Buck Woody and I set out to provide our contestants with a challenging, real world security scenario. With security being foremost on everyone’s mind these days, we felt that this was a very key scenario for which our contestants needed to demonstrate mastery not only of the basics, but some more advanced topics as well.

With that background, it didn’t  come as a surprise that no one successfully navigated the challenge we put before them. However, it was obvious that while some contestants were more developer-focused (see the results of the first week) others were more DBA-focused. That showed this week as Stacy Luciani got the best grade on our security challenge. She implemented nearly all the requirements, but we tripped her up with a few curveballs. The other contestants had varying degrees of success, with most implementing some of the requirements correctly.

As a potential member of MSIT, each contestant has to prove that they can operate effectively in the ‘heat of battle’. Each of the contestants showed that they do have what it takes – let’s see as the weeks go on who jumps out to the lead.

As the Next Microsoft Employee, the candidates must prove that they have breadth as well as depth in all areas of the product. The judges were all in agreement on the grading and we emphasized some security best practices to each contestant as we gave them their results.

The chance to meet with up and coming SQL Server experts and to hang with all of the crew was awesome. Being a performer myself, the whole on camera experience was amazing!

To those of you looking to be the Next Microsoft Employee, I can only recommend learning the Best Practices for as many aspects of the SQL Server engine as you can and maybe consider the Microsoft Certified Solution Master program! I also encourage you to join other SQL pros as they Play Along @ Home—you could win an HP Folio 13 Ultrabook.