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Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic, Boston-based SQL Server developer, shares his experiences with programming, monitoring, and performance tuning SQL Server. And the occasional battle with the query optimizer.

Who Are You?

I started blogging approximately six years ago. I don't know the exact date due to the fact that my prior blog site no longer exists and the archives have long since been wiped, but it was sometime in 2004, probably in late summer or early fall--so right about now. And to be honest, it doesn't really matter anyway, except perhaps for late-night bragging rights at conferences.

Since starting down the blogging path I've had plenty of peaks and valleys in my overall level of activity. Some months I've posted multiple times a week, and once I went over six months without a post. Even at the low points it seems as though readers have stuck with me. And for that I am grateful.

Recently I've been reflecting a bit on this whole blogging thing, and I've started to wonder just who "you" are. What are my readers into? Where are they from? I know you're out there, and I know some basics: my posts get a respectable number of hits, and I have some idea of who you are by looking at web traffic stats. But most of you don't leave comments; the highest ratio of hits to comments I've ever seen on a post is probably 1%.

The fact is, it wouldn't be much fun to write blog posts if there were no readers, and going forward into the next six years I would like to get a head start on writing stuff you'd actually like to read. In other words, I would love to know more about you.

So here's my request: Leave me a comment below. Tell me a bit about yourself--as much or as little as you'd like. This can include your name (first? last? first and last?), where you're from (country? city?), who you work for, what you do for your company, your favorite SQL Server feature... Or anything else you'd like to share.

Thanks for reading these last six years.

Published Tuesday, August 17, 2010 2:02 PM by Adam Machanic
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The Mitchelli - The Modern Gentleman said:

Hey Adam,

I have been following your posts for a while now - tweets too. I have been working with SQL for 11 years but still find I'm learning stuff all the time. I am UK based and working for the Outsourcing arm of a large international IT services company. I have moved away from DBA work and now focus on data strategy, MDM and service improvements.

When I am not working I am also blogging - but nothing SQL related just a bit of British fun... Check it out and leave a comment back :-)

Steve Mitchell

Steve Mitchell


Hi Steve, thanks for being the first to reply :-) nothing wrong with a bit of humo(u)r -- I'll certainly check out your blog. -Adam

August 17, 2010 1:44 PM

Eric Wisdahl said:

B.I. professional working in the insurance industry in Florida.  I mainly work with SSIS / T-SQL / Database Design but I'm interested in all aspects of SQL Server.  

twitter - @Old_Man_Fish


Hi Eric, thanks for the reply! SQL Server is so large these days that we can be interested in all aspects but--at least for me--it seems quite difficult to be an expert in all of them. -Adam

August 17, 2010 1:47 PM

Scott Whigham said:

I comment some but not often. I will say that I'm a big fan and enjoy reading your posts, articles, and books.

-- Scott Whigham from Dallas, TX

And my favorite SQL Server feature is usability :D


Hi Scott, thanks for the reply to this and other posts. Agreed, SQL Server is often quite strong in the usability department. And, unfortunately, sometimes rather weak. But that's another topic for another day. -Adam

August 17, 2010 1:47 PM

George Mastros said:

I can't claim to have read all of your blogs, but I've read many of them, and I'm really impressed by your breadth and depth of knowledge.

I own a small computer software business with 10 employees located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  My software application optimizes school bus routes to minimize time, distance and total number of buses required.

Originally, my application used an Access database.  About 8 years ago, we switched to SQL Server 2000.  Since switching to SQL Server, the application has been more stable and responds quicker.  Looking back over the years, switching to SQL Server was probably the best decision we ever made (from a technology perspective).  It's blogs like yours (and many others) that have helped me to learn about SQL Server, and therefore able to deliver a higher quality product.

Thank you for all you do for the SQL community.


Hi George, thanks for the reply and for the kind words. I am of course familiar with your name from Less Than Dot (and will never forgive you for stealing Denis Gobo <g>). I'm glad that you switched over from Access way back when -- just think of where you'd be today... -Adam 

August 17, 2010 1:52 PM

jonmcrawford said:

Like Eric above, working in insurance, healthcare for me, doing report writing/some small solution development using T-SQL/SSRS/SSIS, and integration with other Microsoft products (Excel/Sharepoint/....Access...blech). Interested in those specifically, especially the 2008 toolset, since I'm just getting into that, but also interested in any other topics you wish to touch on, I'm always fascinated by the things I don't know yet, and love when both my neurons fire at once and I see how I can make my life easier in new ways.


Hi Jon, thanks for commenting. Healthcare insurance reporting! Something I spent a couple of years doing. Fun stuff to be sure. And I can certainly sympathize with wanting to make your life easier, but given the complexity of health regulations that's not bound to happen any time soon. Keep the hope alive, though!  -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:05 PM

Vidar Nordnes said:

Hello there Adam!

I'm Vidar Nordnes, commenting from Norway :) I work at a company on the west coast of Norway called Omega AS ( I've worked here for a bit over 5 years, mostly as "the database dude", but also as a PM/Architect. In addition to this I'm chairman of two usergroups in Haugesund, Norwegian .NET User Group and Microsoft Technology UG (focusing on IT Pros. I'm addicted to both online and offline community, using as much time as possible participating on the SQL community at twitter and reading blog posts.

If I have to pick ONE feature, it must be Management Studio. We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious!


Twitter: @VidarNordnes


Hi Vidar, thanks for the reply and the laugh. Will definitely check out your blog quite soon, and I'll be certain not to interfere with your Management Studio sessions. I can only imagine the bond between a dedicated DBA and his IDE... -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:07 PM

Sankar Reddy said:

Hi Adam,

I live in San Ramon, California, working for a small company with 20 odd employees ( actually we scaled down from 140+ ) and became the one man team with 3 managers (Operations, Development, Reporting) now. Working for a small company like this as ups and downs, you sacrifice so much time to keep things going smoothly as much as you can but at the same time get exposure to a wide variety of roles. Its fun and currently enjoying my role.

For me, most days start with


Hi Sankar, I know you a bit already :-) ... but now I've learned something new. Being a one-man team with three managers sounds quite harrowing. I hope that one day you'll write a blog post and describe how you manage to live through such a situation without heavily abusing opiates. -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:07 PM

Oliver said:

Hi there!  I'm Oliver from northern Jersey.  I work as a DBA and Developer for a growing law firm.  I got into database work about 4 years ago and throughout my time in this role, I can honestly say that I'll never run out of things to learn!!  

