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On the road less traveled: a DBA Roadmap review


Review of Midnight DBA's DBA Roadmap SeminarThe story of why I came up with this blog is no secret to the few readers I have here. In fact, I have written about it in my inaugural post. Although I wrapped it in rather obscure way, you probably get what I meant by the words I’ve written.

I’ve gone into overdrive, absorbing any amount of information I can process into my brain. I am really working hard for my ultimate career goals. I seek wisdom from anywhere and any source – human or otherwise.

Our usual step when seeking for advice is to search the internet for relevant topics. There is no shortage of what we can get if we know where to find them.

The internet has a vast, rich body of information that is readily available for our instant gratification.

But I feel that the goals I want to achieve are too important for me to rely on the John and Jane Doe’s that dominate my Google search.

(Of course, I’m making exception for the likes of Brent Ozar, Thomas LaRock, Brad McGehee, etc. who never fail to offer great pieces of advice on becoming an exceptional DBA.)

I am not saying that I cannot put these free information to good use – I can, in more ways than one.

There’s more ‘why’ to that.

I feel that if I invest some of my hard earned money to my goals I can probably get more value than just by consuming free information on my spare time.

I need to invest in myself. I need a concrete way to get my body and soul commit to the journey!

Thus, I paid to get the DBA Roadmap. A thing like this is the least I can do for my career. Some are spending out of pocket upwards of $5,000 dollars each year towards their career (training, conferences, etc).

The DBA Roadmap Seminar is a business venture by the SQL Server couple Sean and Jen McCown (@MidnightDBA), or popularly known as the Midnight DBA’s. The recorded seminar costs $99.00 as of this writing.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I don’t like the seminar’s banner question, “How do I become a DBA with no experience?

That can easily put off anyone who has experience with SQL Server (including myself). That’s the reason why I hesitated to purchase the seminar package on the onset.

But I agree that the primary target audience of the seminar is individuals who hope to break through the DBAhood. Sean, himself, was a French cook before he became a DBA. The banner question makes the seminar appear to be “exclusive” for this type of audience.

I am not a newbie to SQL Server. I’ve been an accidental DBA for an information and data management company before. I’ve done some gigs on SQL Server development. And I’ve migrated a big financial reporting system from DTS 2000 to SSIS 2008.

The seminar has 7 tracks, including the Introduction and Conclusion. Except for those two, you can listen to any tracks in any order you want (not in sequence).

The main tracks are: How To Study, What To Study, Resumes, Job Hunting, and Interviews. Each track comes with a bonus Companion Guide that gives you a breakdown of what has been discussed on the track. The guide also provides additional links to useful sites and resources. The tracks are described on the DBA Roadmap site.

You’re probably thinking if these tracks can actually offer you new things. It’s true that these topics are often discussed. But do you think the McCown’s will ask you for money just to rehearse things you already know? Yes, I know, right? There was hesitation at first on my part because of the way the seminar was being marketed (newbie’s seminar). But I found out it’s exactly what I needed.

Although a newbie to SQL Server can reap the most benefit from this seminar, I don’t see why a current SQL Server pro can’t learn and pick up resume and interview skills from it.

There’s a reason why I titled this post “the road less traveled”. And you’ll find out why if and when you purchase the seminar yourself.

For 99 bucks, the seminar is a steal. Listening to 5 hours of solid, meaningful material is like attending a whole day of seminar. Plus, you can play the tracks over and over again, as I have, if you cannot digest the content on one pass.

If you are a SQL Server DBA with 2-3 years worth of experience or even a mid-level SQL pro looking to advance his career and thinking that he could use an advice or two, you owe it to yourself to purchase this seminar.

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