Prepping for Mastering Index Tuning with Brent Ozar Unlimited

, 2018-06-15 (first published: )

I got the chance to sign up for a few courses from the Brent Ozar Unlimited team and took it. I struggle to find time for training, between work commitments, travel, and family time, it’s hard to fit in a day or two. I’ve almost given up on going to in-person classes mostly because of the time involved.

I’m trying this online, both to learn something and see how the experience is. I’ve watched Brent present many times, and I think he does a good job of explaining concepts. While I suspect there’s a good amount of things in this course that I’ll already know, my experience is that it’s both good to get reminded of concepts from a different point of view as well as get some tips/tricks that I might not know. I’m always amazed how I might learn one small thing in a beginner session that I never knew.

Signup

The signup is simple. Go to the class page and add this to your cart and pay for it. The process is simple, and you get a good agenda as well as a schedule. I really appreciate the schedule, including the breakdown into what’s covered during different blocks.

There are multiple dates/times to choose from, but this is online during the workday, Eastern US time, so plan accordingly. For me, this means a slightly early morning, but since I can turn up the speakers and walk to the coffee machine, this works out well.

There are other classes on their home page, including Database DevOps, PowerShell, SSIS, and Data Science. There are plenty of more mainstream DBA/developer type SQL Server classes as well.

Prep

A couple weeks before the class, I got one of those automated emails from GoToWebinar. I’m used to receiving 3-4 of these before an event, so I promptly ignored it.

Then I got a second one a few days later, and I decided to look at this one. I managed to actually read this section:

“To get ready, go here:
https://BrentOzar.com/xxxxxx
And read the “0.1 Before the Class” module. There’s a ton of prep work and instructions in there for you, including a few videos to watch to prep, and you can download the slides to follow along. ” 

I removed the URL, since I’m not sure this is public, but in any case, I clicked the link to find a description of the class, in usual well-written Brent style. There was also a series of links on the side, for various slides and labs.

The Before the Class is a page with 4 videos from Brent that are supposed to prep you and give you some background. It’s 69 minutes, so I set aside some time and got moving.

And I ran out of time. I watched 3 of the videos, but ended up not getting the fourth one done before the class because of family and travel commitments. I should have tried to watch more in short periods, but I kept putting things off. I know a lot of this stuff, but if you’re new to the class and want to learn this, spend the time to get some basics down.

Testing Equipment

I didn’t bother, mostly because I use GoToWebinar every few weeks, between my work or watching other things. As a result, I know my PC works. If you don’t do that, make sure you set things up.

Contact and Notifications

I went back and looked. I got these notifications:

  • A confirmation of the purchase
  • A 2 week notices that asked me to go to the class page, and also get started on Slack.
  • A 2 week (minus 1 day) email that asked me to read the “0.1 Before the Class” module.
  • Two 4 day notices, a day apart (one was a 3 day notice). Not sure if this was correct, but these were roughly the same.
  • An email the day before the class with a VM URL and credentials
  • A “start in 1 hour” notice

That might seem like a lot, but I think this is pretty good. I might miss one of the advance notices in a busy world, so it’s nice to get the second one. I could glance at it and delete it if I had read the previous one.

There’s a good amount of prep stuff out there, and Brent has each module of his class recorded, so I could have gotten ahead and watched some of the class ahead of time. I could have also played with labs a bit, though he warns you IN CAPS to be careful about not breaking some things.

Overall

The process before the class was well done. There is a good amount to help me prepare, but I won’t know until I get to the class if the prep was good enough.

Looking forward to starting. Actually, but the time this publishes, I might have started, so we’ll see.

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