A while back, I read a post from a MCM graduate that chronicled his good study techniques and how he advanced his knowledge and practice about SQL Server.  One of the major benefits, and a MS recommendation, was to read blog and forum posts to help fill in the knowledge gaps that books and experience leave.  Since then, I have been following several database professionals (Delaney, Woody, Nielsen, Parui, Ben-Gan, and you to name a few) and I have to say, that MCM had a good point.

I've read several of the MS Press books on SQL Server since 2005, and  throughout they seem to lack in the hands-on, practical stories of experienced professionals.  These real-world examples really help enforce what I learned from the books and aid in furthering my knowledge of how SQL server works and how it can interact with other applications.  Specifically, I like the posts regarding how we DBAs can push the envelope on the system and extend it to fit just about any business requirement on various scales.  From a developer standpoint, this helps in determining the weaknesses of the application and where we need to prepare to compensate.  Keep posts like these coming and I'll continue to read daily!!




Hi Oliver, so glad I can help you in your quest to keep learning and to push the envelope. That is my favorite topic as well, and I suspect that you're really going to enjoy a couple of my upcoming posts. Stay tuned. -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:19 PM

ivanrdgz said:

Hi Adam,

My name is Ivan Rodriguez, I am a Sr. DBA within a Miami health care organization. We met some time ago in Orlando during the TechEd event (of course you don't remember me, although my cuban-russian accent is very hard to forget). I have read a lot of your articles, blogs and even have bought couple of yours books (the rest of them I honestly have downloaded from rapidshare). I also  follow you in twitter. I am amazed at the amount of time that guys like you dedicate to the community and that is admirable. I can't count how many times I have resolved real-live production issues thanks to all the information that you and others offer for free. We all like to say 'let's google it' but some day we will say 'let's machanic it' :)

Thank you!


Hi Ivan, thanks for the kind words, and a slap on the wrist to you for downloading my books, but at least you admitted it :-) ... The reason I can dedicate so much time is that by doing so I end up learning just as much as I share. It's a win-win. -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:22 PM

Shelly Noll said:

I am a Detroit area .NET programmer who became interested in database administration during a 4 year stint as an "involuntary" DBA.  My current job involves T-SQL and database design.  I am most interested in query tuning and optimization.


Hi Shelly, so glad that your stint as an involuntary DBA wound up converting you into a full-time and--I can only assume--fully voluntary practitioner. Welcome to the addiction! -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:25 PM

Chris said:

I am one of two DBA's working for a national micro-loan and Check Cashing business.  I have been working with SQL since 6.5; unfortunately, just within the past five years have I really become a pure DBA.  I am interested in learning more about SSIS and want to start to use SSRS(Crystal is my background).


Hi Chris, check cashing--interesting business! I hope that you're in a plush central office and don't have to visit the satellite locations with bars on the windows? While I can't help much with your SSIS and SSRS quests, check out some of the other bloggers on this site like Andy Leonard and Stacia Misner; they've got your back on those topics. -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:38 PM

Shawn Melton (@meltondba) said:

Where my rump sits: Montgomery, AL

Where my interest resides at this time: SQL Server, SharePoint, PowerShell

I work as a contractor for the military. I have only since August 2009 been in a dedicated database admin position. Prior to that worked for State of Alabama as a system/network administrator. I pretty much took care of all aspects of the network for the last agency I worked at. I enjoyed playing with databases and getting information out of it for users or management.

I'm one of the folks looking for new opportunities, but not actively. I like my current role but it is more administrative stuff. I would like to get into more data side of things. As the term goes, to become a "data professional".


Hi Shawn, nice to make your acquaintance. Sounds like you have an interesting background; I don't often talk to SQL Server people who've worked with the product for the military (I think you're number two on that list). Plenty of opportunities available for people who really understand data--keep fighting the good fight and I'm sure you'll fall into a great position. -Adam

August 17, 2010 2:51 PM

Richard Doering said:

I'm a sql dba working in Surrey, United Kingdom. Also do a lot of sql development , SSIS, SSRS and am learning SSAS under the dba moniker.

Have used sql for 12 years since version 6.5 and have been a dba for 7. 'dba' is interpreted differently by every company I've worked for, keeping me on my toes.

Adam, your blog is among a handful of sql ones I follow in Google Reader.


Hi Richard, I think it's both a plus and minus of our industry that we're expected to know--and do--pretty much everything. It forces us to keep learning, but can certainly be tiresome on some days. But those of us with the right personality learn to love it. Thanks for reading! -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:28 PM

Nicholas Cain said:

I'm a DBA working in the Seattle area (not at MS though). Been doing this for 10 years or so.

Looking forward to attending your post-con at PASS this year.


Hi Nicholas, your name sounded familiar, and then I realized that I'd read your blog before. Looking forward to meeting you at PASS! -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:33 PM

Jen McCown said:

Well you know I read ya, mostly when I see a blog announcement on Twitter. I'm one of those rare blog readers that doesn't pay much attention to blog feeds.  Anyway, carry on, as you were...


Hi Jen, shouldn't you be making a video or something? To anyone else reading, check out Jen's site where you can watch videos where she banters with her husband and occasionally drops a juicy technical tidbit. Good stuff, to be sure. -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:35 PM

David Smithey said:


I have been a SQL Server DBA for about 12 years now. This is the first year that I have gotten involved with the SQL Server community. I wish I would have started sooner. I have learned a lot from yourself and a lot of other folks as well.  I also read @PaulRandel, @BrentO and @SQLRockstar's blogs (a few others too).

I used to live near Nashville. Keep up the excellent work!!

I hope to meet you all one of these days!!



