Hi, we’re Sean and Jen, the MidnightDBAs! We’re married and both of us are SQL Server DBAs with over 30 years of database experience between us. We’re both authors, bloggers, trainers, multi-year recipients of the Microsoft MVP award, and volunteers for the Professional Association for SQL Server. Sean is a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server.

For many years now, we have created and published free SQL Server tutorial videos on MidnightDBA.com. And every week since 2009 we host an hour-long webshow called DBAs@Midnight . It’s a show “for DBAs, by DBAs” where we discuss all IT topics, but mainly SQL. Viewers attend the taping online, and contribute (and distract us!) via chat. All of the past episodes are online at MidnightDBA.com.

In late 2011, we had just finished filming the show, and were talking to the audience in chat about the success of other multi-author SQL books and how it would be nice if a bunch of first time authors could have the chance to contribute to a book of, oh, how about… stuff they’re passionate about. We wanted it to be about things that people should really know about SQL Server, but might not be able to get out of a comprehensive technical manual. In other words, tribal knowledge.

Four people immediately volunteered to contribute, so we put out a call for more unpublished authors-to-be to write “a community-written book of tribal SQL Server knowledge”. Volunteers were to write about the thing they thought a DBA (or database developer, or BI guy) should really know. We chose from nearly 50 submitted abstracts, and the authors got down to the work of writing and peer editing.

From the start, we didn’t know exactly how the project would pan out, or when. Authors and volunteer editors jumped straight into the work, and we all figured it would work out one way or another. Meanwhile, we thought about the options: Maybe we could find a benefactor? Maybe we could – shudder – self publish?

Then we got the idea to talk to Red-Gate Publishing, and they wanted to team up! We’re much happier with this option because Red-Gate brings a level of experience and polish we could never have achieved on our own.

So here is what the members of your own tribe think you should know about SQL Server.