Whether you are just starting out or have been working with technology and want to expand your skill set, training never hurts anyone. In some situations, your own company encourages it and wants to help you excel. You may be in a situation where your employer wants you to just stay in your chair and not go anywhere, in the company or your career. (FYI: if you are at one of those companies keep reading…)
The Internet and Time
I graduated college in 2002 with a lot of knowledge about terms and concepts. The first job I hit, I found that was all nice and good but it was not just a “hit the ground running” situation. I graduated wanting to get deep into network administration – you know, sitting there programming Cisco firewalls and access policies. As time went on though, I found myself swinging more towards working with data and how it was stored. Enter a change in career path to becoming a DBA.
Where I live, there is not a lot of schooling options for learning about working with SQL Server or databases. I actually took a course in college on database structures, but that was, again, just terms and concepts. I found the internet to have a wealth of information about getting started in becoming a DBA. The SQL Server community is strong in sharing information through blog posts and videos. I spent evenings and some nights reading blog posts from Brent Ozar, Buck Woody and Thomas LaRock, to name a few. The first book I purchased on SQL Server was one Buck Woody wrote.
One thing you have to do is spend time learning. The material is out there for you to consume, but it takes time. I have spent a good bit of time outside of my day-to-day work learning SQL Server and other technologies that interest me. You may be at a company that encourages you to learn and train during working hours. (Pythian is one of those employers and puts a large investment into their employees to make sure they are keeping up with the times.)
Blog sites for SQL Server are plentiful. You can check out the Top 30 Blog Sites for a starting point. If you want to learn anything about Microsoft products, most of the Microsoft teams have their own dedicated site for sharing information. A quick search in your favorite search engine will help you find them.
If you are more for training by watching, below is a list of sites that commonly have a large amount of content:
- Pluralsight (one of the leading training content sites out now)
- Microsoft Virtual Academy (some content a bit dated, but still relevant)
- LinkedIn Learning
- CodeCademy (if you want to get into programming)
Techsnips.io is a new learning platform that a fellow MVP Adam Bertram launched in the past few months. It already has some great content and is growing with more content each month (he is actively looking for contributors, as well.) I wanted to bring special attention to this one because it is a different type of platform and method of delivering training content compared to the ones I noted above. If you have watched a Pluralsight course, you know it has a mix of slides and audio, with a few demos sprinkled around. This is a good format for in-depth learning.
Techsnips’ format is snippets of learning things, like if you want to know how to do “x” with “y” product. So, say you wanted to learn how to add an Azure VM to Azure Automation for DSC, you get a 3-minute video that shows you just how to do it…no talking about concepts or the different pieces. If you are an individual that likes to just start working with a product to learn it, this is a wonderful format.
If you want to grow your career and expand, there is a ton of information available at your fingertips. It just takes dedicating the time and effort to get started. I hope the information I have provided will give you a good starting point.
Interested in working for Pythian? Check out our open positions.