Hi David, thanks for reading, and welcome to the SQL Server community. The amount of peer support in our area is truly astonishing--I can't blame you for wishing you'd started a bit sooner. Hope you can make it out to PASS or another conference and meet everyone in person. It's a great time. -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:37 PM

DonRWatters said:

Hey Adam,

I've been following you for a long time.  I've probably commented here or there on your posts.  I'm the Chief Data Architect at MySpace.  I'm based in Seattle, Wa., although most of the data developers that I work with are in Beverly Hills, Ca.  You may have seen some whitepapers that have been done on MySpace, and much of that is still relevant for us, even as the number of users coming to the site decline.  We still have many PB's of data coming through our systems, which challenges us daily to keep up with the flow.  In total we have dozens of folks that deal with data development, either for OLTP, Warehouse or Mining.  Although I do a lot of advanced stuff with SQL Server, my work also has me paying attention to other things in our enterprise, outside of the Microsoft, I don't get to play with my SQL toys as much as I used to.

I've worked directly with many of the groups at Microsoft on the SQL Server team.  I've been part of SCAN since it's inception in 2006.  I worked on the 2005 and 2008 Admin and Data Dev tests for Microsoft.  I've done tech reviews for Louis Davidson and Sujoy Paul's latest books.  I've also spoken at conferences, etc...but I don't do much other community stuff.  Having said all of that, my favorite feature is usually whatever I'm working on most recently with MS.  I just had a chance to be part of the StreamInsight SDR, and so lately, that has been the most exciting for me to work on.

So, that's who I am.  Keep up the good work...

--  Don


Hi Don, I recognize your name, and I think we may have met in the past. Anyway, it sounds like you have a very interesting job and I'm glad to hear that MySpace isn't ready to give up quite yet. Sorry to hear that you don't work with SQL Server too much these days, but we'll be here when you're ready to come home again... -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:40 PM

Robert L Davis said:

Name is above. Also known as @SQLSoldier on Twitter.

I work at MSFT. I'm a SQL 2008 MCM and all-around SQL geek.

I'm one of those odd DBA's who became a DBA by choice. I've done app dev and web dev in the early days of my career and for a while freelance for extra cash, but I'm rehabilitated now and rarely touch the stuff. :)

I got out of dev about the time everyone was switching over to .Net, so fortunately, my dev skills are somewhat outdated. I stick to SQL dev now if I dev at all.


Hi Robert, "fortunately" your skills are outdated? Interesting take on my blog! ... Anyway, I'm proud to be able to say that you're one of a handful of people to whom I've given crabs* :-) -Adam

* (the dried, sweetened, Japanese variety, in case readers are wondering)

August 17, 2010 3:53 PM

Dustin Mueller said:

Hi Adam,

I'm currently working as a SharePoint developer/consultant, focusing on User Control development with some SSIS thrown in just for good measure.

In the past, I have done everything from web & application development to SQL Server administration & development, to support & hardware installation & user training.  I have really discovered what a tremendous community SQL Server has, and really enjoy learning something new every day from the many valuable experts out there.

One of these days, I may find more then 140 characters (I'm on Twitter as @sqlcheesecake) to blog about, but until then, I'll contribute where & how I can.

Thanks, and keep up the great work!


Hi Dustin, thanks for the reply, and for participating in the community via Twitter. 140 characters is quite limiting, so I hope you'll branch out sooner rather than later. -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:56 PM

dbidba said:

Hello Adam. Thanks for the blog and for WhoIsActive. I am a veteran DBA working for an airline in Louisville, KY. My friends and I support over 80 SQL instances including eight clusters. I follow 40 or so blogs and yours is one of the first I read. Keep up the good work!


Hi dbidba, glad you're getting some good use out of Who is Active. Sounds like you have quite a large job managing that number of servers. Drop me a line if you think of any features I can add that would help you be more efficient. -Adam

August 17, 2010 3:58 PM

Rob Sullivan said:

Love software development and reading about the different scenarios/solutions you run into and create.  I'm interested in SQL CLR, VMware, getting more declarative with my T-SQL, and being exposed to more aspects of SQL Server I 1: don't know about 2: I take for granted.



Hi Rob, thanks for reading and for the comment. I have some SQLCLR content forthcoming and look forward to reading your thoughts. -Adam

August 17, 2010 4:05 PM

PatrickCahill said:

I work as a DBA for a financial company in Utah. I've been working with SQL Server for about 10 years, with the last 6 years as a DBA. I first started reading blogs about three years ago, and it has been a great learning experience. Thank you and I look forward to reading more of your stuff.


Hi Patrick, thanks for the comment. Glad to have been able to contribute to your learning experience. -Adam

August 17, 2010 4:17 PM

Remus Rusanu said:

I am a former developer with SQL Server team, then an independent consultant, and now again a developer with SQL Server team.


Hi Remus, stop reading blogs and get back to work. Now I know why why SQL Server releases keep getting delayed. Remus was surfing the web yet again! -Adam

August 17, 2010 4:51 PM

Leomar Ferreira said:

Hello Adam,

I'm from Brazil, São Paulo (most precise São Bernardo do Campo), and I follow your blog since last year. I don't follow closely but from times to times I take a look.

I first "meet" you through the amazing sp_whoisactive procedure. I use it very often and everybody I show loves it. You do a great work!!

Actually I'm a consultant at Tripletech. I work mainly with SQL Server and (some) Oracle.



Hi Leomar, thanks for reading, and I'm glad that you've been able to leverage Who is Active. Let me know if you think of any features I can add that will make working with it better, easier, more efficient, etc. -Adam

August 17, 2010 5:36 PM

John Racer (@speedracer) said:

Hey Adam,

I am a Database Developer working for a major tire retailer. I have been working in the database profession for about 5 years and in a more general development role for the past 11 years.

As a fellow blogger on the side I am share many of your thoughts. I am still trying to find my voice. I have a broad knowledge of SQL but I am still very much a jack of all trades and master of none.

I definitly find that twitter is helping and I definitly enjoy following you and the many others.

Thanks for sharing and I hope to do the much more of the same myself in the future!



Hi John, thanks for the comment. I'm looking forward to checking out your blog in more detail, and I'll see you on Twitter. -Adam

August 17, 2010 5:46 PM

Julian M Bucknall said:

Adam: I do no DBA or SQL Server work at all ;). I like playing around with code though, especially multithreaded stuff. Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Cheers, Julian


Hi Julian, thanks for visiting, and for sharing your ubercool parallel libraries. I have some multithreaded material coming soon so I hope you'll stick around. -Adam

August 17, 2010 5:50 PM

Jesse Reich said:

I've been following your blog ever since I bought Expert SQL Server 2005 Development two years ago.

