A recent blog by Jack Corbett (No Training Budget Still No Excuse, followed up by SSC’s Steve Jones here) hit the nail on the head with respect to taking charge of one’s own career. I won’t belabor the point by repeating their words here, but the message is that everyone has access to quality SQL Server training even if your training budget is a goose egg.
Jack’s article pointed out a number of organizations and websites that offer free SQL Server educational resources, and I was pleased to find one asset on his list that I had never used. I’ll add on a few Microsoft BI resources that I’ve discovered in my travels:
http://www.learnmicrosoftbi.com – A website with dozens of videos on Microsoft BI, mostly on SQL Server Analysis Services
Pragmatic Works webinars – Brian Knight and company have published several of on-demand webinars for business intelligence professionals
MSSQLTips.com – A SQL Server resource site, which, among other offerings, sends out a SQL Server Tip Of The Day each weekday via e-mail.
Microsoft Podcasts – Not just for SQL Server, there are Microsoft podcasts and other resources for almost every Microsoft technology. If you spend any time commuting, burn some of these to CD and learn on the road!
The Midnight DBA – According to their own description, husband and wife DBA team Sean and Jen McCown put the kids to bed and stay up late making videos. [OK, they’re SQL Server videos – stop snickering.] There’s a wide variety of content here, and is well worth a visit.
Twitter – OK, this one is reaching just a bit. I add this because there is a fair number of SQL Server pros on Twitter, many of whom are more than willing to offer advice, share upcoming events (webcasts and such) and “tweet” interesting information. SQLServerPedia has a good index page listing many of the SQL folks who use Twitter.