Interview with Uwe Ricken

I had pleasure to meet Uwe Ricken and made an interview with him. Uwe was so kind and had found time to talk with me before his session started.

Uwe Ricken is working with IT systems since the 90’s. He found the way to the technology of Microsoft SQL Server with the assignment for the development of membership administration software for the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany. Afterwards the software has been distributed to five additional European countries.

The primary passion for developments with Microsoft SQL Server expanded in 2007 with his engagement as a DBA for the Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt am Main. After 6 years of experiences in the European Operations Center as a DBA and over 14 years as a developer of complex database models he earned in May 2013 the “Microsoft Certified Master – SQL Server 2008” certification which “was” the highest technical certification from Microsoft.

The successful year 2013 has been finalized with the first MVP award for his outstanding support to the Microsoft SQL Server community in Germany and Europe. Uwe Ricken was the first MCM + MVP in Germany!

To provide his deep knowledge about Microsoft SQL Server to the interested community Uwe is blogging since 2010 at about his daily experiences with Microsoft SQL Server. His blog posts are in German language only to provide the German speaking SQL community a deeper inside view into the technology of Microsoft SQL Server. Uwe Ricken is a speaker on many international conferences and events and preferred topics for “Database Internals”, “Indexing” and “Development”.

Here you can hear the interview!

Click here for full interview.

Transcript of the interview

Dominika: Could you please introduce yourself:
Uwe Ricken
: Yes, my name is Uwe Ricken, I’m from Germany. I have been working as SQL Expert since 1991 and as dedicated SQL Server Specialist since 2010 I would say.

Dominika: Why do you like to data?
Uwe Ricken
: Why do I like to data? Well, haha, it’s quite long story, because when I started with my IT career, I was working as a trainer in the nineties. I saw very quickly that let’s say do trainings to people to Microsoft world is a little bit boring. And I wanted to do development job so I got the first chance in 1995 or 1998 and it was the first data project I had. And good thing working with data from my point of view at the current time is that you could do development parts, because you can develop applications with data and the second, for me more interesting thing is to do architecture things with data that you could make customers happy if the application is running quite fast. And everything is currently in the modern times depending of data and I see this will give me  my future income.

Dominika: Why did you start programming?
Uwe Ricken
: Why?

Dominika: Yes.
Uwe Ricken
: Um, yeah, it’s a little bit of art. When you see the requirements from customers and you draw the pictures in your head what you would like to do. That’s the one of the great, great, great benefits you have as a developer. For me the good thing is you can implement all your fantasies within the applications what you develop. If you have an idea how the applications should work, it’s a long, long process to find the right way to implement it and the good things with development is that you can learn every single project from the mistakes you did before. So development or programming is it a thing or is a technique where you could never ever stop learning. That’s make it really amazing for me.

Dominika: What is the best in teaching and speaking on conferences? What do you enjoy the most?
Uwe Ricken
:  That’s my passion to go to conferences. The most important thing for me going to conferences is meeting people like you for example. It is amazing to see that fifteen years old one is going to conferences to speak. I was starting with that very very late, going to international conferences from 2013 for my first time. When I see that young people like you are doing it with fifteen years for me it is one of the most amazing things. The second thing is, well, when I was becoming a SQL Server Master I was preparing for that with lot of stuff. Let’s say, very remote people from the community like Paul Randal, Brent Ozar, Kalen Delaney and going to international conferences was the best chance for me to meet these people in person. That was so fantastic. And, third part is I love to teach people, I love to transfer knowledge to people and what I always try to do is making conferences or sessions simplified the hard stuff. I mean, let’s say, given just an example, today I will talk about Wait Statistics. That’s a very complicated thing but what I always try to do is make it as simplest as it is possible. When I see the people understand the simple things, how that could work or how it will work, that’s incredible. That’s really amazing.