It's not just that the book is well-written, but unlike many other SQL Server books I've read, I really find it applicable to my day-to-day work.

As an example, I used the information presented in the Dynamic T-SQL chapter to successfully convince my co-workers that their EXEC(@sql) commands were susceptible to SQL injection and creating tons of unnecessary cached query plans.

It's been instrumental in my growth as a developer, whether it's unit testing, error handling, planning for application concurrency, using CTEs, the list goes on. I've also used SQLQueryStress for various performance testing. Thank you for all your contributions to the community.

I'm a database developer in San Diego.


Hi Jesse, thanks for buying the book; I'm so glad to hear that you've been able to get some value from it! And lucky you, getting to live and work in San Diego--I hope to move in that direction myself some day. -Adam

August 17, 2010 6:58 PM

Noel McKinney said:

Hi Adam, in Chicago here, co-own a firm where I do database consulting but lately I've been heading up engineering and development for a financial data aggregation company. My favorite SQL Server feature is the community. I read your blog when you or someone else I follow tweets mentions a new post (pretty much stopped using RSS feeds once I got on twitter). Your name is mentioned quite often in presentations, there's a lot of respect out there for all you've done.


Hi Noel, thanks for visiting and for reading my assorted Twitter banter. Agreed, our community is a great thing to be a part of. -Adam

August 17, 2010 10:20 PM

Mark Shay said:

Hi Adam -

I am from New York, NY.. I first started reading your blog posts back in April of this year. I am Database Engineer and I have been working with SQL Server since 6.5. I enjoy your blogs so keep them coming.


Hi Mark, thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog! -Adam

August 17, 2010 11:07 PM

kendra little said:

I'm currently a DBA.

I like working with SQL Server and I'm interested in learning how it works and how to optimize it better for a variety of situations.

And one of these days, I'm going to learn more about extended events.

I also enjoy waffles.


Hi Kendra, thanks for visiting! Perhaps we can organize a waffle and Xevent breakfast during PASS. Syrup with your showplan? Okay, I'll stop there. -Adam

August 17, 2010 11:20 PM

Manjot Kaur said:

Hi Adam,

I am a SQL DBA since Jan 2008. I am from New Zealand. I love indexing concepts and Tsql. I follow your blog posts closely and I really enjoy reading them


Hi Manjot, thanks for the comment. It's always great to see some newer practitioners reading the blog. -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:32 AM

Patrick Jackman said:

Your SQL Server 2005 Development book was of great help to me Adam. I found it when I was just starting with the product. I've been back to it on numerous occasions since then and I learn something new every time.

I'm an Access developer now working with SQL Server and living in Vancouver, BC.



Hi Patrick, glad that you've been able to get some value out of the book. And doubly glad that you decided to switch over from Access. This is where the good stuff is :-) -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:40 AM

Dan Halliday said:

Hi Adam

I've been reading you for most of your 6 years of blogging; similarly sometimes many posts a week, sometimes going as long as 6 months without reading.

I am a UK SQL Server developer & DBA based in Manchester. I am a moderator on dbforums and have a few pet posts of yours that I seem to link to most months (off the top of my head, the tally table and migrating scalar functions to inline table functions are the most common).

Thanks for all your contributions to the community



Hi Dan, thank you for sticking with me all of this time, and thanks also for linking to my posts. I really appreciate it. -Adam

August 18, 2010 3:44 AM

GrumpyOldDBA said:

UK based - Thames Valley - coming up for 20 years with databases, not all SQL Server. Your blog forms part of what I guess I see as an extended BOL , all brought to me by FeedReader!


Hi GrumpyOldDBA, I thought I knew your first name at some point, but I can't recall it right now. I'm a reader of your blog as well--keep up the great work! Extended BOL, indeed; these days I generally don't even bother with BOL, I just do a Google search and look at blogs. -Adam

August 18, 2010 4:33 AM

Rick Halliday said:

No relation to Dan (that I am aware of anyway).

SQL Server Database developer from Glasgow UK. I cover most features of SQL server SSRS, SSAS and even a little SSIS. However, areas of most interest is T-SQL, database design and productivity improvements.


PS - Also a user and fan of SQL Query Stress


Hi Rick, thanks for visiting my little corner of the blogosphere. Sounds like you have quite a broad set of responsibilities. I hope, some day, to get back to work on SQLQueryStress, but a few other projects have been keeping me busy of late. Never enough hours in the day... -Adam

August 18, 2010 4:35 AM

Eric Strom said:

DB Consultant in MPLS, MN area.  Serve on local PASS board.  Love your blog and your contribution to the community.



Hi Eric, thanks for leaving the comment, and for getting involved in your local chapter. -Adam

August 18, 2010 6:55 AM

Smitha Reddy said:

I've been a SQL Server DBA for over 10 years now and have loved working with databases ever since I was introduced to them in college. I read your posts and have attended a couple of your sessions at the PASS summit and have used your whoisactive stored proc - thanks for the information you share and code snippets, etc. Currently work in OH.


Hi Smitha, glad that we've been able to interact on so many levels. Next time you attend a session please come up and introduce yourself! -Adam

August 18, 2010 7:59 AM

Luciano Evaristo Guerche (Gorše) said:

Hi Adam,

I am Luciano Evaristo Guerche, a fellow follower from Brazil. To know my professional background and history see



Hi Luciano, thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Glad to have you here. -Adam

August 18, 2010 8:39 AM

Luciano Evaristo Guerche (Gorše) said:

Just wondering where do you get profile pictures from... Gravatar?


Hi Luciano, the system stores profile pictures for registered users. Unfortunately, I had to turn off user registration due to a gigantic number of SPAM users getting created (up to 1000/hour the day I disabled it). I may try turning it back on soon but we'll see. -Adam

August 18, 2010 8:41 AM

AJ Mendo (SQLAJ) said:

I have been in the "business" since the late 90's. For the past year (thanks to Twitter) I discovered a whole new part of the world “The SQL Community”.

I have known about learning websites, blogs and such for many years, the difference is, in the past I was on the outside looking in. Now, I am part of the inside.

