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How to study for MCSA SQL Server 2012 Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:23 AM
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Hey guys, I just decided upon a career change at the end of last year and want to become a SQL developer. I've been learning SQL for almost 3 months now (Head First book) and am planning on taking 2 classes at the local college in May and August. My goal is to take all 3 exams by the end of this year or January of 2014 at the latest and become MCSA certified so I could get my first Entry level/Junior level position next February. Is this a realistic goal?
Also, how much experience do I need to have to begin studying for these exams? How much time should I give myself to study for each exam? Any help would be appreciated guys, this career change was abrupt and I am putting the work into it, I just hope I'm doing it right.
Post #1435858
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:39 AM
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If you concentrating to gain only on the theoretical knowledge of SQL Server, I would say 12 month is good enough. But, becoming an MCSA is not only about memorizing the concepts, its about implementing the right concept at the right place.SQL Server is like a platter, its serves you with all variety of dishes, but the onus to bring out the uniqueness depends on individual.Having said that, I would re-iterate, what I have read and have understood from the past few years into SQL Server,even if you do not have a job, try to do things voluntarily, these along with your studies would provide you with much wider landscape, which I think any future employeer would not like to miss.

All the very best and God speed.
Post #1435862
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:43 AM
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Well, I am concentrating on only gaining the theoretical knowledge as far as a Certificate is concerned because I'm trying to get that first job as soon as possible. Certainly I want to gain as much knowledge as I possibly can but I'd think that would be done on the job no? I want to better my skills with this as much as possible, not only for myself but for the potential benefits of jr/mid level/sr level SQL developers. Also, I really appreciate such a prompt response.
Post #1435865
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:55 AM


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The exams assume a certain amount of practical experience, a year or two I think. Simply memorising books will probably not be enough, you need to get your hands on a SQL instance and try out everything that you study.


Gail Shaw
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Post #1435875
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:11 AM
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That's what I've been doing the past 2-3 months with the head first sql book. I've been playing with mysql all that time. Creating tables, using commands, search queries, etc. I would never go into learning with books but not practicing at the same time.
Post #1435887
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:23 AM


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dob111283 (3/27/2013)
I've been playing with mysql all that time. Creating tables, using commands, search queries, etc. I would never go into learning with books but not practicing at the same time.


Practising with MySQL is not going to help you pass a SQL Server certification exam, they're different in all areas, query language, administration, behaviours, everything. That's like speaking French in preparation for a Latin exam

You need to get hold of a SQL Server instance and practice on that.

btw, if you mean this book http://www.amazon.com/Head-First-SQL-Brain-Learners/dp/0596526849, that's also not going to help you much in passing the certs. In learning to think and write SQL for the MySQL database, yes, to pass a SQL Server 2012 cert exam, not so much.

It's a fine book for learning databases, just please don't think it's a study guide for the cert exams.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
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Post #1435898
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 7:46 AM
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Oh no, I'm not using headfirst OR mysql to study for the exams. But when I DID start with sql this was recommended to me and I spend 90% of the time doing random tables and queries and 10% reading that book because I wanted to get familiarized with mysql. I know it's not the same as MS SQL but get acquainted with commands and how everything operates will help me with MS SQL. I have SQL server 2012 on my computer and I'd love to delve right into it hardcore so if you have any books or supplementary material or any kind of work that will help me use it as much as possible for the next 8 months I'd appreciate it. As far as the exams go, I have all the study material from microsoft for each exam.
Post #1435912
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:00 AM
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I recently purchased some Microsoft Exam prep books for SQL 2012, and I find them to be better written than the ones for SQL 2008. But you still need practical experience that comes from resolving issues that affect real database users, so I'll repeat what others have said and volunteer, get an internship or an entry-level IT job that allows you at least some exposure to SQL Server support.

Also, with the increased emphasis on High Availability, you should have either a high-end computer capable of running several virtual machines simultaniously, or pick up several second hand computers on which to install separate SQL instances for practicing mirroring, failover clusters, always-on, etc.


Post #1436009
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:03 AM
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Yea, I have a gaming monster that I am planning to use to run multiple virtual machines. As far as entry level/internship jobs, I've searched for months here in south florida to no avail. I would kill to get an entry level/internship/learn on the job for SQL development but I just haven't had any success finding one.
Post #1436011
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:38 AM
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Also guys, if anybody has suggestions for books to start with for SQL 2012 I will get them asap. Preferably ones that allow lots of interaction and exercises.
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