Learning How To Learn: Setting Priorities

SQL Server

Learning is hard

I hate command lines.
I hate command lines.

It’s rare that I get things right the first, or even tenth time. I have a horrible memory. Seriously. Most of the time I wouldn’t know what day of the week it is if it weren’t printed on my vitamin case. When it comes to SQL, especially commands or complicated syntax, I can only remember concepts. It’s rare that I don’t have to refer to notes or search for things. Ask me how many times I’ve restored a database and had to move files to different drives.

A thousand?


But I can’t remember the the with/move/whatever commands.

What was I saying? Oh yeah. Learning.

Right now I’m putting my best feet forward and trying to learn more about Availability Groups, Oracle’s database platform, and R.

At the same time I’m trying to keep up with the latest and greatest from SQL Server. I also have a full time job and a wife and kid.

In case you’re wondering: yes, my blood type is Cafe Bustelo.

Prioritizing is key

Being a consultant, I have to know a lot about a lot of things. I don’t know what problems a client is going to come to us with. I also don’t know what the root cause of that problem is going to be. It’s a good thing I work with such smart people.

So how do I choose what I want to pursue next? I categorize things into buckets:

  • Current
  • Future
  • What-if

Current is stuff I have to know to stay good at what I’m doing now.

Future is stuff I have to know to stay ahead of where SQL Server is going.

What-if is what I want to know if SQL Server ever goes the way of white jeans.

That’s why training is great!

Our in-person and in-video training is a great mix of current and future. You need to know more about SQL Server, and you need the important stuff front and center.

Right now there’s SO MUCH to be excited about with SQL Server, and even more to learn. 2016 is going to introduce a lot of new features, and like most new things, there are going to be problems and limitations. Columnstore indexes finally look ready for the main stage, and Availability Groups are coming to Standard Edition. And of course, the Query Store will be upon us with a rather interesting limitation.

Now if only people would install it…

Thanks for reading!

Brent says: take care of the current issues on your Database Hierarchy of Needs, and then you’ll feel much more comfortable taking the time to learn the future and what-if stuff. This is what I get the most excited about around consulting – we get to take the time to learn stuff before folks start to deploy it.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Good stuff. I’m not feeling so stupid not writing all restore command options from memory now.
    The one I hate and always seem to forget is pivot

    Another good case for a good snippet tool, like devart sql compete (my fav) or red gate sql prompt. Off load remembering to a library!

  • I remember attending a class that Brent introduced a work sheet that lays out a neat plan with a time frame.


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