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There is no excuse

I read Jack Corbett's blog entry,No Training Budget Still No Excuse, last week and thought it was excellent. In fact, I plan on putting it out again on Twitter again today.It was that good to me, and I thought it was short, to the point and had good suggestions. And not just because he mentioned SQL Server Central.

There is no excuse for you not to be able to improve your skills and career.

I hear lots of times from people that they work too much, don't have a training budget, and how are they supposed to improve their skills. The short answer is that you work at it. On a regular basis, and using the resources you have. Jack gives some great ones, but the reality is that there are plenty more, in any field, on the Internet that will help you improve. They don't take a lot of time, but I'm sure some of you can find an hour or two a few times a week to learn something new about your profession.

Doctors do it, lawyers do it, even engineers often spend some time out of work studying and reading about their field. There's no reason that other professions can't do it as well. It doesn't have to be every day, but it should be every week. Spend a few minutes learning something new.

Some of the resources are free, some aren't. However don't let price scare you. You ought to invest a little in your career yourself, even if your employer won't. You might not be able to afford a $2,000 class or conference, but I'm sure you can buy a book, or get a subscription to some service that helps you.

My current career is dedicated to providing free (cost) learning resources for IT professionals. I also have a business that looks to provide pay services. I think they both fit needs, and we try to ensure that we are providing more value for the paid services, but that doesn't mean the free ones won't help you. They might take more time, and more work on your side, but that's the tradeoff.

No matter how you choose to do it, there isn't an excuse to not improve your career.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Tim Mitchell on 17 August 2009

Good post, as was Jack's original post.  Database folks are generally considered "professionals", and there is an expectation that we must maintain current in our skillset.  

At the end of the day, each of us is responsible for our own career, whether or not our respective employers are willing to contribute to that effort.  True, there are a lot of free resources, and other low-cost options that all but eliminate the financial barriers to keeping one's skillset sharp.  Even for the higher-priced opportunities (PASS, SQL Connections, among others), it would be worth considering to pay your own way, even if you have to save up and go every other year instead of every year.

Posted by Anonymous on 17 August 2009

Pingback from  DBA – keep learning  » Blog Archive   » Work EVERYDAY as your FIRST day!

Posted by Alex Rosa on 17 August 2009

That's true.

There are a lot of free resources these days, starting with BOL.

I've been hearing people complaining about their problems to buy a book, to subscribe a magazine, or an event.

In some cases, I know that they really have financial problems, but in my opinion there are a lot of people in the comfort zone.

There is a famous expression: "Live everyday as your last day!"

I created another one: "Work EVERYDAY as your FIRST day!"

I mean, if you work everyday with the same kind of interest that you usually work in your first day in a new job. Certainly you'll find a way to buy a book or take some hours per week to visit a website like sqlservercentral.com and learn something new.

Let’s be professional and KEEP-LEARNING.

See  you,

Alex Rosa

P.S.: WWW.KEEP-LEARNING.COM, my own website registered in 2002 to emphasize how important is the learning process. I’m building the website yet, but the most important is the main idea.

Posted by Jack Corbett on 18 August 2009

Thanks for the mention Steve.  Led to the biggest day in the short history of my blog.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 August 2009

Pingback from  DBA – keep learning  » Blog Archive   » Trabalhe TODOS OS DIAS como se fosse o seu PRIMEIRO DIA!

Posted by ALZDBA on 19 August 2009

There are indeed a lot of free resources on the net.

Nowadays, with SQLserver, the problem is to find your way in the maze of target areas, ...

OLTP / OLAP / BI / .Net / SSIS / Powershell ..... can you keep up with it all.

If I need info, for SQLserver SSC if my first resource. For the rest I Google or Bing for it and hope I pick the correct link to get it.

But to get a technical or hands on kind of info, I prefer the local Pass evenings (free) or the yearly SQLPass conference ( whenever I can obtain the budget ).

It is crucial to keep up with evolution .... or you will be obsolete

and it is also of high importance for your company to get the best ROI / TCO / ... of your services and the systems your company uses!

Posted by Dave Schutz on 19 August 2009

One great free resource is your local SQL Server user group. Maybe you have a local PASS chapter you can attend for free. If you don't have one yet, maybe you can start one. We started CBusPASS Columbus, Ohio this year and have had many great speakers, Brent Ozar, Kevin Kline, etc. We use live meeting so we can get speakers remotely. Best part is it's free! Still waiting to get Steve Jones as a speaker...

Posted by micmarcbr on 21 August 2009

That is one of the two main ingredients of the recipe for success in any professional carrer: effort.

The second one is "passion" for the profession.

Without passion you won't make efforts in order to improve (then you'd better change your job!).

Nice text Steve!

Posted by Charles Kincaid on 21 August 2009

I used to be able to learn a lot from the SQL Server 2000 BOL.  The 2005 version is a lot worse in my opinion.  It might have as much information as earlier versions but it's harder to search for something.

As others have mentioned a good book is a good investment.  I can't count the number of times that I have been approached by store managers at computer shops because i was camped out in the book section agonizing over which one to buy.  I tried book stores but lately the technical sections are getting a bit thin.

The forums, especially this one, have been great.  I look at the product ads just in case there is something that i need or can reccomend.

I'd love to get with the local user group but their PASS website does not come up.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 August 2009

If you'd like to keep up with your profession as a SQL DBA, I thoroughly recommend certification

Posted by Hugo Shebbeare on 24 August 2009

One hundred percent with you on this one Steve.  I have pushed for continuous eduction via certification from blog posting number one on SSC, even if it is not the 'only' way to keep ahead (obviously):


Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2009

A recent blog by Jack Corbett ( No Training Budget Still No Excuse , followed up by SSC’s Steve Jones

Posted by Anonymous on 14 December 2009

I'm reading As Iron Sharpens Iron , which is a classic book on Christian mentoring. Written by Dr

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