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SQL Education

They always used to tell us that education is important.

Education is (They said) key, in fact.  We as a technical community apparently agree with Them, because we’ve devoted countless hours to writing and reading blogs, articles, books, abstracts, bios, and technical sessions. We’ve spent even more hours attending those sessions at user group meetings, conferences, and webinars. Hell, some of us even make podcasts and web shows out of this stuff.

But not everybody is like us.

It’s not everyone that even knows these things exist.  Employees don’t know about SQL Saturdays, attendees don’t know about user groups, members don’t know about valuable free online training.  There’s obviously no shame in that – there are only so many websurfing hours in the day. But, friends and neighboreenos, I do believe we can do better.

You clearly care enough about what you do to get online and read up on it a bit – after all, you’re here, aren’t you? So share the love

Hold regular lunch and learns at work!

(Or is that “lunches and learn”?)  It takes the tiniest bit of bravery to stand up, my fellow tech nerdling, and say, “Hey guys, I’ve got this great video on [subject that workmates need training on]…let’s snag a conference room for lunch Friday!”  But it’s worth it, and you’ll likely find yourself a hero to at least one training-starved soul on your team.

I just started a brand new job, and I had four different people ask me questions on the same topic the first week I arrived. So I found a great video from SQLLunch.com (one of many fine free resources), scheduled a lunch and learn on it for the following Friday, and we had a great time.  There were even gasps of wonder (I’m not at all kidding) during the presentation, and everyone chatted excitedly after the show was through.

I have quite a few places I get awesome content.

In real life, I get my content at the PASS Summit once a year, SQL Saturdays once every couple of months, and local user group meetings monthly.  I get the DVDs from PASS, and there are often recordings and downloads from SQL Saturdays and user group meetings.

As far as video and webinars go, the sky’s the limit:

  • MidnightDBA.com, of course, is my first stop. What, you think I don’t watch my own videos?
  • SQLLunch.com (“No fluff, just stuff”) is currently home to over sixty fabulous 30-minute videos on varying SQL topics.
  • SQLPASS.org hosts videos of past 24 Hours of PASS recordings; you can also find out when the next live 24HOP event will be.
  • I keep an eye out on Twitter (follow me, and then start following people I talk to, and so forth) for other webinars and sessions.

Articles and blogs are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Here are a few places I tend to go again and again:

  • SQL Awesomesauce and DBA Rant.  Again….you think we blog this stuff for the fun of it? Oh no, peoples….this is our own personal knowledge store.
  • SQLServerCentral.com is the only tech newsletter I actually get and read regularly. They have great articles, syndicated blogs, and lively forums. (Fora?)
  • SQL University is fun to follow along with…it’s very like a tech blogging ren faire, though I’d be hard pressed to defend that impression. Something about fun, and lots of different people performing, and a large, heroic chicken.
  • And again, I keep an eye on Twitter for blogs and blog parties that interest me.

So there you go. Now that I’ve taught you to fish, you can feed yourself for a lifetime. You’re welcome. Also: Thank you, Them, for your sage advice!

(Also-also: Feel free to post your favorite tech content sources…your list will most definitely differ from mine!)

Happy days,
Jen McCown
SQL Awesomesauce

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