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Analyst seeking wisdoms while learning the platform Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, December 28, 2012 11:33 AM


Grasshopper

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Im a business/financial/data analyst who wishes to make a transition to a BI solutions development/BI information delivery role specializing in the MS platform (with a good general foundation of SQL Server).

I feel that I have a strong functional knowledge of the platform , but I wish to have much more of technical knowledge which I'm working towards starting with TSQL, DAX and some MDX - bouncing around. But there's so much more with respect to dev solutions; programmability (visual studio), C#, .NET, ADO - I know I'm a newbie and that this is a journey but not having the lineage in IT im at times insecure and could use help on the most practical (technical) path to hit the ground running in say a (functional) consulting role for example.

So to the forum and veterans, I ask the following in hopes to refine my professional development plan in the context of ramping up my knowledge base.

• a new SharePoint 2013 environment has been implemented at work. I'm ramping up my SP knowledge via PluralSight, but from a BI reporting perspective and to get comfortable with SSRS, AS and self service, what can I do at home to practice designing and deploying to SharePoint (and a server). I appreciate the new features of 2013 but I want to learn how to (manually) deploy BI solutions as if I was using 2007 or 2010 that are less BI integrated. Would you recommend me setting up foundation on a home machine?

• same question but with respect to deploying a db to a server; what's a good way to practice at home in a server environment? Is there a source for a novice like me on the ABC's of setting up a test environment? Remember, Ive worked as an analyst and I understand how to in theory but not reality.

• General development curiosity. This may sounds funny, but I don't "see" how I would build a solution using SQL Server similar to how I would in Access which I use a lot of. Im NOT comparing the two, I mean for example how would I build the form to a SS db? How could I "connect" it to the db? Where am I deploying it to? Resource?

• in a DBA framework, what are the most important concepts I should familiarize myself with considering the direction I want to go and to have a strong "tool belt"

Amongst all the reading and study these are some things I don't "see" yet.

Anyway, Ill stop there. There are very seasoned IT people here and seeing my background perhaps you can understand where I am coming from and why I ask some of this questions.


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As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw. Suzuki-roshi
Post #1400994
Posted Friday, December 28, 2012 12:46 PM


SSChampion

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You have a lot questions in there. You certainly have the right attitude to learn this stuff. I have no idea what PluralSight is but if it is helping you learn the basics of procs that is great.

The best way you can learn at home is to download and install SQL Express.


General development curiosity. This may sounds funny, but I don't "see" how I would build a solution using SQL Server similar to how I would in Access which I use a lot of. Im NOT comparing the two, I mean for example how would I build the form to a SS db? How could I "connect" it to the db? Where am I deploying it to? Resource?


Keep in mind that SQL Server is NOT an application like Access. Access is a pretty lousy development with a pretty lousy database attached to it. SQL has no concept of forms because SQL has no concept of a UI (well SSRS is somewhat of a UI but that is its own beast). You would need to create your application in a programming language (.NET, php, C++, Delphi, etc). To consume data from that application you need to create database connections. You can find the syntax for those connection strings at connectionstrings.com.


in a DBA framework, what are the most important concepts I should familiarize myself with considering the direction I want to go and to have a strong "tool belt"


I guess that depends on what that direction is. SQL Server is entirely too big of an application to know all of it. Do you want to focus on the administration side (backups, recovery, mirroring, clustering etc) or did you want to focus more on the development side (ddl, procs, functions etc)?

Regardless of your answer the best thing you can do is to get your local instance up and running. Then you can start trolling these forums. You will find questions from every skill level imaginable. Find the ones that sound interesting to you. Then try to solve them or at least try to follow along and read the solutions provided by others. Pretty soon you will discover that you can actually start answering some of the easier questions and before you know it your skill set will be expanding.

You might also start by looking at the Stairways articles on this site. Just click the link over there on the left (about 5 down from the top).

Above all else, keep asking questions and keep your desire to continue learning.



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Need help? Help us help you.

Read the article at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ for best practices on asking questions.

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Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns
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Post #1401023
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2012 4:59 PM


Grasshopper

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Thank you for the reply and insight Sean.

Pluralsight is a Lynda.com for developers, has been a solid segment of my regiment. I believe it is the creation of Pinal Dave.

I've had an instance of SQL Express Advanced installed for a while now. I meant setting up an environment where instead of just working locally I can practice deploying to a server, more real world scenarios. I have an extra computer sitting around. Im workout out of books and online lessons, I want to practice working in a server environment.

