Interview with SQL Server MVP and SQL Server forums Moderator Shashank Singh

Good day, everybody!

It is Monday, so it's time for a new Interview with the Forum's Ninja.

Forum Ninjas Blog


Today I would like to introduce Shashank Singh who is known as Shanky_621 in the forums. I've known Shashank for several years since he became active in SQL Server forums. He is  Microsoft Most Valuable Professional since 2014.

Here are some of Shashank's Forum's Statistics:

Answers 4,616
Helpful Posts 1,752
Replies 12,322

91,788 total points, 46 total Medals.


20+ new TechNet Articles

4 Galleries Contributions


Here are some interesting recent threads where Shanky provided great answers: What causes an async_network_io wait, is there a threshold? SQL Server Express 2014 on Win8.1: Could not find the Database Engine startup handle Page life cycle Expectancy is coming less than 300 in my SQL server do we required to increase SQL server memory(RAM)


And this Shashank's article has more than 100000 views:

SQL Server Troubleshooting: Could Not Find Database Engine Startup Handle Error During installation

               Anyone who is frequent SQL Server forums knows and appreciates Shanky very much. Now let us introduce Shashank to everyone who is going to read this blog.


Let's start the interview. Please first tell a bit about yourself, where did you grow up, how did you become interested in what you do. You can also tell a bit about your personal life and share a few photos with our readers.


My name is Shashank Singh aka Shanky. I am from India. I grew up in holy city of Varanasi and came to Mumbai to work as Software trainee in an MNC back in 2008. I currently live in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. For past 8 years I have been associated with SQL Server and its applications. I started visiting forum in 2013 when I faced some weird error in SSIS and got some nice answers on MSDN forum. This made me think I could also help people with whatever knowledge I have. During this period of trying to setup and make my mark in the forum I met Ed Price ( Yes, the same guy with the same beard and the Spectacles :)) who came up with the new idea called as Technet Wiki which allowed  non MS guys to share their experience on MS platform. I posted an article and won 2nd prize and from there I never looked back. Two years after that I was awarded Microsoft MVP. It all started with Ed Price and so heartfelt  thanks to him.

[caption id="attachment_685" align="alignnone" width="300"]Shanky Shanky[/caption]


What is going on right now in your life, which projects you're working on?


We recently had a new addition to our family, so I am very happy giving most of my time to new MS evangelist, who has arrived :D. I am also currently working on DC transformation project which also involves migration of SQL server clusters and standalone machines. I have to deal with SQL Server starting from 2005 to 2014, so it is great experience, but is quite complex and takes lot of my time and energy. We have new SQL Server 2016 launched and I try to give some time to the new product  to know as much as I can.  Apart from this I devote my time on Stackexchange and SQL Server forum to learn new things from new people around the world. Here is my StackExchange forum's profile.




What Microsoft Forums do you participate in? What different roles do you play? Which forums do you moderate?


There is handful of forums. I participate in Database Engine forum, Database mirroring forum, SQL server Setup and upgrade forum, SQL Server express forum, SQL Server DR forum, SQL Server migration, SQL Server manageability forum and Getting started with SQL Server forum where I am a Moderator. I am also Moderator in the Database Design forum. On all other forums I am just a normal user as anybody but I would like to moderate Database Engine and Setup and Upgrade forum as I feel it does need a bit of moderation. Basically I tend to reply to any thread where I see question related to SQL Server and If I know the answer.


What are the Microsoft Forums for? Have you ever seen them have a powerful impact?


The forums serve many purposes, some of which I believe are:

  1. They allow MS technology users to solve their problem by getting answers to their question from MS experts and MS technology users.
  2. They allow building strong Microsoft community
  3. They also act as a medium of feedback which MS gets from its users about the product.
  4. It also acts as place where MS comes to know about the bugs in the product.


The fact that we now have a Blog/Forum for Forum Contributors bears testament to the fact that it has very powerful impact. I am a product if this forum, so are many others I know. The MSDN forums have provided worldwide recognition to many. I come here purely to seek knowledge and help others because I believe the more (knowledge) you share the more it grows. In all revered books of the world it is mentioned that one way to serve is give back what you have learned from people and this is what forum and I primarily do.



In what other sites and communities do you contribute your technical knowledge?


I also contribute a lot on StackExchange Q/A website. I started hanging out on this website from 2014 onwards and I am impressed by the quality of answers provided here. You also tend to meet lot of SQL Stalwarts there. Apart from this I have joined a lot of closed user groups on Facebook where I give answers to questions which beginners ask. I am also active on Linkedin where I share my knowledge and learn from SQL server groups.


What are your favorite forum threads you’ve contributed on?


Frankly I have not kept track of forums threads although I can see it from my settings, I have more than 4000 forum answers so you can see it is bit difficult to remember favorite. I define it as good when I am able to help user and simultaneously also learn a new thing. I enjoy answering questions related to SQL Server memory this is something I love very much. If you start digging threads related to SQL Server memory, SQL Server installation, you would see my posts on quite a few of them.


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


Ed Price and that goes without saying,  why, you all know the reason. I would also add all the people like Erland, Tibor, Ronen, Naomi, Saeid, Alberto, Dan Guzman, Tom Phillips, Visakh, Latheesh NK, Uwe Ricken, plus many others whose name I don't remember (sorry) right now are community champion. They all have given their valuable time to forums and for that kudos to them.


Which forums do you moderate? What does moderating forums mean to you?


I moderate 4 forums

  1. Getting started with SQL Server
  2. Database Design
  3. SQL Server Database Engine Forum
  4. SQL Server Setup and Upgrade Forum


To me moderating means

  1. Nobody marks unnecessary/wrong/doubtful answers to a question. I see a lot of these on forums I visit. Answers are being marked for just the sake of marking. I know this is a rule set by Microsoft but you don’t need to mark every thread with an answer. Sometimes my answer, which really not answers OP question, gets marked as answer and shame on me to accept that but I cannot go ahead on spree of unmarking answers it will not look good morally, ethically. I have already raised this concern but this has to come from Microsoft. I have included this whole point in my article.
  2. To me moderating means questions asked by users are looking neat, clean and clear with codes well formatted and all the spelling correct. If this has not been taken care by OP as a moderator I do it.
  1. It also means making sure senseless questions are moved to off-topic forum. OP is encouraged not to ask one liner question and give as much information as possible so that answerers do not have to guess about question and what actually OP is asking. If you are coming to forum to take help, be clear, this will save your and others time as well. I know newbies do not know this but this is what Mods job is to, we also have to tell them how the forum works.

4. To make sure forum is spam free.


Do you have any tips for people asking questions on MSDN/TechNet Forums?


A lot, all I documented in below article

Ways Of Improving Users Experience With MSDN forums


Do you want to add something in conclusion?


My conclusion would start from note of thanks to all those who asked me questions and made me go extra to get the answer, this actually helped me grow with SQL Server. A note of thanks to all those who interacted with me on forums and became my source of learning. Finally note of thanks to Microsoft SQL Server for changing the way I look at technology. At last forums are great place to meet new people and share knowledge …respect and it keep it clean like you have your home.


Thanks a lot for this great interview and now Shanky is awaiting your comments and replies.