The entire TSQL Challenges Team is very excited to welcome Brad Schulz to the TSQL Challenges Team. If you have ever visited the MSDN SQL Server forums, you must have noted Brad’s name as one of the top contributors there. He is a very active blogger and I am a great fan of his recent series of blog posts titled ‘TSQL-FU’.
Jacob: Brad, could you give a brief introduction of yourself
Brad: I graduated from University of Southern California in 1981 with a B.S. in Computer Science, and I’ve been working with databases ever since, working as an independent consultant and developer. I was a Microsoft Visual FoxPro (VFP) MVP from 1994-2000, and I’ve written articles for various VFP publications. But it’s time to move on. Even though I’ve only recently immersed myself in T-SQL and SQL Server, I have been using SQL to do queries since 1991, when SQL was made a part of the VFP language. I’m currently a moderator at the MSDN T-SQL Forum and started a blog about T-SQL in July 2009. In my non-SQL hours, I’m a husband and father of three, and I enjoy the stock market and playing the piano.
Jacob: I am a great fan of your TSQL-Fu series of blogs. Could you share some behind-the-scene stories about this series?
Brad: Thanks! I noticed that the T-SQL Forums were filled with many of the same basic questions or problems stated over and over again. I thought it would be a fun approach for “young novices” to go somewhere and read an overview of tricks and traps in T-SQL so they could be aware of them up front. It’s also been a good “refresher course” for T-SQL experts.
Jacob: Do you love TSQL?
Brad: I’m sorry, but that’s a very personal question. I try to keep my love life private. I’m married!
Jacob: You are a familiar name in the MSDN TSQL forum, helping a lot of people with TSQL problems. What according to you, are the most common challenges that people face?
Brad: I think many people have trouble grasping a set-based approach to data, and they still think of processing tables in a row-by-row, cursor-type approach. I can relate to this, having come from the Visual FoxPro (VFP) world. Even though SQL has been part of the VFP language for almost 20 years, we would still tend to do things on a row-by-row basis. My entire way of thinking about data changed, though, after reading Itzik Ben-Gan’s book “Inside SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying”. It was inspirational. It should be required reading for anyone serious about T-SQL.
Jacob: What value do you think TSQL Challenges are adding to the SQL Developer Community?
Brad: We are always being told to exercise in order to achieve good health. But we also need to exercise our brains as well as our bodies, and T-SQL Challenges are great workouts.
Jacob: What do you like most about TSQL Challenges?
Brad: They’re fun! But the best part is seeing the many diverse ways that other people approach problems. It’s a great way to learn new methods. There are incredibly talented people out there.
Jacob: Why did you decide to be a part of the TSQL Challenges Team?
Brad: I have a great respect and admiration for all the other people on the team, and having an opportunity to work with them was something I couldn’t pass up.
Jacob: What is your message to the TSQL Developers?
Brad: Don’t stop the learning process. Get involved through forums or blogs or user groups. You will be rewarded not just with new knowledge, but also in other ways you never imagined.
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