Here’s how I got started…
I wanted to share some of the resources that I have used to learn to SQL Server over the years. I know that sometimes when we go to learn something new. Finding good resources can be overwhelming and time consuming so I have decide to share a few resources I use. I have been learning SQL Server since 2009 and have spent the last 5 years working on various database applications. So, I have read a lot of articles and used a lot of free information to develop my skill sets. These are some of the resources that I would recommend for anyone interested in learning SQL server. These resources are broken down into three categories.
I follow several blogs, they have become a trusted resource for me learning, and staying current on SQL Server technology. They also provide a source to stay current on SQL Server community news and events. Blogs post content that include articles, videos, scripts and freebies that you can use to learn SQL Server or to become better at doing your existing SQL Server job duties. Some of my favorite blogs include:
Dave Pinal – His blog is SQL Authority he has been posting about SQL Server and other technologies on his blog for 10 years. I first discovered his blog in 2006, the information here is accurate and very useful. If you’re just starting out you can find a lot of useful information to get started. I encourage anyone interested in learning SQL Server to check out this blog.
Brent Ozar – I recently discovered his blog Brent Ozar Unlimited. I have found so much content, I currently have a back log of articles and training, I am working through. Brent is a SQL Server Master and is very active on his blog, providing a wide really good information and training about SQL Server. His current focus is in the area of performance tuning and his expertise and ability to communicate complex topics has made me a daily visitor to his blog.
Courses & Books
I am more of applied learn so the best way for me to learn is by doing. Working with database is like most other things in the life. The more you practice at doing it right the better you will become at getting it right. Over my learning journey I have read books taken online course and did a lot of practicing. I have composed a few resources that I have found to be extremely help to learn SQL Server. I know there are a lot of resources out there but these are in my opinion the best if you are looking to get started or validate your current understanding.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals this book was one the first T-SQL server books I read and I loved it. The author conveys the fundamentals in a way that is easy to follow and understand. If you complete this book and do the exercise you will start to develop your skills and master fundamental very quickly.
Training Kit (Exam 70-461) Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (MCSA) this training book is a good resource for understanding how to use SQL Server to extract data. The book focuses on the querying aspects of SQL Server 2012/2014. This book also cover all areas of the certification exam should you want to become certified on the product.
Microsoft Virtual Academy This site has a variety of courses that are in video format, for pretty much every software product Microsoft produce. I would recommend going to this site and check out some of the videos. The let you create a learning plan so you can find the courses you want to take add them to your learning plan and learn at your own pace. The Jump Start course is great if you have never used the product before. Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Jump Start is a great place to start.
SQL server has a large community that that is very active. The community is there prompting SQL Server, helping solve problems and increase users and adoption of the product. If you’re looking for a place to learn about what going on in the field there is a community event happening somewhere to keep you informed. Although some these events cost there are a lot of free events that you can attend. If you want to know more or want to get involved in the community you can join the community. I have provided some resources to some of the communities below.
SQL PASS was founded to promote SQL Server product, train and grow the user community. Pass is a not-for-profit organization that hosts, numerous events and have user groups active all around the world.SQL Saturday is a free event held on Saturdays in various cities across the world. You can register to attend a SQL Saturday, you can pick from a variety of session offered by speakers from across the PASS Community, who are industry experts. I will be attending some of these events in the future so if you are interested in attending let me know.
Chicago SQL Server User Group is a user group that typically meets once a month and have a guess speaker that present on a SQL Server topic. They typically provide a free lunch and a networking time after the presentation. The meet location is typically at the Microsoft office in downtown Chicago.
24 Hours Of PASS is a great virtual event where PASS host 24 hours of SQL Server sessions in one day. The session run around the clock that you can join if you have time and if you don’t have time you can view historical recording at your own convenience.
I hope you find this information informative and helpful. I am passionate about data and SQL Server technology and hope the content I provide on this blog help you. If you have question of any kind leave a comment or send me an email.