One of the coolest things I have learned over the past year is the community is a living, breathing, caring, sharing, entity full of goodness. It makes you want to contribute. For me, so much so, I joined PASS and volunteered for PASS 2010 program committees and even attended my first SQL Saturday (volunteered for that too).

This is a due to my hard work, determination, and love of databases. Some of this however, is due to you and other prominent SQL professionals that reach out and share, teach, joke, and just talk about everything and at times nothing at all.

I am happy and humbled to be a part of such a fine community.

So, just keep writing we’ll be here.



Hi AJ, thanks for visiting, and for all you do. Great to see your name here. -Adam

August 18, 2010 9:11 AM

Alejandro Mesa said:

Hi Adam,

I am one of your followers. I have learn a lot from your blog, book, and TechEd / PASS sessions. Your passion for SQL Server is contagious, and I am not talking just about SQLCLR. :)

I am originally from Cuba, and I have been leaving in USA since 1998. I work for Bank of America, as a Database Developer, and I have been working with SQL Server since version 6.5. My passions are T-SQL, and dimensional modeling.

Thanks for gathering such knowledgeable group of SQL Server professionals to be part of this site.


Alejandro Mesa


Hi Alejandro, I have likewise learned quite a lot from reading your material, in the form of forum posts, etc. And I will keep pestering you until you finally relent and start blogging here. -Adam

August 18, 2010 9:22 AM

Armando Prato said:

Of course the minute I saw the headline, The Who popped into my head.

I'm a Principal level SQL Server developer who learns something new everyday from this blog (especially from you, Aaron, Andy Kelly, etc).

I'm also a teaching assistant at Boston University for their part-time masters level database courses (I have an MS).   I have been working with SQL Server for 13 years since the 6.5 days with the 2k page limit and the page level lock.


Hi Armando, thanks for visiting, and for getting that song stuck in my head! I was not aware that BU had a part-time masters DB program. That's very interesting to know... -Adam

August 18, 2010 9:23 AM

Aaron Bertrand said:

Hi Adam,

My name is Aaron.  I blog right here on this site along with you, and have been doing so since late 2006.  When did I first start blogging?  I found early traces of going back to September 2003 using

I know that I was blogging before that; I bought the domain in 2001 exclusively for the purpose of blogging.  But the previous version of my site used the no-follow directive in a robots.txt file, so the way back machine doesn't have it in its archives, and I certainly can't find the content anywhere.

I currently work for OTOLabs, a division of One to One Interactive located in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  I work in the office two days a week, the rest out of my home in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.  The commute really sucks, but the company is fantastic.  My position is Senior Data Architect - I design the schema and have significant input into the architecture of our SaaS services.  I also dabble in C# when the need arises, but more often than not when I am doing dev work I will prototype something in classic ASP, because that is much quicker for me.

I don't think I have a "favorite" SQL Server feature.  Compression gets really high marks (both data compression and backup compression), especially now that backup compression will be supported in R2.  And I am excited to benefit from Unicode compression if and when we upgrade to the latest version.  However there isn't much else in R2 that seems attractive enough for us to make the jump - I think we will be waiting for SQL 11.


Hi Aaron, fine, you win the bragging rights. You've also posted a much larger number of posts than I have, and filed a much larger number of Connect bugs than any normal human ever should have been able to. As a matter of fact, I''ve often wondered if there aren't really three of you. Fill me in on your secret some day. -Adam

August 18, 2010 9:33 AM

Steve Jones said:

My name is Steve Jones and I have been reading your posts for about 6 months now. I live in Dallas TX working at Crosstex Energy Services for a little over 3 years now as the main DBA. But, I have also picked up responsibilities for other applications because I have a habit of not saying no if I think there is any way I can help someone out.

My favorite feature is pretty basic but my life would be annoying without it.... I couldn't imagine life without the e-mail/page notifications based on errors, warnings, events.


Hi Steve, someone that enjoys getting paged? Perfect fit for a DBA role! Are you aware that you share a name with the guy who runs SQL Server Central? Perhaps if you go to PASS you can use your name to get into all of the most exclusive parties (were said parties to exist). Anyway, thanks for visiting! -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:04 AM

Adam Machanic said:

Thanks for all of the great replies so far! It's quite interesting and enlightening to get more insight into some of my readers, and I'm looking forward to seeing even more comments as time goes on.

August 18, 2010 11:36 AM

Emil Fri&#240;riksson said:

Hey and thanks for your blog :) I've got your blog in my feed reader, but I have to admit that I read it in chunks, with weeks apart.

I'm a senior virtual world database administrator at CCP Games, a computer games company with HQ in Reykjavik, Iceland.

I've been a SQL Server dude for 5 years or so and my main responsibility is running CCPs MMORPGs EVE-Online backend database server.


Hi Emil, sounds like you have a really cool job! I briefly did some work with an online gaming provider and there were certainly some unique challenges. Certainly can't blame you for only having time to read in chunks. -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:47 AM

Neil Hambly said:

Hi Adam

Firstly let me say - I so enjoy reading you blogs and love sp_whoisactive (what a cool sp that is).

I'm a 12+ yr SQL veteran (I would guess by now) of SQL Server Product family (since 7.0), now working as a FT Database Architect (UK), and loving every minute (as I get paid to do what I love)..

now recently also invloved in the UK SQL community much more, organising &  presenting (have an event tonight in Kent, I'm presenting @) and in a few weeks have a session @ SQLBITS (it's and an awesome conference).. so please keep the SQL trail blazing..

What Else.. or yeah.. Good luck wiht the next 6 years... I've some cathing up to do it seems



Hi Neil, thanks so much for visiting my blog and for all of the stuff you do. Best of luck with your presentation tonight and at SQLbits! -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:50 AM

Whitney Weaver said:

My name is Whitney Weaver and I'm from Atlanta where I run the BI Practice for Slalom Consulting. I now *talk* about SQL Server a lot more than I develop it but occasionally work my way into a project or two.  I really enjoy speaking at user groups and conferences.

I have a hard time picking my "favorite" feature - there have been many that came in handy for particular clients (partitioning, compression, heck even intellisense).

I'm trying to remember how long I've been reading your blog, it goes back to your other site.  But then I'm having memory trouble in a couple of conversations with you this week.


