Growing Your SQL Server Skills without Breaking the Bank

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Growing Your SQL Server Skills without Breaking the Bank

  • Great overview. I'll refer to this post every time someone asks for free training 😀

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  • In the UK, there's also SQLBits[/url]. Again, not cheap (although there is a free day), but excellent. And they do upload videos of the talks (eventually :-P)

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  • Very true, Paul, Kimberly, Brent... plain rock.

    But at times I don't even start my browser. I open up the locally installed BOL and just grab a topic or two.

  • This is Sean from MidnightDBA and what you said wasn't exactly accurate.

    Sure, we have a weekly webshow that starts at 11pm CST on fri, but we've also got hundreds of recorded training that's completely free. You can download it at any time and pass it around to all of your friends. Even the shows themselves are recorded and you can download them and watch at your leisure.

    So while we'd love for anyone to come join us for the live show, if you really can't make it, then come download us. We're about to start season 5 here in the next couple weeks. You can follow @MidnightDBA and get the official date when we land on it.

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  • I also enjoy the content here - at least several times a week some good info that I use -

  • Another good resource is Simple Talk (

    Another event is SQL in the City.

  • Will share this article with others at the office.

  • I'll add one that's so obvious it's easy to miss:


    Speaking as one who is living proof you can learn and improve SQL Server skills on the cheap, one of my greatest assets in addition to the excellent resources in the article is having my own SQL Server sandbox. I have a Developer Edition on my desktop at work that I can try out all kinds of things, including the Things-You-Should-Never-EVER-Try-On-A-Live-System. Most PCs these days are powerful enough to run it, and you can pick up a copy of SQL Server Developer 2012 for under $50 (no, that isn't a typo) at Amazon. Granted you're not going to be able to play with the entire gamut of SQL Server (mainly thinking of enterprise-wide architectures and the skills needed for those scenarios), but there's certainly enough to keep you entertained and learning. I can learn a great deal from reading and listening, but until I throw it on the hardware and say, "What happens when I do THIS?" does it really stick in my head.

    Just my $0.02 from over here in the cheap seats of the peanut gallery - please adjust for inflation and/or your local currency.

  • For some more advanced topics:


  • There's also a Yammer MCM Study group that adds alot of good information and resources.


  • AWESOME POST! The links are always handy to refer!

  • Another few good sites to monitor each day are...



    SQL Server Performance Newsletter

    they all have daily newsletters that I review.

  • In addition to reading blogs and forums, I spend a lot of time listening to audio podcasts while commuting in the car. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Microsoft's Channel 9 website which archives 1000s of .NET, Windows, and SQL Server related video and audio podcasts.

    Also, for SQL Server specific material, Greg Low releases an MVP interview every few weeks on his SQL Down Under podcast show.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • I need to find the time and add a Resource page on our PASS Chapter website listing all of these.

    Alvin Ramard
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