Regarding the Access comment. I totally understand. What I meant is that as an analyst having to often capture data that the ERP and/or existing business process doesn’t, I build a-z solutions in Access. Now in post SQL Server awareness era for myself, I often wonder “how would I build this (or something like it) as a developer?”. So, programming languages and string, I see, thank you. In my position what is a worthy programming language to learn that will continue to be the standard in dev? .NET? How can I practice? In Visual Studio? Another reason why I ask about an “environment” at home. BTW, is visual basic worth learning?


I guess that depends on what that direction is. SQL Server is entirely too big of an application to know all of it.


Thank you, this is what I thought. I would say the development side but there’s the inherent desire to have the rudimentary and serve some sort of utility on the admin side. Although I have an earnest desire to know a little of this and a little of that I need to stay focused on the niche I chose. I get distracted in my study when I come across new concepts and the domino effect in looking into those.
Stairway article, yes, as I type I have 3 open in my browser.

Thank you for taking the time SSCertifiable.


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As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw. Suzuki-roshi
Post #1401213
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2012 5:41 PM


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Sean Lange (12/28/2012)
I have no idea what PluralSight is ...


Heh... it's when your cataracts make you see double out of one eye. Younger folks can experience the wonder of it all simply by drinking until they can't drink any more.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

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Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

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Post #1401217
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2012 2:41 AM


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vega805 (12/29/2012)
Pluralsight is a Lynda.com for developers, has been a solid segment of my regiment. I believe it is the creation of Pinal Dave.


Pluralsight was started by Aaron Skonnard, Fritz Onion, Keith Brown, and Bill Williams.

Thank you for taking the time SSCertifiable.


Who?



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
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Post #1401240
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 8:05 AM


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Jeff Moden (12/29/2012)
Sean Lange (12/28/2012)
I have no idea what PluralSight is ...


Heh... it's when your cataracts make you see double out of one eye. Younger folks can experience the wonder of it all simply by drinking until they can't drink any more.


No wonder I don't know then. I am too old to drink that much and too young for cataracts.


_______________________________________________________________

Need help? Help us help you.

Read the article at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ for best practices on asking questions.

Need to split a string? Try Jeff Moden's splitter.

Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns
Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 2 - Dynamic Cross Tabs
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1)
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2)
Post #1401863
Posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013 9:04 AM


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In my position what is a worthy programming language to learn that will continue to be the standard in dev? .NET? How can I practice? In Visual Studio? Another reason why I ask about an “environment” at home.


If programming is not what you are looking to do then it really doesn't matter which language. The connection between sql and the programming language is pretty much the same. If however, you want to be current then .NET is probably the most popular today.


BTW, is visual basic worth learning?


This has been a debate topic among .NET developers since .NET first came out. There is no right answer but you will find that some people get their panties in a twist over this topic. VB.NET is closer to english than c#. There are few things that VB has that c# doesn't and the other way around. None of the features either way are a deal breaker. I am a c# developer so that would be my preference. In the .NET world both languages compile to the same thing so it really doesn't make much difference. In the job market there tend to be more jobs for c# than vb.net.



_______________________________________________________________

Need help? Help us help you.

Read the article at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/ for best practices on asking questions.

Need to split a string? Try Jeff Moden's splitter.

Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 1 – Converting Rows to Columns
Cross Tabs and Pivots, Part 2 - Dynamic Cross Tabs
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 1)
Understanding and Using APPLY (Part 2)
Post #1401895
Posted Friday, January 4, 2013 5:05 PM


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Thank you for the input Sean, Yes I want to be current. Dumb question but .NET and ASP.NET the same thing? Right not I live in the world of DAX, TSQL and the self services tools.

Regarding C# and VB.NET then, same learning curve I presume?

Lastly, regarding my practice questions, that is to get my hands dirty outside of management studio; I found the "Microsoft Web Platform Installer 4.0" the other day, would this benefit me? Im kind of of confused, is it the same thing as SSDT/visual studio?


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As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw. Suzuki-roshi
Post #1403163
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2013 7:57 AM


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vega805 (1/4/2013)

Thank you for the input Sean, Yes I want to be current. Dumb question but .NET and ASP.NET the same thing?


No.

.NET = set of libraries plus compiler and runtime
ASP.Net = web development framework using the .Net libraries, a .net language and the .net runtime



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1403233
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2013 7:20 PM


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I see. So for building forms, the front end to database solutions, which one is used?

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As soon as you see something, you already start to intellectualize it. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is no longer what you saw. Suzuki-roshi
Post #1403394
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