Monday, January 24, 2011

SQLskills Immersion Training: Internals and Performance

When I first saw the announcement for the SQLskills Immersion Training I was immediately excited.  I have attended some of the stock MSXXXX training courses, and have found them to be OK for a basic introduction to SQL. However, if you are looking for something deeper, or adaptable to your specific questions, then you will likely be disappointed.

I am a SQL Server DBA for a Fortune 500 company where I manage over one hundred Servers and Instances.  I am constantly trying to learn more about SQL Server and become a better DBA.  Often times, it is overwhelming as there is so much to learn; it is difficult to know where to begin.

Too often, the trenches force one to focus in on a specific area or advanced topic just to get through the day.  Being able to go back and focus on the fundamentals of SQL Server and truly understand the internals of SQL Server will give me the knowledge and confidence from which to map out my progression through the rest of the SQL Server Universe.

Every time I learn about a new topic and feel that maybe, just maybe, I have climbed the 1-10 ladder of competency a notch, I realize that there are twice as many things to know than I knew about the day before.
I would love to attend the 5-day Internals and Performance class in Dallas, February 21-25.  Doing so would be an awesome springboard to deepen my knowledge of SQL Server and help to advance my career to the next level.

SQLskills is offering a great contest where you can win a free seat to this very class.  All you have to do is write a letter to Santa about why you will make the best use of the knowledge from the class and you will get your Christmas in February.

Top Ten List

With apologies to David Letterman, here is my Top Ten list of reasons why I want to learn from SQLskills:

10) Breakfast at Cafe Brasil.  Lunch at Cafe Brasil.  Dinner at Cafe Brasil.  Fourth Meal at Cafe Brasil.
9) I'll have a chance to wear my Cowboy hat and DBA hat at the same time.
8) I love staying up until 4:07am looking at error logs.
7) Dallas in February is way more fun than the Caribbean in March, or Alaska in May.
6) My credit card needs a vacation.
5) Being away for a week, means I can legitimately say "Honey, I would love to help you cut the poodles' hair, but I have to go learn about SQL Server..."
4) I can sing the lyrics to R.E.M's Jackson-Dallas bootleg while coming in for a landing.  'You should see Dallas from a DC-99.  Dallas is a jewel, you know Dallas is a beautiful sight...'
3) It would be like watching the MCM videos in 3-D, but without the glasses.
2) Who better to learn SQL Server from, than someone who used to be on the development team?
1) I can finally say I paid Brent Ozar with Salmon Meals and Amy's Fish.  Or was that the other way around?

Friday, January 21, 2011

SQL Saturday #57 Houston

The other day, I registered for SQL Saturday #57 in Houston.  I know what you're thinking; SQL on a Saturday?  Don't I have something better to do?  Well, yes, I have plenty of things I would rather be doing.  But I felt this was a fairly unique opportunity that I wanted to take advantage of.

The first time I heard about SQL Saturday was at SQL PASS 2010 in Seattle last year.  I kept seeing people with T-shirts that mentioned SQL Saturday.  I asked some folks about it, and I found out it is an event that rotates locations enabling SQL Server Professionals to get together and learn more about SQL Server.

While at SQL PASS, I signed up for Twitter in order to keep track of all the updates and to be able to see what all the attendees were chatting about during the conference.  Since then, I have been exploring what is out there.  Recently, I saw a posting about the upcoming SQL Saturday in Houston.  Well, since Texas is a relatively small state I decided a road trip was in my future.

After looking at the website and schedule of sessions, I was very impressed.  SQL Saturday offers some very good training on a variety of topics for no cost.  I noticed that several of the speakers were people that I met at SQL PASS; bloggers, presenters, or just some folks I exchanged business cards with.

I am excited about attending my first SQL Saturday.  I think it will be a good way to meet some other people in the SQL community and to learn about more about SQL Server.  Perhaps exploring a few new topics, or getting a deep dive on something familiar.

Either way, it should be a good experience.  If you are interested in learning more about SQL Server, take a look at the SQL Saturday website and see if there is a session near you.