As a some of you may already know, I am now offering SQL Server boot camps with the first one being this July in Washington DC. Over the last couple of weeks since I announced this I’ve had a few questions as to why I am offering a boot camp and more importantly, how is it different from what anyone else offers?
It was a great question, and really got me thinking as to how this would be different and worth going to instead of a “Big Box” boot camp. Well, let’s go over a few things that will hopefully help clear those questions up some:
Why are you now offering training instead of letting all the others just do it?
I have invested a lot, I mean thousands, of hours and dollars on training over the years. I bought books, went to boot camps, took online courses, pretty much, you name it I may have tried it. I did learn from them, but it was all sort of dis-jointed. What I discovered was a lot of training opportunities would advertise focusing on the fact that they would teach you what you need to get through the Microsoft’s SQL Server certification exams, to then help you do “your job”, whatever that happens to be. This is fine, and I used to think the certifications were very important. After years of being in the field and managing teams, I learned that there are a lot of people with certifications that can’t really do the basics that the job demands. For me, this led to a lot of frustration. Frustration in the inability to find people that could do the job required, and also in why this was more common than I ever thought it could be.
When I decided to create a boot camp I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to make it about the certification, or the test. I wanted it to be about being able to do the job to the best of your ability. This is why I am taking what would normally be covered in a 6 to 9 day course and condensing it into just four days of training. I am not making it an easy, get away from work training session. This is being designed to push you to your limits and make sure you know what you need to know to do the job. It is no easy task to condense that much and make it all work, but by trimming out a lot of the excess and focusing on what is really required to do the job I know I can make the attendee a stronger candidate at their current, or any future job. I am even going further to develop some other retreat type of training events to allow people to really focus on the learning, while having a good relaxing time so the learning sinks in deeper and stick stronger.
I want to share my passion for SQL Server
Over the last 18+ years I have done a variety of jobs and tasks involving SQL Server in one way or another. That 18+ years ago is when I actually made a conscious decision to eventually become a DBA. Last year I was asked to report some training courses for LearnNowonline.com. This introduced me to the art of building training and courses, which I’ve done in the past in some way or another, but now for broader audience. After receiving great responses from the people who took the online courses I created, along with getting great responses from my presentations at SQL conferences and various user groups, I felt it was the time to venture into the training of SQL Server users. I spent years working my way from being an end user of data through the development of systems that use data, business intelligence done upon that data, and finally as a database administrator. This is giving me a unique view of how systems and data work along with the skills to communicate between various users of that data. Be it an end-user, report writer, developer, or even management. I have found I can bridge that gap to get common understanding. Using this ability I am creating the boot camps to be flexible enough to adapt to who is attending to learn how SQL Server works.
I want to do something different when it comes to a boot camp
There’s a lot of things I have on my personal checklist that I wanted to make sure were included in any training I offered.
- I want the attendee to not just have a printout of the presentation slides like many training courses offer. I wanted them to have an actual handbook that covered everything done in the class as well as some extra exercises and information. It should be a true reference book and encourage the attendee to continue their education on their own. That is why each attendee with get a physical copy of the handbook I am creating, as well as a digital copy.
- I want to provide a copy of the software, SQL Server, to the attendee to they continue their studies on their own and explore the tools. Right now I will be providing a copy of the evaluation edition of SQL Server 2014, good for 6 months. I am working to find a way that I can provide a fully licensed version of Developer edition for the attendees.
- I want to provide the free scripts and tools that I have found useful over the years. There are a lot of tools and scripts out there, and I have created many of my own over the years and will include those that I have found helpful in dealing with being a SQL Server user.
- I want to train in environments that the attendee can do hands on training as well. I have partnered with a company that will give me a complete virtual lab to work in. Attendees can bring laptops, or use the systems provided to perform hands on learning. Time is being allotted in the 4 day intensive boot camp to allow everyone to get hands on experience. I have not experienced a lot of training that offers this depth on in lab on hands training. I know it makes a difference versus just hearing and seeing the work being done. The venues chosen also offer us the option to truly focus by providing breakfast, hot catered lunches, snacks and beverages all day long.
As an added bonus, since the venue I have partnered with provides a virtual environment, there are thousands of locations around the country in which I can offer a more local boot camp if you are unable to travel to Washington DC. If you are interested in having a local boot camp, contact us and we will see what can be done. If you are interested in having a private boot camp or other training for your company, contact us and we can discuss the options we have available.