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SQLSaturday#59 - Interview with Robert Pearl (1st in series)

SQLSaturday#59 - Interview with Robert Pearl (1st in series) - Say what? 

As we get the countdown under way, I caught up with myself and agreed to be interviewed.  Please do continue to monitor this blog, as we will be bringing you more interviews with the Speakers of SQLSaturday#59!

RP_Interviewer: Robert, do you have some time to answer a few questions?

RP: Questions, what kind of questions?  Do I know you?

RP_Interviewer:  I’m YOU - dumb ass!

RP: Hey, is that a way to speak to yourself!

RP_Interviewer:  I’m sorry, but I figured, since you wrote these questions, the least you can do is answer them.  

RP: I hope you don’t talk that way to your other speakers.

RP_Interviewer:  No, just you!  And, you can lose a few pounds too, you know.

RP: That’s it, I’m walking.

RP_Interviewer:  Where are we going?

RP: Oh, never mind. Go ahead and ask your questions.

RP_Interviewer:  Thank you.

RP_Interviewer:  Please tell us a little about yourself, your background, your career and your involvement in the SQL Community. 

RP:  I basically grew through the ranks as a solutions-oriented Senior Database Administrator/Engineer and have over 12+ years of experience in the management of critical database operations. My focus has allowed me to build up somewhat of an expertise in Microsoft SQL technology.  In searching for a simple clear-cut solution to manage multiple SQL Servers, I developed the award-winning SQLCentric – a web-based database monitoring and alert system with the DBA in mind.  I was recently awarded SQL MVP for 2010, and I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award. 

RP_Interviewer: OK, stop bragging, this isn’t the Oscars.  Who nominated you anyway?

RP: I would like to finish answering the question, please.

RP_Interviewer: Hurry up, will you!  Steve Jones is waiting in the lobby.

RP:  Good guy, that Steve.  He’s going to be there too?


RP_Interviewer: Hey, who’s asking the questions here?


RP:  As I was saying, I also participate in online forums, and have contributed several articles on MS SQL Server to SQLServerCentral.com, other sites and publications. I also maintain a regular blog at SSC.com, called Pearl Knows. As President of Pearl Knowledge…




RP: What’s so funny?


RP_Interviewer: “President”?  That’s hysterical!


RP: [interrupting] A-hum. As President of Pearl Knowledge Solutions, Inc., we offer quality managed DBA services and expertise, as well as an array of top notch SQL Server software tools and solutions.  If anyone is interested, you can visit our website http://www.pearlknows.com or contact me directly @ rsp05@pearlknows.com


RP_Interviewer: Are we finished with the Proctor&Gamble commercial?


RP:  You said I would be able to plug my company and services.


RP_Interviewer: Anything else?  This is only the first question you know!  I have limited space on my blog.


RP: Finally,…


RP_Interviewer: Thank G-d!


RP FINALLY, I enjoy covering local events in the New York City area, like SQLSaturday#59 @ MS HQ in NYC, November 20, 2010.


RP_Interviewer: Me, too J.  What day is that?


RP: You’re kidding, right?  SQL S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y.


RP_Interviewer: {embarrassed} Oh, yeah.


RP: And you called me a dumb-ass!



RP_Interviewer: What is your area of expertise?  How did you become a DBA/SQL Professional?

RP: I consider myself proficient in DBA Administration & Development, with a core skill set in Performance Assessment, Tuning & Optimization, as well as SQL Consolidation, High Availability/Disaster Recovery planning, Upgrades & Migrations, Audit & Compliance, and Best practice recommendations.

RP_Interviewer:  Yada,yada,yada.  This is a two-part question you know!

RP:  I started out, as many have, ….

RP_Interviewer:  Just get to the point, we don’t have all day!

RP: I started out managing a helpdesk in a software company that ran their product on multiple platforms (Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server 6.5).  This was early on when client-server technology was getting big.  I had a pretty good knack for this, and as I was front-facing with the end-client, I could easily walk-them through all the backend configurations.  The Sr. Engineers could never explain it well to the PM/Sales people, so I became sort of the gateway communication between them and sales.  The Ops guys tapped me to assist in installations, configurations, etc.  I then went to a local VAR , who was a SQL Server only shop, and became lead SQL Server DBA.  And, that, as they say, the rest is history…

RP_Interviewer: That’s nice, Robert.  We’re not interested in history; we just want you to answer the questions.

RP:  Hey, I’m doing the best I can.  And I think, you should start calling me Mr.Pearl!

RP_Interviewer:  Robert, what advice would you give your fellow colleagues who are trying to become more senior professionals? 

RP: Well, with SQL Server 2008 as an end-to-end highly scalable and available, business intelligence and RDMS platform, it gets tougher and tougher to be a generalist.  Even though many shops require a DBA to wear all hats, some of them still do not know the difference between a DBA/SQL Developer/Report Builder, Architect, Modeler, DW or BI expert.  I think on a personal & professional career-level, it would benefit the individual to focus in 1 or 2 specific areas.  Figure out how those skills would be of most value to a company, and take those specialties, and run with it. 

RP_Interviewer: As I see the question all the time, what do you tell folks who want to get more involved in the SQL Community?


RP: That’s interesting you should ask that.  I actually wrote about this very topic in a Guest Editorial, called “We Are Not Alone” (<--click here to read) on SQLServerCentral.com.


