Introducing DLM Consultants Part 3: DLM Workshops

This post is the third part of a five part series that introduces DLM Consultants and discusses each of the training and consulting packages that they offer:

“Continuous integration for databases is really not that scary”

At least that’s what James Dorame said after attending a DLM (Database Lifecycle Management) workshop. And Sjors Takes agrees, he started blogging all about his DLM journey after attending the same workshop.

In 2014 a few of us at Redgate had already worked out that Redgate customers wanted (and sometimes needed) training to help them adopt source control, continuous integration and release management for SQL Server. Redgate was not a consulting or training company so we wrote some content for three full day workshops, devised a bunch of hands on labs and trained up some trusted independent partners to deliver the training days under their own companies. This was our strategy to scale access to Redgate training without building our own consultancy/training arm. The workshops were tremendously popular and those who attended went on to have lots of success with DLM. We also build some strong relationships with reputable industry experts.

I was part of the team that originally devised the workshops. The other team members were Grant Fritchey (b|t), Steve Jones (b|t), Stephanie Herr (b|t) and Redgate pre-sales engineering manager Tom Austin – who “doesn’t do social networking” (but doesn’t mind getting in front of a camera). The workshops were designed around three of the core pillars of any credible DLM pipeline: source control, continuous integration, release management.

The team, having several decades of combined experience helping people to manage database changes correctly, knew that if people can master these three skills (in that order) they will be in a strong position to succeed with DLM.

Since 2014 I’ve been one of two pre-sales engineers who maintained the content and I have delivered each of three workshops many times myself. (I’ve delivered them more than anyone else). I was also responsible for training each of our partners to deliver the workshops. (Most of them were very easy to train because they were also DLM experts with many years of training experience.)

Every time I was training someone else to deliver the content, I secretly wanted to be doing their job instead of mine. So that’s what I’m going to do with DLM Consultants.

I’m proud to announce that DLM Consultants will become a Redgate partner and that I will become a “Friend of Redgate

DLM Consultants is going to kick things off by revamping the content. We’ll start by:

DLM Consultants will also adopt a different delivery method. We won’t be booking rooms in Cambridge or London or anywhere else and expecting attendees to book travel and accommodation to come to us. We’ll be delivering the training online so that it is accessible and cheaper for everyone. We’ll be delivering workshops during both European and American working hours. 3 courses, 2 time zones, that’s a 6 week rotation.

DLM Consultants will be delivering these full day workshops on a regular schedule, every Monday, so you know that wherever you are in Europe, Africa or the Americas there will be a relevant workshop available on your time zone within a few weeks… and another one a few weeks later… repeat. Some organisations have made these workshops a core part of their training for new hires (you want to make sure they know how to do database dev right, right?) so the regular cadence is important.

One other nice side effect of doing these online is troubleshooting. In the past, whenever someone has had an issue the presenter will spend a few minutes working with them one to one to figure out the mistake while everyone else twiddles their thumbs. By doing the training online attendees can share their screens so that everyone can learn to troubleshoot the logs from the CI server (or whatever else is the problem) together. Also you can attend from your office so if the production database really does catch fire you can be around to help. (If you really want to be around to help that is!)

These workshops are a proven model that enables organisations to adopt DLM and really learn how to get the most out of their Redgate software. For example, Skyscanner, after attending the release management workshop (and a little presales support from yours truly), were able to get to a point where they can deploy several hundred production SQL Server databases in a fully automated fashion. 95 times per day.

What about the other partners?

They are still free to run as many workshops as they would like to and they will benefit from DLM Consultants offer to invest in updating the content. They will continue to deliver workshops as frequently as they like. If you’d prefer to work with any of the other partners please do. I have a great relationship with most of them and will continue to work alongside them to ensure that as a team of Redgate partners we can bring the best DLM training package possible for the SQL Server community.

Frankly, all the Redgate partners are brilliant and you can feel confident working with any of them. They’ve all had to go through a pretty challenging process to get Redgate’s stamp of approval.

You can see the full schedule of both DLM Consultants and other partners planned workshops here:

Can DLM Consultants deliver private workshops on-site?

Yes. And we can tailor the content to your requirements. Perhaps you’d like to use the TFS stack rather than Git/TeamCity/Octopus Deploy? Perhaps there are some peculiarities about your environment and you would like to understand how to cater for those?

It costs £1,995 (or the equivalent in your local currency) plus expenses.

If it is expensive for me to reach you from Cambridge (UK) you might want to contact a different Redgate partner who is based closer to you… Unless you really want to work with DLM Consultants, in which case let’s get started unblocking your database bottlenecks!

Does this mean that DLM Consultants will only recommend or work with Redgate tools?


I’ve worked on DLM solutions using SSDT and DbUp. Part of my job at Redgate was to understand our competitors as well as our own products. I built the Flyway plugin for Octopus Deploy. (I’m a bit of a secret Flyway fanboy too.)

Our position is that when we are consulting we are happy to use whatever tools our clients want to use, but we’ll recommend the tools that we think are right for the job. I’m not going to lie, most of the time that will probably include some Redgate software because in most cases I believe it’s the best. However, it’s up to our clients which tools to choose.

The workshops specifically, however, are in partnership with Redgate Software. Over the course of the three days attendees will create a build pipeline and we’ll use Redgate software (as well as lots of other software from Microsoft, other third party providers and open source communities) to facilitate that.

I’m interested – what next?

The first batch of workshops are already online. They start at £195/$255. Simply get out your credit card and sign up. (You can expense it, right?)

If you’ve invested thousands of dollars/euros/pounds in software licences, isn’t it worth a few hundred to ensure you know how to use them correctly?

See our current schedule and sign up here:

More from this series


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.