what are the best books to become a DBA SQL?
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I have started to answer and deleted my answer at least 10 times now.
The MS SQL Exams are all being retired because Microsoft, Oracle and Amazon wants you to work in the cloud and not bother yourself with the overall actual administration.
The market is hoping that you will use ChatGPT or some other AI to get answers for you and that your environments will all be hosted in a powerful cloud somewhere and your data will be accessible to the owner of the data centre.
I'm EXTREMELY uncomfortable with this approach because it is turning the SQL Professional into a clever user, not a thinker.
So, let's unpack what a Database Administrator is or is supposed to be:
Firstly, the DBA must be able to select the appropriate platform upon which the Database will reside. He or she must be able to advice on the server hardware (sizing the server) based on the predicted usage of the solution. The DBA needs to forecast the disk space required, the RAID format, the memory allocations and the processors required for the solution over a period of years.
The DBA is also be responsible for defining the optimum Disaster Recovery Plan and would understand how to recover data up to the last minute used and know how to reduce downtime to the absolute minimum.
To improve the performance of the database you would be able to advice on the optimum indexing strategy, you would be able to be on par with the Database Architect for optimum design for performance for OLAP or OLTP requirements.
The SQL Server DBA course and exams ensured that this was tested and proven among all MCSA DBAs. The Exams assumed that those who passed would be able to implement these best practises across all database environments, so a MS SQL DBA was highly sought after because that knowledge could be applied across all database platforms.
The qualification also assumed that the DBA had the same knowledge as the top Database Developers, so you would understand all of the nuances of the SQL language (which is based off the SQL Standard – ISO/IEC 9075:2016). You would understand at least how to implement the language with the MS SQL environment, but your experience should also ensure that you've understood that Oracle, PostgreSQL and others have implemented it slightly differently. You would be able to know when and why a CTE would be better than a stored procedure for an iterative query, you would know when a Table Valued Function should be used, you should know how to create queries across linked servers and how to implement aliases.
This was the pinnacle of qualifications in my mind.
Unfortunately, the vendors are demanding that their products be studied, not the principles upon which they are built. We are being required to certify for the future of how their products are going to evolve and the principles of the standards are being deviated from.
Given that the DBA is an essential foundation to the broader field of data science, I firmly believe that the field of Data Science must rise above the demands of the vendors.
This is the reason I have contributed extensively to the development of a Data Science qualification for South Africa that still ensures that the essence of what a Data Scientist MUST be is covered in that curriculum. Perhaps that can be a topic for the educators amongst this community. I will be happy to share the curriculum openly here in order to ensure that the understanding of the Database Administrator's role can be better understood and better prepared for.
In the meantime, the question you have asked is broad and yet simple.
I would recommend
These all bear relevance to the latest versions of SQL Server and are equally applicable to other derivatives of the SQL Standard.
These books, along with the UDEMY course are excellent grounds for preparation for this field.
I wish you well on this journey:)
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