In this RunAs Radio podcast, Richard and I talk to Kim Tripp and Paul Randal about how people can learn effectively.

The discussion ranges over the different vehicles of learning, including user groups, training classes, conference sessions, and so on. Kim and Paul have taught in all these mediums and have great pointers for what you can do to select the right sort of medium and things you can do to get the most from it.

There should be an image here!Paul S. Randal is the Managing Director of, which he runs with his wife Kimberly L. Tripp. Paul started in the industry in 1994 working for DEC on the VMS file system and its check/repair tools (the equivalent of chkdsk for NTFS. In 1999 he moved to Microsoft to work on SQL Server, specifically on DBCC. For SQL Server 2000, he concentrated on index fragmentation – well, removing it! – writing both DBCC INDEXDEFRAG and DBCC SHOWCONTIG, plus various algorithms in DBCC CHECKDB to support it being able to run online.

Paul then spent the first 3 years of SQL Server 2005 development rewriting the DBCC CHECKDB and repair code-base, gaining extensive insight into disaster recovery scenarios and problems through close partnership with the SQL Server PSS (Product Support) group. Paul spent the remaining two years of SQL Server 2005 development leading/managing a 9-person development team in the Core Storage Engine. His team was responsible for data access and storage (DBCC, space allocation, indexes & heaps, pages & records, text/LOB storage, snapshot isolation, bulk load etc). For SQL Server 2008, Paul decided to put his customer passion to better use and switch to a Program Management role within the Storage Engine team – first with responsibility for the entire Storage Engine for a year, and then with a narrower, more hands-on focus on the Core Storage Engine. This involved both feature set definition plus customer and partner engagements.

It was during this phase of Paul’s career that he first started public speaking, with his first session being on DBCC Internals at TechEd US 2006. This was also where he met Kimberly, and they were subsequently married July 29th 2007. In 2007, after 8.5 years on the SQL Server team, Paul left Microsoft to join Kimberly running and pursuing his new-found passion for presenting and consulting. Paul regularly presents at conferences and user groups around the world on high-availability, disaster recovery, database maintenance, and Storage Engine internals. His popular blog can be found here.

There should be an image here!Kimberly L. Tripp is an SQL Server MVP and a Microsoft Regional Director and has worked with computers since 1985. Her career with database technologies began with IBM in 1988 and with Microsoft SQL Server in 1990. Since 1995, Kimberly has worked as a Speaker, Writer, Trainer and Consultant for her own company SYSolutions, Inc. (aka

Kimberly is a writer/editor for SQL Server Magazine; was a founding writer for T-SQL Solutions magazine; was a technical contributor for the SQL Server 2000 Resource Kit; and co-authored the MSPress title SQL Server 2000 High Availability Kimberly has presented lectures and seminars at Microsoft Tech*Ed and other SQL Server-related events since 1996 and is consistently top-rated both on quality of technical content and presentation style.

Kimberly regularly consults with customers to help them tackle their availability and performance issues as well as works with Microsoft to provide new and interesting technical resources including the SQL Server 2000 High Availability DVD. The HA DVD was a great experience where Microsoft funded the recording, production and duplication for a DVD with roughly 9.5 hours of content covering SQL Server 2000 High Availability technology such as Log Shipping, Backup/Restore, Clustering and Administration.

This DVD is available from your Microsoft contact; the part number is 098-96661. Currently, Kimberly is working to help create SQL Server 2005 (code-named “Yukon”) content including white papers, course materials, and labs. Prior to starting SYSolutions, Inc. in 1995, Kimberly held positions at Microsoft including Subject Matter Expert/Trainer for Microsoft University and Technical Writer for the SQL Server Development Team.

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