With my first post on TechNet Wiki Ninja blog I would like to introduce Uwe Ricken - SQL Server MVP and August TechNet Wiki Guru Contributions SQL Server Database Engine category winner

Uwe Ricken

Uwe Ricken's avatar

And here are more photos of Uwe in non-formal setting:

With his wife and a great passion of life.

And now without more ado let's start the interview:

Who are you, where are you, and what do you do? What are your specialty technologies?

My name is Uwe Ricken and I’m <= 50 years old. I’m a consultant for IT-technologies since the early 90th for several project companies. Beside my passion for Microsoft SQL Server I like to dive and drive my motor cycle.

In 1999 I got the first contact to Microsoft SQL Server when I developed a CRM-system which is running in 5 countries currently. Since 2008 when I started a large project at one of the greatest banks in Germany and word wide I got my “first” really large SQL Server project with over 100 Instance and 1.000 databases in a complex High Availability environment. Since I got in contact with this project I have seen how less I really know about Microsoft SQL Server and have decided to “dive deeper”. The result of this effort was the certification as a “Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server”. My passion is – and will be – Microsoft SQL Server and I help in the Microsoft SQL Server forums since 2000 – in 2013 I’ve been awarded with the MVP award for my activities, blogs and speaker sessions in Germany.


What are your big projects right now?

My biggest project WAS the MCM SQL Server 2008. It took me over 2 years for preparation and lots of disappointing moments when the technical disaster in the LAB test ends in breaks and new dates for retakes. Furthermore the LAB was the only certification path I had to take twice because I failed the first try. This was a very disappointing time but it showed me the deep knowledge a MCM need to have about Microsoft SQL Server.


My “new” big project is “speaker on international SQL Server events”. Currently I’m preparing for SQLRally in Stockholm and Amsterdam where I have the chance to demonstrate the fantastic technology of Microsoft SQL Server in a deeper way than most of the audience will look into. Furthermore I prepare for the SQL Saturday in Verona which is directly after the SQL Rally. I’m honest – I’m a little bit nervous about this J! The reason is a quite simple one:

In the moment you are a “known SQL guy” in the community with such an expertise (MCM / MVP) the expectations are quite high and I’m – a little bit – afraid not be able to answer all questions from the audience J.


What is TechNet Wiki for? Who is it for?

TechNet Wiki is one of the best “practice from pragmatists” web site for each IT affine people. I use TechNet when I search for deep technical backgrounds which are not available in the online documentation. Although the online documentation is a pretty good one (in comparison to former versions) it sometimes doesn’t go deep enough to understand the technical depth it sometimes requires.

So it is quite important to have a source which demonstrates the depth of the material from a practice point of view – that’s what TechNet Wiki often will do.


What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?

I’m honest – TechNet Wiki is not my first choice when I’m looking for solutions. The reason is a quite simple one…

The problems I’m dealing with are sometimes in such a technical depth that TechNet Wiki doesn’t cover it.

That’s one of the reasons why I want to write a little bit more in TechNet Wiki about Microsoft SQL Server J


What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you?

For me TechNet Wiki is a good chance to share my knowledge with a wide community of people who have a deep technical knowledge and understanding of their favorite products.

I’m straight focused on Microsoft SQL Server and because of my understanding of how Microsoft SQL Server is working I find my quite often reading articles from colleagues and checking it for mistakes J.


 On what articles have you collaborated with other community members on #TNWiki? What was that experience like?

I’ve written currently two articles for TechNet Wiki and I worked with Naomi Nosonovsky and Ed Price on both of the articles. They both helped (and will always help) me with my first footsteps in a new genre.

I know about the public perception of TechNet Wiki and so I’m really grateful for their help.


On what Wiki articles do you spend most of your time?

Due to the fact that I’m completely focused on the Microsoft SQL Server I only spend my time on articles which handle topics about Microsoft SQL Server.


What are your favorite Wiki articles you’ve contributed?

Well – it’s the one which earned the gold award for the “Technet Guru of the Month” I’ve earned in September. (editor's update - it was in August) It’s handling a deeper look behind the scenes of handling HEAPS and Clustered Indexes.



Exactly this article completely describes my approach for a GOOD wiki. This article describes in – hopefully – simple way all the techniques behind the scene in a comfortable reading style. Furthermore the interested reader becomes aware of the complexity of Microsoft SQL Server in a – though hopefully – step by step guidance and may have huge benefits from the shared knowledge!


Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?

For me ALL regulars in the WIKI community are really great people because they all do a volunteer job which demonstrates their passion for the products of Microsoft they know best.

A MCM colleague (Tom Resing) has named it (in a different context) as follows: “These guys are some of the strongest product advocates…”

It’s exactly the same for all the volunteer for the TechNet Wiki.


Furthermore I am personally deep impressed about all the volunteer work from YOU!

I see so many articles from you and recommendations, revision that I mostly ask myself: “When do you sleep?” J

Thanks a lot Uwe for taking the time to answer our questions and if you have more questions for Uwe or comments, don't hesitate to leave a comment to this blog.

Thanks and all the best!