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DBAs have been asking me, “Brent, why do you have a book of Lady Gaga photos on your standing desk?”

Also, “Brent, why are you guys offering training for developers instead of training for DBAs?  Have you lost your minds?  Why have you crossed over to the other side?  Have you forgotten that we know where you live and where you walk your dog?”

Reason #1: A lot of shops don’t have DBAs.

A good database administrator is hard to find, and when you find ‘em, they’re expensive.  We’ve got clients who have been trying to hire a DBA for over a year – in some cases, two years!  They’ve given up on all the crappy job candidates who can’t tell the difference between their elbow and their LDF file.  It’s cheaper and quicker to take one of their savviest developers and train them to become a SQL Server DBA.

Except that it’s not, because it’s really hard to find training to do that.

There’s local training companies who just take Microsoft’s certification curriculum, but what if your goal isn’t to get certified?  What if your goal is just to get good, practical advice for real-world database administration as quickly as possible?  What if you don’t want to learn about a dozen nearly useless features just to check a box?  What if you want to spend more time on the most vital features, like, say, indexes?

That’s where our training comes in – we focus on giving developers the stuff they really want to know about SQL Server to make it faster and more reliable.

DBAs, that’s really the only reason.  You can close the browser now.  Or if you’re bored, go check out the Lady Gaga photo book – it’s on sale.  My favorite photo is the one of her and Ellen DeGeneres in an elevator at the MTV VMAs.  I’d give you the page number but like any indecipherable Terry Richardson work, there’s no friggin’ page numbers.

Are they gone?

Okay, good.  Developers, here’s the rest of the reasons.

Reason #2: You can’t get time from your DBA.

If your shop has gotten big enough to hire a full time DBA, they’re probably overwhelmed with work just keeping things running, dealing with backups, managing security, and making sure there’s enough free drive space.

You’ve got questions about making your queries faster, and you’ve got the feeling that the answers are nearby, but just out of reach.  You’ve tried the Index Tuning Wizard & Database Tuning Advisor, but they’re out of options.

Reason #3: Maybe you wanna be a DBA.

I used to be a developer myself.  After going through four languages in three years (Topspeed Clarion, VBscript ASP, VB.NET, Java), I decided I wasn’t dedicated enough to stick with it.  I switched over to the database side because there’s only one language to learn – SQL is basically the same across not just versions of SQL Server, but across different platforms like PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.  Even the new kids on the block like Apache Hive use similar syntax.

Learning the basics of performance tuning on any database will help you everywhere.  Index tuning, isolation levels, and sargability are universal concepts.

Reason #4: A lot of shops don’t need DBAs.

I’m not saying you don’t need a DBA’s advice now and then, but you don’t have enough work to keep a DBA busy full time.  I know this because a lot of our clients – and I mean a lot of them – don’t have DBAs, and after our initial SQL Critical Care® session, they only need to get our advice about once a quarter.

Your questions aren’t complex, but you’re tired of Googling and getting answers you don’t really trust.  You want clear, concise training that teaches you the important parts of indexing, query antipatterns, isolation levels, and performance troubleshooting.  You don’t want boring best practices – you want to cut to the chase.

Sound good? Check it out.

On our SQL Server for Developers training page, we list the class abstracts.  At the bottom, there’s a business justification PDF to help you convince management that the training is worth the money.  And speaking of money, it’s cheaper than a conference or a week-long local training class taught by somebody who’s never actually been a DBA, much less a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master.  Come join us and have a good time while we poke fun at DBAs.*

* – Did I say poke fun at DBAs?  I meant sing the praises of DBAs.  Listen, I told you to go look at Lady Gaga pictures, and why are you still reading this, DBA?
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  1. I did love this posting…. very entertaining but very true…. and thanks for the motivating words on becoming everyday a better DBA…. and yes… lot of false ones out there!

    As usual…very glad to follow you!

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