Where Do I Start – The Journey?

journey

I’ve recently been approached by numerous people at work, on boards, forums, twitter, etc. regarding different ways to learn and improve one’s skill set.

The Forums

I find myself on forums more so than normal perusing through questions, providing feedback where applicable and so on. Some of the ones I traffic often are:

  1. SQL Server Central
  1. The SQL Brit’s Forum

I think forums are a great avenue to see what others are sharing on topics that I might have gone through, are going through, or will go through.

Bloggers

I enjoy reading/following bloggers of who I consider to be at “the top” of the SQL game. I will not list them all out here but if you look to the right you under DBA Blogs you will find additional links of blogs I follow. Over my decade in dealing with SQL I have tried to model and pick up some of the knowledge that they share on a regular basis. Take time to hit some of their sites and remember if you do reach out to one of them I always say be respectful; a lot of their time is providing free knowledge to the community which is what helps make the community grow and be better; be sure to thank them for all they do.

Email Subscriptions

My days normally consist of several hundred emails daily but I try to take a certain part of my day and read the emails I subscribe to; I really enjoy MSSQLTips, SWUGG, the live burn feeds I receive from the bloggers I follow, and several more. Getting involved and subscribing to some of the top tier SQL sites provides another avenue for learning opportunities, networking, etc.

Books

Really depends on what SQL Server versions you are running right now. A lot of people have been asking me about 2008 R2 and for that I liked the DBA Cookbook; felt it had some good stuff in there. Red Gate puts out a lot of good stuff along with the SQL Deep Dive editions.

Training Sites

Some ones that I’ve used or recommended in the past are:

  • Pluralsight – I’m a big Paul Randal and Glenn Berry fan so when SQLSkills.com joined it was a no brainer for me.
  • SQL Course
  • PASS (take advantage of the local chapters and virtual chapters)

Closing

I read an article this week by SQL Brit (John Sansom) regarding “Overconfidence – How it Almost Cost Me and What You Can Do to Avoid It”. After reading it I felt like it was one of the better ones I’ve read in the past month. It put things into perspective in a sense that while I’m very confident in my abilities you can never become “lax”. I am a believer in learning everyday and I will continue to hone in on my skillset; at the same time it is imperative that we do not just “assume” or “take for granted” the regular routines we do on a daily basis.

These are some of the things (not all) I like to dig into on a regular basis and I’m sure you have your own; I’d love to hear what others utilize if you have time drop me a line and I’ll share it out on the post so other community members who pass by might be able to gain something from it.

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