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Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).

First Foundation Class Review

The first Pragmatic Works Foundation class concluded today and I think it was a great success!  Each student did very well and I’m confident that each of them will be able to land their first IT job.  We only had one week to cram about 2 or 3 weeks worth of training in so we covered just the essentials to get each student a job. Here’s what we covered in the class:

  • Monday – Basic server knowledge, Very Basic DBA skills, Basic T-SQL
  • Tuesday – Continue Basic T-SQL
  • Wednesday – Advanced T-SQL and Basic Report Writing
  • Thursday – Advanced Report Writing and first report project
  • Friday – Bring everything that they learned together into big project, perform mock interviews

I asked the class to provide some suggestions about what they thought would help improve the class and here’s their feedback and also some things I think can be improved:

  • I provided a reference list of T-SQL commands and how to use the command but it would have been beneficial to show examples of what the result set would look like.
  • Create a training guide for writing reports with screen shots of how to things like creating data sources, datasets, etcs…
  • We had activities/homework to work on in the last 2 hours of class. Each activity had a list of steps to complete the problem but it would be great if I had included a couple sentences before the list of steps that gave the bigger picture of what the steps were accomplishing.

Some of the things I think went well:

  • All students were required to blog daily.  Hopefully this will become a habit even after class and they can continue writing about the new things they learn in the future.
  • When we first started learning the basic queries to keep it interactive each student would alternate using my computer, connected to the projector, while the others wrote the same queries on their individual computers.
  • I think one of the best ideas was Thursday and Friday we did whiteboard sessions where each student took a turn at planning out the report projects we were working on. I had them interact with the other students to solve to problem without using my help… unless we go too far off base.
  • Pete Cochrane from Modis came in on Friday and did a presentation about interview best practices, which I think had some great tips.
  • Also, Friday Brian and Pete performed mock interviews with each student to help prepare them for the first tech interviews.

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