Hi Whitney, apparently you have a new employer since I last saw you as well. Congratulations! See you at PASS, and we'll see if we can't bring back some of those memories with the help of a cocktail or three. -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:55 AM

jonathan allen said:

Hi Adam,

Name: Jonathan Allen

Designation: DBA

Actual Role: DBA, Developer, Systems Analysis, Project Management, Cook, Bottle Washer


Twitter: @fatherjack

Location: UK

DBA/Father/Photographer in varying order with a keen interest in making SQL Server as effective as possible.

Thanks for the blog Adam, I got close to this sort or topic here, looking forward to getting some comments on my blog one day too. Can you say there is any particular watershed that occurred where your blog started getting more comments/views? Is it just time?


Hi Jonathan, thanks for visiting and for the comment. No, I can't remember a time when things suddenly picked up. It's a long, slow process building up a Web presence and a personal brand. But quite a rewarding one. Keep up the great work on your blog and you'll certainly get there. -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:56 AM

Andy Irving said:

I'm Andy, Senior SQL Developer, in the UK. been reading your blog almost the whole time. you're actually my claim to fame on account of you agreeing with a (rare!) comment of mine on someone else's blog, hence my email footer has for the last few years contained:

"I Agree 100% with Andy Irving" -- Adam Machanic

Which has sufficiently wound up most of my colleagues.


Hi Andy, thanks for the laugh, and I'm glad to have impacted your career in such an offbeat, roundabout manner. Looking forward to next time I can reply to one of your blog comments! -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:28 PM

Wendy said:

Adam, thanks for all your great blog posts - I find them ever increasingly useful, especially in my new job as a consultant.

I'm a DBA with 10 years experience in the Chicago area working with development teams mostly, but also enjoying production dba roles more and more. Sometimes I blog - need to be more active with that, and I do also tweet as @wendy_dance (no, that's not my last name). I'm also a SSUG Leader and active with PASS as Chapter Leader for Women In Technology Virtual Chapter.

Your sp_whoisactive is one of the coolest things I've have the opportunity to play with. You are definitely one of the Cool Kids :)


Hi Wendy, congrats on the new gig, and thanks for stopping by from time to time. I certainly know how busy things can be as a consultant. Hope that we can meet at PASS this year (I'm 99% certain that I missed you last time around). -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:30 PM

Nitin said:

Hello Adam,

You've not only blogged, but also provided a hosting platform for several Experts.I've been reading your blog since 2007

My fav topic is your expertise: Parallelism

Im a BI developer turned DBA based out of Los Angeles,CA



Hi Nitin, thanks for reading. More parallel goodness coming shortly. -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:30 PM

dmmaxwell said:

Greetings, Adam.

My name is David Maxwell (@dmmaxwell).  I'm a DBA in Columbus, OH, working for a health care administrator.  I was directed to you through a mentor about two years ago, who described you and Itzik as his "SQL Heroes".  I am very impressed with what you do, and look forward to seeing more.




Hi David, thanks for visiting, and for the kind words. I've never been to Ohio and hope to make it there sometime, perhaps on a user group tour or something similar. Hope to see you there if I can ever pull it together. -Adam

August 18, 2010 12:30 PM

Alex Whittles said:

Hi Adam

Who am I?  Alex Whittles

Where am I?  England

What do I do?  SQL Server BI Consultant

Who for?  Purple Frog Systems

Who are they?  My BI Consultancy

What else?  I also blog about SQL stuff, mainly business intelligence related (

 I'm also studying for an MSc in Business Intelligence

Twitter?  @PurpleFrogSys

Best bit of SQL?  Analysis Services and MDX

Thanks for spending the time to blog - sharing your worldly wisdom is really appreciated!



Hi Alex, thanks for visiting. Nice to see some BI people here even though I don't talk about that stuff too much. Best of luck with your MSc. -Adam

August 18, 2010 2:36 PM

Alexander Kuznetsov said:

Hey Adam,

My name is Alex, I am a developer in Chicago. I started reading your blog after I had read and liked your book "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development", and I keep reading all your posts since then.

There are too many posts/articles/books which go like "look, here is a cool new feature, and if you are not excited enough yet, here is another cool new feature", or, in other words, there are too many posts/articles/books which do not go deep enough.

Thanks for posting interesting, in-depth content, and thorough analysis which goes far beyond just rehashing MSDN. Thanks for the content which is really applicable in may day-to-day activity, and is thought-provoking.

My favorite SQL Server feature is RESTORE - without the ability to recover from failure I'd be using another product.


Hi Alex, I should thank YOU for all of the same stuff. Almost finished with your excellent book on Defensive Database Development (watch for a blog post on that soon). Agreed, RESTORE is quite nice, but it also helps to have BACKUP in the product :-) -Adam

August 18, 2010 2:56 PM

Linchi Shea said:

I'm Linchi Shea. From the blog post title, I thought you were going to announce the release of sp_WhoAreYou.


Hi Linchi, so sorry to disappoint. I wonder what said procedure would do? By the way, to ease the disappointment check your e-mail. I sent you something interesting this afternoon. -Adam

August 18, 2010 3:23 PM

Michael Zilberstein said:

Hi Adam,

My name is Michael Zilberstein; I'm independent DBA and consultant from Israel specializing in applicative part: performance and all around. Blogging right here although less frequently than I would have liked to.

Thanks for this great site and for your posts personally.

Favorite feature... I really like to "play" with internals and to figure how things work in the low level (even used WinDbg several times - really weird :-)). My favorite feature (the one I like most - not the one with highest ROI or something) is extended events - I use it in almost every 2008 environment I work with and monitor. I also very much enjoy speaking at ISUG (Israeli SQL Server User Group) - probably one day I'll make it to PASS :-))


Hi Michael, thanks for the comment, and for your contributions here at the site. If you want to blog more often, you've mentioned a great topic right here -- how to get started with debugging SQL Server dumps w/ WinDbg or something similar would no doubt be a fascinating read. -Adam

August 18, 2010 6:13 PM

Meher said:

Hi Adam,

I am a SQL DBA and based in Seattle, WA. I read your posts and also use your whoisactive tool. I like the tool very much. over the years I have read lot of your articles, code snippets, blogs and enjoy reading your posts. I also read your replies in SQL Server forums.

