Saturday, July 16, 2016

SQLSaturday Baton Rouge 2016!

Free SQL Server, SharePoint and .NET training

SQLSaturday is a global event to bring Information Technology speakers and professionals together for a community-driven, community-attended free day of technical training. The Baton Rouge SQLSaturday event is sponsored by the Baton Rouge SQL Server and .NET User Groups, and will be our annual event on campus at LSU. We expect 600+ regional IT professionals and national speakers to join us. This free conference is open to the public and is perfect for students, CIO's, database administrators, developers, IT managers, server admins and job-seekers. 


An all day FREE training event with SQL Server, Development and SharePoint related sessions spread out over multiple tracks of Business Intelligence, Database Administration, SQL Development, SharePoint, IT Pro and .NET development. 

Who Attends SQLSaturday? 
Folks with the following skillsets are drawn to SQL Saturday Baton Rouge because of the professional networking, free training, and giveaways:
  • SQL Server Administrators
  • Business Intelligence Developers
  • Data Analysts
  • ETL Developers
  • C#/VB.NET Developers
  • Mobile Developers
  • Windows Server Admins
  • SharePoint Architects
  • SharePoint Developers
  • Network Administrators
  • Quality Assurance Analysts
  • IT Managers
  • Students
  • Project Managers
  • Hiring Managers
  • Jobseekers of all levels of experience
  • Students
  • CIO's
  • CEO's

At the end of 2015, we polled our user group membership and got this amazing feedback on SQLSaturday Baton Rouge #423 in August of 2015:

"As a former speaker and attendee at Sql Saturday, I must say you guys knock the ball out of the park with SQL Saturday. You guys put on a top notch event for both presenters and attendees."
"SQL Saturday is always top-notch!"
"SQL Saturday is always on point. Love this event and always promote it to other groups."
"I am happy that the talks are open to more topics than just .Net and MSSQL"

Saturday, August 6, 2016. Online registration is now open, but it is filling up fast so reserve your spot now. Attendee check-in will begin at 8:00 AM first sessions beginning at 9:15 AM. A full list of session tracks and schedule is available.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Training To-Do List for New DBA

Are you an entry-level DBA, or looking to make the career switch? Feel like you are looking up from the bottom of a very tall ladder? Don't have much of a budget for training?

Here's a list of resources I'd recommend, in no particular order.

EDIT: I presented this content, along with a bunch of other content and some lame jokes, at the Baton Rouge User Groups Networking Night on July 13 2016. You can download the slidedeck here.

First and foremost, register for PASS and join your local SQL Server User Group and also some Virtual Chapters. TONS of free content there. Pay special attention to:
o DBA Fundamentals -
o Database Administration -
o Security -
o Also, check out the PASStv Youtube channel education playlists:
o Check out SQL Server's content on YouTube too

Register for SQLSaturday Baton Rouge, or the nearest SQLSaturday to your location. Somewhere in the world, a free SQLSaturday community event is held almost every week.
o Register to volunteer too
o Check out the pre-cons before this SQLSaturday and others like it - they are a bargain for the quality and quantity of training.
o Can't make it? Watch UserGroup.TV recordings of SQLSaturday and usergroups sessions.

Register at SQL Server Central and look into some of the "Stairways". Pay special attention to:
o Stairway to Integration Services:
o Stairway to SQL Server Indexes:
o Stairway to SQL Server Security:
o Stairway to Transaction Logs:

Register for the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA). Pay special attention to:
o Database Fundamentals:
o Updating your Skillset to SQL 2014:
UPDATE: MVA has been replaced by Microsoft Learn. Check out all the self-guided labs and walkthroughs for SQL Server here: free online learning labs for various languages including non-vendor specific tutorials on the SQL language standard: contains many hours of high quality instructional videos for many, many technical platforms.
o Look for Pluralsight coupons at your SQL Server user group via giveaways, they're a big sponsor of user groups
o Pluralsight will give free access to recently unemployed and military, email
o MSDN subscriptions come with some access

edX is a platform with tons of self-paced learning content, just check out all the stuff they have for the keyword SQL.

• There are a ton of books out there for SQL Server and the goal of this blog post isn't to do a book review any of them in particular. I don't intend to rank or rate any of them here, as my first-hand experience with the breadth of SQL books is limited.
o But, here's an incomplete, not-exhaustive list to check out first. If you want, please add some to this list in the comments of this blog post. Special emphasis on free here.
o Yep, I was the lead author on this exhaustive look at SQL administration with SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside out by Microsoft Press. It's also available on Amazon and anywhere that sells books. It isn't entry-level but is a good reference for any part of your career. I recommend it, as the team of authors did a fantastic job and we had a tremendous technical editor in Louis Davidson, with the full caveat that I do make a laughably small royalty on it.
o An excellent ground-floor introduction to being a SQL Server DBA is the SQL Server 2012 Step by Step book by Patrick Leblanc from Microsoft Press. Full disclosure: I was a technical editor and writer for this book but do not collect any sales residual.
o SQL Sentry eBooks series: High Performance Techniques for SQL Server (free)
o SQL Server eBooks from Microsoft Press (free)
o SQL Server PDF's from Red-Gate (free)
o SQL Server Execution Plans (PDF) by Grant Fritchey (free)

Got additions and suggestions? Please add them to the comments in this blog post.

UPDATE: 9/30/2019 - new bit to replace MVA, add PASStv