Dominika: Do you like Cloud Technologies?
Uwe Ricken
: Ups! I’m live, haha. To be honest, no. Okay, let’s say fifty – fifty. The good thing with Cloud Services is that you have very reliable systems which you can implement incredible fast. This is the good point Cloud Technologies. But on the other hand, especially in Germany, we are very very concerned putting the data into the cloud. That means for me in real life, I do not have so much Cloud projects. This is one big problem that we have in Germany and to be honest, I’m quite concerned about Cloud Data the same way. Just today I read an article in The News Magazine about big companies like or are doing pictures from your smartphone and sending to the server in the cloud. Cloud Computing means to me, you give up for certain grade the privacy of your information. That’s the reason why I’m a little bit concerned about it. 

Dominika: What was the biggest audience you have spoken to?
Uwe Ricken
: The biggest audience I had was on SQL Bits in London… no, in Telford. I did a preconf with over 500 people. So, normally, I have around 100, 150 in my sessions. The biggest conference I have ever been was the Pass Summit in 2015. Unfortunately, I had one of the biggest rooms there. Way could have 1000 people in that room, but unfortunately 120 people were in. I  was a little bit afraid of it because when you see this big, big, big room and you see this 120 people sitting there, you feel a little bit lost. But, yeah, normally I have around 100 people in my session.

Dominika: Do you have any funny stories from conferences or lectures?
Uwe Ricken
: Funny stories? Well, to be honest, I’m one of the most funniest speakers, because I’m doing very crazy stuff and really, the funniest things I do every single year on SQL conference in Germany. The SQL conference is always in February and the February is a carnival time. What I’m doing there is every single time when I speak on SQL conference, I have a costume. Yeah, and last year was Sonic the Hedgehog, maybe you know this computer game. They made really funny video of that, you can find it on YouTube for the Pass Community in Germany. This is something that I absolutely love, like, laugh about myself and try to transfer complicated stuff to funny way. I would say, every conference is funny conference where I am. (SQL Server Konferenz – Uwe in the costume)

Dominika: Do you like still learning new things?
Uwe Ricken
: Absolutely. I have to because I’m only 54… Only… I have to work next six years and as you know, the IT is the fastest changing technology in the world. Every single day I learn new stuff. I have to learn new stuff. The good thing is that the database engine of SQL Server does not change so much. That means that every single time when new version came out I only have to learn a little portion of the new technologies what the best fits to my business and that the database engine.

Dominika: Do you like to travel?
Uwe Ricken
: Absolutely. Traveling is one of the things why I love to go to conferences. The good thing with traveling is you see amazing people. I was twice since my speaking career in South Africa, I was in India… speaking in India. In Singapore, Asia. That’s one of the really, really good things for speakers that we can travel around the world, meet other people. For me, one of the great benefits of traveling is seeing different cultures. Gives you open mind.

Dominika: What do you like to do after work?
Uwe Ricken
: After work? Oh my goodness, now it gets private. It’s quite easy. Since 1998 I own a Ferrari. An old Ferrari. It’s now 30 years old. In my free time I absolutely love to drive alone in the car in my old town and the area around. I have motorcycle. One of the loveliest thing that I absolutely love to do is going diving with my wife in the Maldives.. Every day we go to Maldives diving.

Dominika: Okay, the last question. How do you find Krakow? Do you like it?
Uwe Ricken
: Krakow? Yes, for two reasons. First of all, I think most people know, my wife is from Poland. She is coming from Opole. When my kids were very young, we were visiting Poland every year because all the aunts, the uncles were living here. First time I was in Krakow was 1996, I think. It was for me a little bit … Let’s say… I was a little bit shocked about the city. How dirty it was and no modern buildings. The last time I was here was 2 or 3 years ago. I was so surprised how beautiful the city is. The Wawel is so wonderful, the Rynek (it’s polish name for main square) with the churches all around and the restaurants all around. Yes, I love Krakow and I’m really happy when have the chance to speak in Krakow.

Dominika: Okay, thank you.
Uwe Ricken: Dziękuje bardzo (it means “Thank you so much” in Polish), dziękuje bardzo for being here.