Thanks to all your contribution to the SQL Community.



Hi Meher, thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment. I'm so glad that you've gotten some good use out of the tool and other things I've posted. -Adam

August 18, 2010 11:35 PM

Linchi Shea said:


I have not checked my Gmail for a few days, and now I'm looking forward to seeing what you sent tonight. BTW, if you ever get Aaron's secret, please do not just keep it to yourself.

We have your sp_WhoIsActive on all the prod instances, and it have proven to be very useful.


Hi Linchi, it turns out that Aaron's secret is simple and quite innovative, but I'm sworn to secrecy. Sorry! -Adam

August 19, 2010 9:40 AM

snewfie said:

Hello Adam

I have been a DBA for 13 years now working in the financial sector for the Quebec government out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I usually end up touching everything that has an SQL acronym attached to it.

Love working with developers and exchanging design philosophies for data access.

I think the first time I saw you; was in Phoenix Arizona for SQLDEVCON 1999 if my memory does not fail me it was also the first time I got to meet Mr. Celko.

Ever since then I have followed all your posts and what not.

I have met you a couple of times in Montreal at SQL DevTeach along with Mr. DeBetta

Keep up the great posts

Stephen Mandeville


Hi Stephen, sorry to say that you could not have met me at SQLDEVCON because this is the first time I've ever heard of the event. But DevTeach in Montreal was certainly a favo(u)rite of mine while it was still around. Thanks for visiting, and I hope we can meet again sometime. -Adam

August 19, 2010 1:42 PM

John Sterrett said:

Hi Adam,

I have to admit that I have been lurking around for awhile.

I am John Sterrett a DBA and former Developer for a legal company in Wheeling, WV.  

I like you blog because I love code and data.

My favorite post about your blog is the SP_WHOISACTIVE tool.  It’s a great tool.


Hi John, fantastic--always nice to hear from readers who share the same (Platonic) love interests. Glad you're using Who is Active; as I've said many times in these comments, let me know how I can improve upon the tool and make your life easier, faster, or better (within reason, of course!) -Adam

August 19, 2010 3:36 PM

Scott Herbert said:

Scott Herbert here. I'm now living in Canberra, Australia, having just moved down from Sydney. I'm a DBA, straddling the actual admin and development sides. Current challenge is moving some PostgreSQL databases onto Microsoft. What do I like about SQL? Well probably what got me into it in the first place, the absolute basics - being able to do powerful stuff with a lot of little bits of knowledge.


Hi Scott, thanks for visiting and for the comment. I find PostgreSQL to be quite interesting; I hope you've been able to dive in a bit, learn some of its features, and not just focus on getting the data out? -Adam

August 19, 2010 11:17 PM

Fahd Mirza said:


 Been reading you for quite a while. I am from Pakistan and manage Pakistan's first Oracle blog. Don't stop blogging, rest assured we read you.



Hi Fahd, great to hear from a reader who, by the looks of things, specializes in a different DBMS. I believe that we are all united by being database professionals, even when we occasionally bicker about our technology of choice. -Adam

August 21, 2010 7:19 AM

OJ Ngo said:

Hey Adam,

Have to say this is a very interesting post and it's enlightening to learn of other professionals out there and the fields they're in.

Although I am not a regular follower of you per se, I do read up posts from you, Linchi, Aaron, Kalen, Kimberly, Steve Kass, and a few others every so often.  You guys have done an awesome job in the community. Wish I am that motivated to do just 1/5 of that. :)





Hey OJ! Been a really long time; great to see your name here. I hope you're doing well and that we'll see you again sometime in the MVP world. -Adam

August 22, 2010 4:45 PM

Chris Allott said:

I'm a BI Development manager for a large charity in the UK. I have had a bit of spare time this year after looking after a data warehouse on my own for the last few years and finished a long SSAS/SSIS/SSRS migration from SQL 2000 to 2005. This meant I could look around the web for what new resources I can use. I stumbled across the blog from another source (I forget which) and it's now a permanent fixture on my RSS list :-)

August 23, 2010 8:54 AM

Cameron Mergel said:


I have been working with SQL Server since 6.5 in a support role, but in a DBA role for the past 2 years.  I work and live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Redmond/Tacoma area).  I have lived here my whole life and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.  

My biggest joy and frustration are/is the Database Engine.  I enjoy reading and learning as much as I can about how to make it run faster, but also pull my hair out troubleshooting performance.

I first met you at the last PASS at spotlight session on profiling and extended events.  A little over my head at the time.

Keep up the great work.  Hope to run into you again at PASS this year.


August 24, 2010 12:09 AM

Jason Brimhall said:

It looks like my trackback worked.  I thought it would be good to add a post to give more thoughts than just the comment section.

August 24, 2010 6:08 PM

Robert L Davis said:

>> Hi Robert, "fortunately" your skills are outdated? Interesting take on my blog!

I was speaking to my web and app dev skills. In my first DBA job, I was still doing app and web dev at the same time depending on what the company needed most at the time. My SQL Dev skills, I think, are better than most DBA's and I'm always looking to improve them. I enjoy SQL dev. I just don't want to pigeon holed into doign app or web dev regularly ever again. SQL is much better.

August 24, 2010 6:12 PM

Thomas Rushton said:

Hi Adam

Found this post courtesy of a post from Jason Brimhall / @sqlrnnr.  Well, if you will post these questions when I'm on holiday, you can expect me to take a while to catch up!

Me.  I've gone through the IT career ladder up to IT manager (for a now-defunct law firm), and am now returning to the simpler days of full-time SQL Server work.  I work as a SQL Server contractor, currently on an "Estate Management" contract, looking after about 55 SQL2000 & SQL2005 servers, and trying to get a consolidation project off the ground to simplify the environment.  It would be nice to upgrade them to SQL2008 at the same time!  I recently started blogging various bits and pieces related to what I'm doing / what I have done.  Why "The Lone DBA?"  Because my first blog is called "The Lone Double Bass" and it seemed to fit...

