Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Redgate
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Starting to Program

By Steve Jones,

As DBAs, I think we need to learn to program better for the future. It doesn't matter whether you are looking to manage clusters with Powershell or add your own SQL CLR routines to an instance, it pays to learn a bit about programming. At some point. Every DBA will be exposed to some type of code that isn't written in T-SQL at some point in their career. Whether they'll be able to do anything with the code, or understand it, is entirely up to the individual.

As the SQL Server platform has expanded, there have been enhancements and additions to the product. In addition to the core T-SQL, there is now VB.NET and C# in Integration Services, Reporting Services uses RDL and various programming expressions. Analysis Services has XMLA, MDX, maybe more. Powerpivot introduces DAX, and the .NET language runs through all of these subsystems. PowerShell is being pushed as the future administrative language for all Microsoft technologies.

With so much of the data professional's job starting to require programming skills, how does one get started? We are working on some stairways to help in some areas, but this Friday I wanted to ask this question:

For the DBA or system administrator that wants to learn programming, what do you recommend?

I'm looking for some links or tutorials, similar to this list for a Python programmer. Do you have a list of programming resources that might help someone learn basic concepts, get started with a particular language, or improve their skills? I'm looking for links that you've used, or a friend has used. I'll look to compile these into a few lists that people can reference to get started on learning more about programming.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

We publish three versions of the podcast each day for you to enjoy.

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at They have a great version of Message in a Bottle if you want to check it out.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

Total article views: 287 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
Related Articles

Learning R: Hard Lessons

I’ve always found the best way to learn a new programming language is to start building stuff, solvi...


Learning R: Foundations

Learning a programming language is largely an act of using that language to do stuff. Done. However...


Learning C

As we use computers more and more, and more people must develop algorithms or simple programs, Steve...


Does a development DBA need to learn language. ?

Does a DBA need to learn language. ?


The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2014 #programming

The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2014 As long as we have been doing our programmi...

friday poll