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A team challenge in our Chicago classes in 2013

A team challenge in our training in Chicago, 2013

As teachers, we’re always working to maximize the skills that students can learn in a given amount of time.

Many students “learn by doing.” But what’s the best way to do this?

You may immediately think of lab exercises as an option. But labs are treacherous to implement in a classroom environment: ten minutes after you’ve begun, the person next to you is suffering from unexpected reboots, you’re not sure why the scripts aren’t working properly for you, and the fellow behind you is somehow already done. Even under the best of circumstances, labs don’t move at the same pace for everyone. By lunchtime, you’re bored and frustrated.

We’ve got a better way.

We’re building two very cool Challenges in our two day Seattle course, Make SQL Apps Go Faster, which will be held just prior to the SQL PASS Summit in 2014.

Challenge 1: Learn to Diagnose a Server

We work with SQL Server in two different ways: we’re consultants and teachers. The two parts of our business enrich one another. Through consulting we constantly expand our experience and understanding of the real challenges people face. In the classroom we’re always refining our methods to help people learn faster. Now we’re bringing these two things even closer together.

In our upcoming two day course in Seattle, “Make SQL Apps Go Faster”, we’re using challenges to help our students learn more and really engage with the class. For the first day, students will get dynamic management view information for a SQL Server with a problematic workload. It will contain information just like you can gather with our free tools in the real world:

Your challenge: write down what you’d do to tackle this environment.

We won’t give away all the answers. We’ll train you on these topics using slightly different examples so that you still get to figure things out on your own! Then at the end of the day we’ll go over the challenge, talk through your solutions, and compare them to our suggestions and experience working with SQL Servers around the world.

Challenge 2: Digging into TSQL, Queries, and Execution Plans

On the second day of the training, you get to specialize on query tuning challenges: you have 3 queries that you need to make faster. You’ll get the TSQL, schema, indexes, and execution plan information for all three queries and your challenge is to figure out how YOU would make these faster.

Always get involved in your learning and question everything. (Isn't that what my face says here?)

Always get involved in your learning and question everything. (Isn’t that what my face says here?)

On this day you’ll watch Kendra, Brent, and Jeremiah dig in deep to tune queries and indexes and delve into more advanced features of execution plans in SQL Server.

At the end of the day you’ll revisit the challenge. Would you make any choices differently? How do your ideas compare to the solutions we came up with? Can you make the queries even faster than we can!?!

Get involved in your training

Consulting and teaching have taught me a huge lesson: people learn better and faster when they’ve got something fun to work on. We have a blast teaching people about SQL Server — join us in Seattle and take the challenge.

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  1. Hello Kendra,

    Wow, that sounds like an awesome idea.
    Already looking forward to these 2 days :-)

    Nice greetings

    -Klaus

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