During my most recent travel outside India, I was fortunate enough to meet Bryan Oliver. I have heard a lot about him but never had chance to meet him in person. Just like we all do for someone we never met before, I had already some preconceived notions about him. I assumed that he might be someone who will be quite proud about his knowledge with 20+ years of experience in the industry. I was also not expecting a very friendly approach as he was quite older than me. I am sure by now that all of you might have guessed my experience with Bryan. Bryan Oliver is, in fact, an extremely friendly and knowledgeable person. If you are meeting him for the first time, I am sure that you will feel that you know him from many years.
Bryan is from Solid Quality Mentors, Australia, and pretty much works all over the world. He has a gargantuan experience in SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Data warehousing projects. He is also involved in many large-scale projects. Bryan blogs at http://www.sqlbloke.com and does not hesitate to write on unconventional topics. His writing also covers any SQL-related topic. There are many things one can learn from Bryan.
Bryan is very patient trainer. I have observed that during his training sessions, he never looses his control over the class. He explains things very politely and does not get irritated if someone asks the same question again and again. In fact, I have learned from him how to handle some unexpected queries, which I shall talk about later. Bryan has very interesting style of teaching courses. First, he covers all those points that are slightly dry in the course; in this way, the course always seems to proceed better and effectively holds the interest of the attendees. In his class, there are no frills or dramatic shows. He covers the course very easily without any gimmick. His personality and way of training reminds people of the way they studied when they were in primary school. When I was in grades 1 to 5, I hardly worried about the class, I had no responsibility, and I used to walk in the class without any pressure to study all the time. It was my teacher who took the major responsibility to teach me and make me learn. Bryan teaches the same way; he takes the complete responsibility of teaching on his shoulder and makes sure that everyone learns the technology perfectly.
Bryan and I spent couple of days together discussing various topics. I had great time learning SQL from him. In fact, after meeting him, I was fortunate to know about so many things, which he effortlessly explained to me. If I have to work now with a Data Warehousing project, I can perform much better than I used to do before. I feel like going back to all of my previous customers and requesting them to allow me to have one more look at their system and configuration. May be with newly acquired knowledge, I can work on their system to perform quite better than before.
There is one thing which Bryan and I agree upon equally: Respect for Greg Low, Rushabh Mehta and Itzik Ben-Gan. We both think that these wonderful SolidQ mentors have contributed a lot to the SQL Community and are expected to do so in future. We talked about religion, cultures, life, and kids. I have a daughter and even Bryan also has one; so we could not stop talking about our kids. Bryan gave me few tips on how to raise kids as well. There are a few tips, which are always true irrespective of one’s geographical location. We had a wonderful dinner together at Australian Restaurant, and my journey of learning was not yet over. I again got to learn a lot about food, wine and even world peace!
I must say that the world will be a better place to live in if we are lucky enough to come across more people like Bryan.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)