As some of you might be aware Paul Randal (blog | twitter) has just announced the launch of a new SQL Skills Community Mentoring program for a few individuals that took part in the SQL Skills Immersion Events. I’m deeply honored to be one of the select few that get access to invaluable advice from what I consider the best team in the SQL Server world.
Allow me to go back to a year ago (and boy what a great year 2011 was), when I could only dream of getting trained by Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp, but my perseverance paid off and after multiple requests, me and my buddy Vince managed to convince the company to send us to the first week of Immersion training in May this year especially since it was in the western suburbs of Chicago. Very soon I realized that this is by far the best training I have ever received, period. The amount of content was overwhelming (as Brad put it “it’s like drinking from a proverbial fire hose”) but the presentation style was extremely engaging and well prepared. Paul and Kimberly don’t just tell you “this is what you should/shouldn’t do” they go beyond that and explain why and how and then they demo the whole concept. Just like a good teacher they can take a difficult topic and present it in a way that makes it easy for you to follow and absorb a lot of information.
On the fourth day of the IE 1 class I volunteered to present a slide deck. I was extremely embarrassed as I felt like I was not in the same league as the rest of the folks present, but everything went so well that it made me reconsider my thoughts. As a matter of fact it made me submit a couple sessions for SQL Saturday #82 in Indianapolis and this was the beginning of my public speaking adventure. A few days ago I actually presented the same slide deck from IE1 at SQL Saturday #96 in Washington, DC and the feedback was excellent.
Last month I continued my learning odyssey with the second week of training (IE2). Right away the fact that we attended IE1 made a huge difference and it helped us understand a lot better the subjects presented to us. This time it wasn’t just Paul and Kimberly but Jonathan and Joe have joined them adding their technical skills and expertise to the table. I learned so many new things that I have already used in my environment.
To conclude, these classes have helped me to understand significantly better how SQL Server works. Things like PLE, forwarding records, heap fragmentation, index tuning, page structure, SAN performance, waits and stats, extended events, NUMA architectures, MCM program are only a few of the subjects that were explained in great detail.
Now on the last binary day of the century all this becomes even better by having the unique chance to have someone like Joe Sack as Mentor and working with him to advance my career. It’s been an incredible year for me and I look forward to work with my Mentor Joe Sack and see what the next 6 months will bring !
Once more, thank you SQLskills. It is an honor to be in such good company.