Nominations are Open for the Fourth Annual Exceptional DBA Awards

image, along with Red Gate Software, are glad to announce that nominations for the fourth annual Exceptional DBA Awards are now open. Four years ago, the award was established to help bring about more awareness regarding the importance of the DBA role among the IT community. So far, three DBAs have won the award, and you or a co-worker could be the winner this year if you enter.

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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.

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SQLskills SQL Server Immersion Training: A Retrospective

Last week I attended the inaugural training event of the new four-week SQL Server Immersion Training offered by Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randall of The four available training weeks include:

  • Internals and Performance
  • Performance Tuning
  • High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Security, PowerShell, and Development Support

I attended the Internals and Performance class in Dallas, and I will also attend the Performance Tuning class in March, also held in Dallas. While these classes can be used to help you prepare for the MCM, they are designed to be taken by any DBA who wants to deepen their understanding of SQL Server. In fact, only a handful of the 29 attendees at the Internals and Performance tuning class were interested in pursuing the MCM. Most of them, like me, just wanted to gain a deeper level of understanding of SQL Server.

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Introducing Kalen Delaney’s SQL Server Stairways Tutorial Series

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a new link on for a new series of tutorial articles called Kalen Delaney’s SQL Server Stairways. This series, edited by Kalen Delaney, brings together a large number of top SQL Server writers to introduce a wide variety of SQL Server topics. Some of the current Stairway Tutorials include:

  • Stairway to Database Design by Joe Celko
  • Stairway to Integration Services by Andy Leonard
  • Stairway to MDX by Bill Pearson
  • Stairway to Server-Side Tracing by Dan Guzman
  • Stairway to SQL Server Agent by Richard Waymire
  • Stairway to SQL Server Indexes by David Durant
  • Stairway to SQL Server Replication by Sebastian Meine
  • Stairway to SQL Server Reporting Services by Jessica Moss
  • Stairway to StreamInsight by Johan Ahlen

Each Stairway Tutorial is a series of articles that help you build the necessary skills you need to be an exceptional DBA. This is an on-going project, and expect to see additional Stairway Tutorials in the near future.

Tips & Tricks for DBAs Writing Their First Article

I have been writing full or part-time for nearly 30 years, and I have written and edited hundreds of articles. Because of my background, I often get questions for advice on how to write articles, especially from DBAs who have never written an article before. These DBAs want to learn how to write articles because they want to share information with the community, increase their reputation within the community, or to improve their communication skills. In the past, I have answered these questions with short e-mails, or in short conversations. Rather than continuing to provide advice in a piecemeal fashion, I have decided to write this blog post.

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