Hi there and thank you for dropping by my pages!
If you want to get in touch with me you can either send me a tweet to @retracement or email me through the contact form. ALL work-related approaches must be emailed in the first instance with sufficient detail and background of your requirements, otherwise I will sadly be unable to respond.
(Please note this page is horrendously out of date and is due an update in due course)
My name is Mark Broadbent and I am a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server (there are approximately 28 of us in the UK and 220 worldwide) and a Microsoft Data Platform MVP – I think that I am one of only two SQL MCM MVPs working in the UK! As luck would have it, I also work primarily as a SQL Server Specialist. I am an ex PASS UK Regional Mentor and the event founder and lead to SQLSaturday Cambridge (the UK’s first ever SQLSaturday) and SharePoint Saturday Cambridge. I also run the East Anglia SQL Server User Group and am a regular speaker at local and international SQL Server conferences. In the past I have been best for my High Availability and Disaster Recovery knowledge as well as my Transaction Processing and concurrency expertise. These days I hang out a lot in the Cloud!
A little history
I have been working with SQL Server since 1997 starting with SQL 6.5. I currently hold professional Microsoft accreditations MCSE+i, MCAD.NET, MCDBA, MCITP in Database Administration for SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 and MCITP in Database Development for SQL 2008 and finally the Microsoft Certified Master Certification and the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (by charter).
When I first started working in IT, Microsoft Windows did not exist, MS-DOS was in its infancy and Lotus 1-2-3/ Lotus Symphony were the leading spreadsheet/ office solution at the time.
My love affair of SQL Server began whilst I was working in the Corporate Headoffice of a then FTSE 100 company called Inchcape PLC. At the time they were using SQL Server 6.5 as a storage solution for Corporate Documents that were relentlessly scanned into the system by the Corporate Affairs team using a third-party application called PCDOCSOpen. I was quite lucky at the time to be given the responsibility of looking after the systems which made up this solution and was told to book myself on a training course.
Whilst scanning through possible MOC SQL courses (which were then limited) I noticed that the MOC SQL Server 7 beta training course was a possibility and I put the request in there and then (although this resulted in a worthwhile wrist slap since the company had no immediate intention of upgrading).
Anybody who has ever used SQL Server 6.5 will tell you that it was restrictive. It was obvious to me from the very beginning that SQL 7 was very different and was going to grow in popularity. In fact its revamped design and conceptual front end has survived all these years, even now. In all my subsequent positions I have used and supported SQL Server and continue to do so today.
The next key stage in my career came whilst I was working for Nokia as an independent contractor. At the time I had read about a new technology Framework being developed called .NET and in particular a brand new language called C#. More importantly I knew of the Chief Architect behind it (Anders Hejlsberg) who I was very aware of due to his work on Turbo Pascal and Delphi (which I had previously dabbled with in another lifetime). I therefore set myself the goal of learning this true OOP language to a strong degree of competence and more importantly learn OOP. The driver for doing this, was that at the time many articles had started to surface on the Internet and in SQL Server Magazine suggesting that learning C# was going to become critical to being a DBA. I knew at the time that these suggestions were slightly fanciful but nevertheless wanted the challenge. When I first started, .NET 1.0 had been released and I used a third-party freeware IDE called SharpDevelop. I then started to work my way through book after book, contributed to the MS C# newsgroup and also communicated with some of the experts for help and advice such as Jon Skeet (who was great because he would never give you a direct answer, only enough information you needed in order to solve your own problem). Meanwhile I continued to contribute to the MS SQL Server newsgroups and in between all of this perform my daily duties.
It was during this time that I started and completed my MCDBA for SQL 2000 (which ironically includes one SQL 7 certification). By the release of .NET 1.1 I was sufficiently skilled in C#, ASP.NET and XML to take and pass my MCAD.NET exams and finally I took one more .NET exam but stopped one short of the grand MCSD.NET. It still rankles me to this day that I never fully completed this!
Over the coming years I then went on to do various positions that fell into 1 or more of the following categories => DBA/ Developer/ Manager with varying levels of enjoyment and success. In more recent times I have tried to focus my skills more in the direction of Database Administration and from time to time use my development skills to do something nifty with the CLR or simple DBA client productivity applets.
I am always ready and willing to help others achieve their potential and hopefully learn something from them at the same time. I can usually be found and contacted via twitter @retracement and look forward to talking to you!
Me in the spotlight:
15 #SQLFamily Wishes for 2015
PASSTV Summit 2014 interview
Introducing our latest SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Certified Master – Mark Broadbent
PASS Community Spotlight – Mark Broadbent – January 2013
New year Aspirations – Mark Broadbent – SQLSaturday by Richard Douglas
Lifting the Lid on Database Snapshots (Guest Post by Mark Broadbent)
My outstanding volunteer award
PASS Summit 2013 Program Survey Results
Mentions of me:
SQLSaturday #369 Lisbon 2015 by Nelson Reis
Photos of SQLSaturday New York by Slava Murygin
#sqlpass Summit 2014 on Twitter by Samuel Vanga
Nikoport PASS Summit 2014 Recap
Have You Upgraded Your Skills Recently?
PASS Summit 2014….here it comes!
2014 MICROSOFT MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL FOR SQL SERVER
MISCELLANEOUS NOTES ON THE PASS NOMCOM AND GENERAL ELECTION
Matt Smith SQLCambs
Pedro Simoes SqlSaturday #267 – my chosen sessions
History repeats itself…
My Experience As a SQL Bits First Timer
Announcing DiTBits at SQLBits
Changing SQL Server Port with Powershell
SQL Saturday 229 Dublin–The Lightning Talks
Attending a free SQL Server conference
PASS Summit 2012 – Day 4 Recap
SQL Saturday in Edinburgh on June 2013
A FEW LAPS AROUND THE SQLRALLY TRACK
SQLBits 9–”Oops, I did it again” or “Come together”
What’s protected from accidental deletion in Active Directory?
Let the PASS Summit 2011 Begin! Wednesday Keynote
SQL Rally 2011
Going to SQLSaturday #162 Cambridge
Derek Colley SQL Saturday #162 – Cambridge, UK
Stuart Moore Speaking at Cambridge SQL Saturday
MSc Cloud Project
The PoSh DBA: Solutions using PowerShell and SQL Server
SQL PASS Recap From MVP Jen Stirrup
Thoughts on the MCC program