Robert Pearl

Robert Pearlshadow

Robert Pearl

Data Head Stats:
  • Where are you from, and what kind of company do you work for?
  • I was born and bred in Brooklyn, NY (fuggedhaboudit). Although I mostly work at client sites in the Greater NYC area, I have many customers nationwide and internationally. As founder of Pearl Knowledge Solutions, Inc., the company is good to me, and I know the boss personally :) . Of course, in my line of work, the customers are ultimately the ones in charge.
  • What’s decorating your office and/or desk right now?
  • Well, since I spend most of my time on-site at various clients, I travel lightly, and don’t really have any “stuff” there. At the home office though, on my wall I have various articles I have written, or product attributions that appeared in SQL Server Magazine. I have my SQL Mag Reader’s Choice Awards plaque for winning the Best Database Monitoring Software for SQLCentric. Also, I have the SQL Server DMV poster, which is very handy. I keep my SQL MVP award on my desk, which I am much honored to have received! On the other side, I have a family picture with my wife and 3 kids. Some SQL Server reference books collecting dust too. How long has it been since v6.5 has been unleashed? (LOL)
  • What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced with SQL Server this year? What made it such a roadblock, and how did you eventually turn it from a problem to a solution?
  • That’s a really great question. I’ve had a lot of challenges in this area. Often, it is not the technical solution one comes up with that is the challenge, but the office politics, and making the case to the business to implement the solution. In the world on 24×7 and Five 9’s, you still have to make time for mandatory maintenance at some agreed-upon schedule. If they want the benefits of optimal performance, or to apply a service pack or hot-fix, they just need to make this par for the business. The users should know that a little inconvenience will go a long way, when their reports run 5-10x faster! Hey, everyone wants to keep the engine performance of their car humming on the road, but sooner or later, you need to take it in for an oil change.
  • When did you discover your love for technology?
  • Probably as a kid. Of course I whetted my imagination and appetite by following science fiction staples like Star Trek et al. It was in middle-school that I had my first computer class, and was learning to program in BASIC. For the parent-teacher conference, I had written a program that greeted onlookers and allowed them to play a random computerized version of dice. Remember the Input command? “Hello, YourName”, want to play a game? Can’t believe how many people were impressed that the program “knew” their name.
    Who remembers this code?

    10 PRINT “Hello, I’m the Commodore 64 – What is your name “;:INPUT A$
    20 PRINT “Hello ” A$
    30 END

    I wasn’t planning a career in tech. In the late 90’s after college, I started automating financial reports and spreadsheets using Excel VBA and Access. At the advent of client/server technology, I landed a help desk gig and learned Sybase, Oracle, and MS SQL. Got a job with a SQL Server VAR consultancy and the rest is history.
  • Any thoughts on Denali and how it looks in its latest release?
  • Well, I’m glad to see CTP3 finally come out, and I have started to play with it a bit. The CTP3 product guide is very detailed and has a lot to offer! My top three favorite features, so far, are ColumnStore, AlwaysON, and Contained Databases. I recently blogged about Denali in my post “Dancing with Denali.”
Data Heads

Data Heads
There are a lot of us lean, mean, data-analyzing machines out there in the real and virtual worlds, and it’s easy for interesting colleagues to get lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, we’ve launched Data Heads, a series of profiles of some of the most intriguing database professionals out there.