Blogs are free, but they’re bite-sized. They’re great when you’ve only got a few minutes, and you wanna learn a single small thing. But they’re not organized in any kind of flow at all – you’re jumping around all over the place, learning random small things. You’re not really mastering a topic start to finish.
Books get outdated, fast. With SQL Server’s frantic release schedule, and the rapid evolution of tools like the First Responder Kit, Query Store, PowerShell, and even features introduced in Cumulative Updates, books just don’t cut it anymore.
The information isn’t useful. Sure, it’s interesting to know internals or log file formats, but how can you make a real, meaningful difference in your SQL Server? Most training classes aren’t focused on the job you actually have to do every day – they’re about passing a meaningless certification that isn’t related to your day-to-day work.
Local classes aren’t taught by experts. They’re “certified instructors,” which means they just read someone else’s material out of a book. They’ve never actually done the job in real life. When you ask them a probing question about the material, they look around to the other students to see if anybody else knows the answer.
Out-of-town classes are really expensive. There’s airfare, hotels, and meals. Often, the locations aren’t even fun – they’re some airport hotel somewhere with bad beds.
The timing is terrible. You plan months in advance, but then production emergencies pop up during class. Or sometimes a student raises their hand, asks a lot of level-100 questions showing that they’re wildly unqualified for the course, and you lose patience with the slow pace. You step away, and next thing you know, you’re totally lost yourself! You want to be able to jump in & out of the class, plus revisit your material all year long.
It’s not even relevant to your own server. You can learn all kinds of topics, but how do you know what’s relevant to your own server’s indexes, queries, and wait stats? You really want a super-qualified instructor to look at your server’s data and give you personal advice.
Video training isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to learn with hands-on labs, and even better, labs on their own servers, tying the concepts back to things that matter.