Practical Real World Performance Tuning – Before the Class Announced

I recently completed delivering Practical Real World Performance Tuning for Brent Ozar Unlimited and it was great 3 days of delivery. Here are my thoughts about my entire experience and how everything worked out. Let us go on the journey to Behind the Scenes for Teaching Online Class.

Practical Real World Performance Tuning - Before the Class Announced practicalperformancetuning

Before the Class Announced

The biggest challenge is to build a course outline and agenda. When we are offering the online courses, one has to be extra careful with the content of the courses. I really went through a rigorous exercise where I build an outline which is comprehensive and still remains useful to a wide audience with a different background. When I was building course outline, here are the things which I kept in mind –

Minimum Pre-Requisites requirement

I wanted to make sure that I build a course which does not require a lot of pre-requisites. My goal was very simple, if anyone joins the course, they should be easily get started quickly. If I build a course, which is dependent on other courses or a content, it could have been possible that many users may not have enough time or resources (or both) to complete them. Hence, I decided to build a course for someone who just knows the basics of the SQL Server and does not require an expert level of the understanding.

The goal is to build a course for everyone who really wants to get to expert level Performance Tuning but does not have much prior experience in it.

Latest Version of SQL Server

Many of the courses out there are usually focusing on ancient knowledge and older version of SQL Server. I have personally attended many courses which talk about concepts which are only focused on the earlier version of SQL Server. I have decided to build this course on the latest version of SQL Server and carefully crafted the demonstrations such that it will work on all the previous versions of SQL Server till SQL Server 2005.

New Content – No Recycling

It was tremendous pressure on me to build content which leaves up to the reputation of team Brent Ozar Unlimited. I have decided that for this workshop, I will build all the new content. My goal was that when anyone attends this class, they feel that content is absolutely brand new and they have not seen anywhere before. As this was the primary requirement, I had to lock myself in my office for countless days to build all the new content. However, when I personally observed the results, I was very much pleased, as the content came out very well.

It brings tremendous pleasure to me when I see attendees jump with the joy when I present the class. You can see their reaction in the session review section.

[cl-itext texts=”Practical Real World Performance Tuning
4 Hours – All Demonstrations
Real World Performance Tuning Scenarios”]

All Demonstrations and No PowerPoint

This was indeed a very choice for me. I have experienced first hand “Death by Powerpoint” in my life, where instructors just read from the slide deck and put the attendees to sleep. I have adopted All Demos & No Slides moto almost 6 years ago when I had left Microsoft to go on my own business. When I made the decision to only show only demonstrations, I was very comfortable and was very confident that attendees will love it as well.

Half Day Course Length

This was indeed a very difficult decision to make. I had quite a few options when I was deciding the length of the course.

  • A Day Long Course with PowerPoint and Demonstrations
    I decided against it as I do not use PowerPoints
  • Multiple Day Courses
    I decided against it as Brent has amazing courses lineups which fit perfectly here.
  • 2 Day – Half Day Course
    This was indeed tempting and still on my radar, maybe in the future, we will extend current course with additional new content for another half day.

Well, after carefully considering all of the above options and discussing with Brent, we carefully decided that 4 hours course will be the most appropriate for the audience. When I am looking back to the decision, I think it worked great for our audience.

Class Focus – Practical and Real World

This particular steps took quite a lots of time for me. I personally offer two of the successful services 1) Comprehensive Database Performance Health Check 2) SQL Server Performance Tuning Practical Workshop. Every other day I have an opportunity to meet a new customer who needs help with their SQL Server performance optimization. There was one constant feedback that whenever I discussed Practical and Real World scenarios, they really learned the most. Based on this feedback, I decided that I will keep the topics of this course focused on practical demonstrations and real-world scenarios.

Instant Replay

There are two biggest challenge with the live classes are there –

  1. Once signed up, the attendee has to wait until the class starts on the scheduled date
  2. After the class, if there was any concept to refresh, there is no such help

When I talked with Brent about this subject, he said he has a solution for this problems and it is Instant Replay. Brent records all the classes delivered and puts them live on the course pages. As soon as someone signs up they can instantly start watching the previous courses. This means attendees do not have to wait until the class day to watch the courses. Of course, they are welcome to join the live class and interaction, however, they can still learn everything from the video recordings.

Additionally, the same video recordings will be available for one year from the class date to recording so at the later stage if they want to watch any particular concept once again they can watch the Instant Replay courses once again.

I think Instant Replay is very unique offering out there and there is nothing like this available in the training world.

[cl-counter final=”240 minutes”][cl-counter final=”14 demos”]

Final Note

Well, spending over 4 months on various aspects of the course, I was able to prepare the course which was fresh, effective, crisp and full of entertainment. I think all the hard work paid off, you can see read rave reviews for my course.

In the future blog post, I will discuss the behind the scene stories of the delivery day of this course.

There are few upcoming in the next few months. If you want to jump-start your learning with SQL Server Performance Tuning, you can Sign Up for Practical Real World Performance Tuning.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

Brent Ozar, SQL Performance, SQL Server, SQL Training
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