Learn SQL Server in an Interview with Boris Hristov of borishristov.com

SQL Server Policy

Learn SQL Server in this interview I Recently conducted with Boris Hristov.   I think you find this interview interesting as Boris reveals how he became a DBA and ultimately awarded a MVP designation.

Boris recently created a course to teach DBA’s Policy Based Management; click here to see the course (aff link).  By Using PBM, you can enforce facets such as naming conventions, configuration settings, or data file locations, for example.

PBM is a really valuable and time saving tool.  It’s value comes to light once you realize you’re managing hundreds of databases that developers are getting their hands into!

It provides an automated means to enforce standards across all the DB’s you manage.

Now that you know about one of Boris’ passions, let’s begin the interview.

1.  Many of my readers are just beginning to learn SQL and looking to change careers.  Can you give them some insight on how you got started in the field?   Where did you learn SQL and how did you get your first position as a DBA?

My story is a very curious one – I was at the Bulgarian lunch event of SQL Server 2008R2 and I saw another great person from our community speaking there – Margarita Naumova (SQL MVP and MCM). I was so inspired and interested in what she was talking about that after the event I got home and started playing and learning about the product by myself.

I was sure that this was what I wanted to do from now on and here I am, few years later, I do SQL Server and I am loving it!  As for how I got my first job – that was also an interesting one – I started visiting every single user group meeting and conference related to SQL Server in my country and at one point, I saw that there is a whole free course at one of our universities.

I asked to enroll, but the lecturer actually told me that he has a better suggestion for me (he was sure I was passionate about the technology because I was going everywhere as I told you) – to go and start working for the team of DBAs he was managing.  That’s how I started my career as a SQL Server DBA for HP Enterprise Services.

2.  I noticed you are a MVP.  Just curious, how did you earn that title?

By giving back.  I have a passion for speaking and presenting and I was fortunate enough to be invited and speak to many conferences all across Europe.  I am also constantly trying to help online – be that on #sqlhelp, by delivering a webcast or something else.

Last, but not at least, I think the SQLHangouts really played an important role for my MVP Award because at the moment of writing this, I have recorded more than 20 videos with people from our community already.  You should also think joining and recording one with me… :)

3.  I noticed that you created a training program for “Auditing SQL Server with Policy-Based Management.”  What are some key points from your course that a beginning DBA might want to know to give them an edge in their next job interview?

I am blown away by how many real-world DBAs do not know about Policy-Based Management.  I think that anyone who is starting his career as a DBA can definitely make a good impression if he knows what PBM is capable of doing (and that’s a lot) and shows that during the interview process.

For me, being able to audit and control my whole SQL Server environment with just a few clicks and thus save time and effort on this process is priceless!  I am definitely recommending the course to your readers together with all of the other amazing SQL Server related content on Pluralsight.

4.  If you look back on all of your experiences managing databases, what is some advice you could give us to make us better and happier DBAs?

Always strive to become a better communicator.  It is that simple.  I am not kidding.

Communication is the key and “The Thing” that will make the difference for both you and your customers.


SQL MVP Essential SQLBoris is a SQL Server Consultant and MVP who you can regularly see speaking at conferences all across Europe.  He is also involved in teaching and training students and companies in the “Art of SQL Server” and loves sharing his knowledge online as part of podcasts, webcasts or on his blog – http://borishristov.com/blog/.

The fastest way you can reach him is on Twitter where he writes under @BorisHristov and you can even join him for a SQLHangout – a video conversations that he hosts with people from the SQL Server community.

Kris Wenzel

Kris Wenzel has been working with databases over the past 28 years as a developer, analyst, and DBA. He has a BSE in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Kris has written hundreds of blog articles and many online courses. He is loves helping others learn SQL.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments