IEPTO2: Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 2 (Competition)

4 thoughts on “So why do you want to come to our training? And the winners are…

  1. Congrats to all the winners. I am jealous. The only thing better than training, is free training ;)

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