Outside of work, I'm a musician - I play double bass to a semi-professional standard, and will be spending most of the next few weeks of non-work time getting organised enough to take on Wagner's "Tristan & Isolde" with the Northern Wagner Orchestra.  I've been known to play these things as the only double bassist in an orchestra of 90-odd, hence the blog title "The Lone Double Bass" (

August 25, 2010 3:17 AM

Michael said:

I am an accidental DBA but am trying to make it a more official position. I have been reading your blog for quite some time but don't comment much. I work in Portland, OR and my favorite SQL Server feature is that it isn't Oracle! ;) (Though I have to use both in my job.)

I really appreciate all the information you provide, thanks!

I would love to see you put together a CLR utility package that had all kinds of wonderfully fast utilities. (String Splitter, List of numbers splitter, Running SUM, etc.)

August 25, 2010 11:23 PM

Valentino Vranken said:

Hi Adam,

This post of yours made me laugh because I'd been thinking of posting something very similar on my own blog.  It seems to be working out well, quite interesting!  I'm currently getting about 5000 hits per month, FeedBurner is showing me an average of 78 subscribers for the last month and if I look at the comments of the past month I can count them on my two hands (eight to be exact) - I don't even want to know what percentage that gives...

Like you I'm a SQL Server consultant, though not independently.  My employer is Ordina and currently I'm assigned on a long-term BI project for the Belgian Railways.  I live in Belgium, that's one of those small countries in Europe.  My main focus is on BI using SQL Server but I also like regular development.  Before I went into consultancy a couple of years back I'd actually been a developer for about 10 years.  I've used several different languages, but the database back-end has always been SQL Server.  Although I've seen 6.5 slightly, I don't remember much of it so the first version that I really used was 7.0.

If you'd like to know even more about me: see my blog :-)

As for favorite feature, I'm not sure - that's a really difficult question, so many features to choose from.  Perhaps the Profiler, I especially like using it to capture queries generated by other SQL Server features, such as some components in Integration Services or the Management Studio.  Can be interesting to see what queries the developers as MS have come up with, but I'm sure you know that.

PS: you're doing a great job giving everyone a personalized comment in this thread, it deserves an applause!

Best Regards,


August 26, 2010 11:40 AM

Henrik Staun Poulsen said:

Hi Adam,

I'm an occational reader of your blog, due to lack of time. I've been developing systems for PC databases for 22 years mostly DataFlex, Interbase, BTrieve and SQL Server. Currently working with a 10TB database with 6 tables of >1 billion rows.

Best regards,


August 27, 2010 5:22 AM

karthik said:

Hi Adam,

I am working as a Dba for a publishing company in New york. I have been following your blog since 2008.

I enjoy learning and reading database engine stuff.

I have been using your sp_whoisactive stored procedure on my production instances.

Keep up the great work.

August 30, 2010 3:21 PM

steve.mckenna said:

Boston Area DBA, frequent attendee of the NESQL user groups.

August 30, 2010 4:10 PM

jahaines82 said:

Hi Adam,

My name is Adam Haines and I have been a follower for a while now.  I have learned a lot from your books, sessions, tweets, and posts. I am in the middle of swtiching jobs, but currently work for Stewart Enterprises, where I am a senior DBA.  I have been working with RDMS for about 6 years now. I am very passionate about SQL Server especially TSQL and performance tuning.  In my spare time, I hang around the MSDN forums and spend time with my wife and two children.

Thanks for a great blog repository and keep up the good work!

August 31, 2010 5:52 PM

Mike Walsh said:

You know me from NESQL, SQL Saturday and general harassing e-mails.... :-) Great idea to ask for the input directly --> Overwhelmed by the response you've gotten! :)

September 3, 2010 2:54 PM

Bill Kan said:

Hello Adam,

I am Bill and work for Microsoft's Business Platform Division (SQL Server). Our team manages Infrasture and Foundational Support required to test MS SQL Server products and ultimately ship them.

I had a pleasture of exchanging few emails with you on that sp_whoxx early on.

I'd like performance tuning and disator recovery topics. Occasionally I like TSQL puzzles and topics on .NET. LINQ, Powershell and specifically how they work along side SQL Server, basically being a good SQL Server "Developer"

Thx Bill

September 8, 2010 1:22 AM

David Schwimmer said:

Hi Adam,

I work for the big blue in Hungary. My primary job role is DBA - interestingly most of my time is spent to another tasks but once upin a time I will focus on my DBA role only.

I just like your posts, they're interesting and thorough. And interesting are these as well... :) I read your blog since about a year - maybe Google Reader knows the date better but I could not find it out.

The name above is false... :)

September 12, 2010 2:49 PM

Alex said:

Hi Adam,

well, I'd like to see full and comprehensive memory management material. What I saw bits and pieces here and there, but never real deep and complete insight.

Are you up to it?

September 14, 2010 5:09 PM

Dan said:

Hello Adam

I am development DBA from Israel, working at company that

provides online Scratch games.

I also have a blog, please take a look.

Thanks for your posts.

September 17, 2010 12:47 PM

sqlbelle said:

I'm Donabel, @sqlbelle on twitter.

I'm a consultant (meaning DBA or Developer, or both, depending on what the projects call for) from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I believe I first attended one of your sessions in DevTeach, maybe in 2007? I just attended your Audit session (SQLPASS 2010), and am very impressed.

You're my go-to guy for anything programmatic/CLR, and I equally appreciate the performance tuning/DR topics (and anything in between). Thank you so much for sharing your lessons learned. Takes time and dedication to put together blogs, sample code etc, yet you do it with passion and dedication :)

I have your books in my bookshelf, and use it as recommended text for some of the courses I teach.

Thanks for the Who Is Active script. Lifesaver.

November 10, 2010 4:39 AM

DBA Expert said:

I am dba expert. And i am going to create a blog. I think you would be my model.

December 19, 2010 12:02 AM

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About Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic is a Boston-based SQL Server developer, writer, and speaker. He focuses on large-scale data warehouse performance and development, and is author of the award-winning SQL Server monitoring stored procedure, sp_WhoIsActive. Adam has written for numerous web sites and magazines, including SQLblog, Simple Talk, Search SQL Server, SQL Server Professional, CoDe, and VSJ. He has also contributed to several books on SQL Server, including "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press, 2009) and "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development" (Apress, 2007). Adam regularly speaks at conferences and training events on a variety of SQL Server topics. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and an alumnus of the INETA North American Speakers Bureau.

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