RP_Interviewer:  We talking about SQL here, not UFO’s!  You some kind of quack?


RP:  I didn’t create the title.  It means that we are all part of the larger SQL Server community.  My article talks about how everyone could get involved, and makes some suggestions on local community events, user groups, FREE training, LinkedIN, blogging and more!

RP_Interviewer: What are 3 of your favorite features in SQL Server 2008/R2?

RP:  There’s so many, though.

RP_Interviewer:  Just name (3) THREE.  We’re running out of time.  I have about 25 of these interviews to conduct, and its only (6) more weeks until the event!

RP: That’s right.  We already have over 300+ registered attendees, so folks should start registering while they still can!  REGISTER NOW! 

RP_Interviewer:  This is starting to sound like an infomercial.

RP:  Well, indeed, everyone should know that we’re raffling off prizes and software licenses from some of our favorite vendors!  Don’t forget all the SWAG! Wherescape, Red Gate, Quest, PragmaticWorks, SetFocus, SafePeak(DCF), AdvantiSolutions,  and Varigence.

RP_Interviewer:  Didn’t you leave one out?

RP: No, those are all…Oh!  Yes, Pearl Knowledge Solutions, is giving away free sql server monitoring licenses of SQLCentric.  Thanks!

RP_Interviewer:  Who else would have your back J  Hey, what about the top 3 features?

RP: Right!  My top 3 SQL Server 2008 features are:

1 .SQLAudit/ Change Data Capture (CDC)

2. Backup & Data Compression

3. Online Indexing

Database Mirroring Enhancements – (ie:compressed tlogs, more automatic failover options)


RP_Interviewer:  I think that was more than 3!


RP:  Hey, who’s writing this blog anyway?


RP_Interviewer: What are you working on currently?  (Projects, Books/Articles, Speaking circuit, etc.)


RP: I’m working on some new articles that I will eventually share.  I’d also like to contribute and collaborate on a book, if the opportunity arises. (hint ;-)  In addition, I'm working on SQLCentric v.30 and its SQLOS Live Performance Dashboard.  This version will bring tremendous performance monitoring enhancements, and take advantage of SQL's DMVs.

Well, besides this interview, I’m trying to get ALL speakers to participate in this forum, so I have sent them these questions, and look forward to posting them here on the PearlKnows blog, in the lead-up to our SQLSaturday#59 event. Also, as part of the SQLSaturday team, I have the opportunity to work with a great bunch of dedicated community leaders, volunteers, speakers, guests and sponsors.  I have thoroughly enjoyed helping bring to this event several of our speakers and sponsors, but has no doubt been a team-effort.  Special thanks to the Melissa Demsak (aka SQLDiva), Alec Lazarescu, Joseph Marsh, Andrew Brust, Deb Takash, and the rest of the volunteers!  We all will be thanking them for this star-studded, spectacular, super SQLSaturday event! 

RP_Interviewer:  Any more “S” words you’d like to add?

RP:  Yes, but I’ll digress, this is a family web-site.

RP_Interviewer: What are some of your other interests, hobbies, etc. when you’re not being a DBA/Engineer/BI professional? 

RP: First and foremost, I spend every available minute I have with my wife & kids, whom I love and adore.

RP_Interviewer:  Stop kissing up, your wife doesn’t even read your blogs!

RP:  That’s not completely true.  Anyways, I like to play paddleball, tennis,…

RP_Interviewer:  When was the last time you did that?

RP: I said I like to play them, just been a while.  I didn’t approve that question!

RP_Interviewer:  Let’s move on.

RP_Interviewer: What are you looking forward to, or, what excites you the most about presenting at our SQLSaturday event in the capital of the world, NYC?

RP:  I’m truly looking forward to this event, and meeting with all my friends, colleagues, speakers, and attendees. So many folks have put aside their time to be here, from all over the country. Please do not hesitate to stop by and say Hello.

RP_Interviewer: Give us a preview of the topic and session you have planned for us at SQLSaturday#59

RP:  Thought you’d never ask…

RP_Interviewer: Me, neither.


RP:  Based on the popular cover-story article appearing in SQL Server Magazine, I will expand on ways to measure SQL Server's performance. I will give hopefully, useful tips for getting and analyzing I/O information, and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks. In addition, I will talk about and introduce performance tuning using a methodology called Waits and Queues, with respect to I/O. By using this methodology one can identify the best opportunities to improve performance, the so called “biggest bang for the buck”.   I’m going to try to make the session interactive, since…

RP_Interviewer: You mean so no one falls asleep listening to you!

RP: Cut that out! Are we almost done?

RP_Interviewer:  Zzzz. What did you say?

RP: Very funny!!

RP_Interviewer: Anything that you would like to add?  Hello, we’re still conducting this interview!

RP:  Let me finish chewing my donut!

RP_Interviewer:  I told you, you need to shed a few pounds.

RP:  I don’t deserve this treatment!

RP_Interviewer: So, sue me!  I know where all your assets are.

RP:  Ok, well, thank you for your time.  Next time please schedule accordingly.

RP_Interviewer: Thanks, Robert.  Ok got to jet, here comes Steve.


Don’t forget to visit frequently and bookmark our event page: http://www.sqlsaturday.com/59/eventhome.aspx

You can also follow us on Twitter using hash tag #sqlsat59



Posted by Satya(SQLMaster) on 22 May 2012

Funny... and interesting too.. Keep it up


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