Interview with SQL Server MVP Joe Webb


Joe Webb will be speaking at the track at SQL Server Connections, March 27-30, in Orlando, FL.

Tell us a little about yourself.

For the past 16 years, I’ve been self-employed as a database consultant and I regularly work with clients in the areas of business process analysis and improvements, database design and architecture, software development, and technical training.

I served for six years on the Board of Directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) culminating my tenure on the board by serving as the Executive Vice President of Finance for the organization. I also serve on the MBA Advisory Board for Auburn University and the Computer Science Advisory Committee for Nashville State Community College.

What have you had published?

I was fortunate to have several books published over the past 10 years, including The Rational Guide to IT Consulting and The Rational Guide to Notification Services. I was also a contributing author in the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book, and the SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Technical Reference Guide from Microsoft.

Where do you blog?

I regularly blog on my own web site, It’s also syndicated on the site and sites. Much of my blog is devoted to technology like SQL Server, PowerShell, etc. But I also share experiences in consulting, speaking, community, etc.

What advice do you have for DBAs who want to begin making public presentations?

I’ve written an article for that describes how I approach making public presentations. In short, my advice is to share your experiences. You don’t have to be an expert in the field, just share what you know.

What is your favorite SQL Server book?

I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book a couple of years ago. It turned out really well and it raised quite a bit of money for the WarChild charity. It’s a good book for a good cause. Many SQL Server MVPs are currently working on a follow up book that will likewise benefit a charity.

What advice would you give to a person who is considering becoming a DBA?

I’m frequently asked this question. My advice is always the same: follow your passion. If you find a job where you actually get paid to do what you love, it’s not work anymore.

What you are not working, what do you do for fun?

Oh, I have a lot of hobbies. Sometimes, I think one of my hobbies is collecting hobbies. Some people refer to me as the DBA Farmer since I live on a small farm in Tennessee and raise cows, goats, turkeys, chickens, and ducks. We enjoy growing and canning our own food from our garden. I’m also heavily involved in my son’s Boy Scout Troop, participate in my daughters Girl Scout activities, and serve in our Church.

If you were not a DBA, and could choose the perfect job, what would it be?

I think being the owner/operator of a hunting lodge would be awesome. Bringing men and boys into the lodge for a week of hunting, communing with nature, and learning some outdoor survival skills would be a lot of fun.

Describe the two sessions that you will be presenting at the track at SQL Server Connections in Orlando this March.

In many ways, SQL Server is a very forgiving database platform. It does a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure it runs as optimally as possible. However, there are things that we can do as database administrators and developers to help SQL Server perform even better. That’s what I discuss in each of my two sessions.

In SQL Server Locking & Blocking Made Simple, I discuss how SQL Server maintains integrity through the locking of resources. Unfortunately this often results in resource contention, or blocking. Understanding how SQL Server implements locks can help us to design applications that perform better.

In my Tips & Tricks for Writing Better Queries session, I will share what I’ve learned over the years about creating efficient T-SQL queries and database designs.