Foreword: 8 years ago, I launched an email series with a 6-Month DBA Training Plan. I sent one email per week, bringing people up to speed on the most important topics that nobody taught ’em along the way. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years! This month, I’m revisiting the emails, updating their content, and publishing ’em as blog posts too to make ’em easier to find. Buckle up: here come 24 straight blog posts to take you from zero to…well, at least a hero who’s smart enough to wear the underpants on the inside.
I learned to be a DBA the hard way. The hard, crappy way. Our SQL Server was in trouble, and I was the kind of person who would roll up my sleeves and figure out whatever was broken. Next thing you know, I was the one responsible for managing it.
And boy, did that suck.
I didn’t know about any free videos or blogs or e-books. I didn’t have the budget to go to a class, and even if I did, I didn’t know where to find a good one. DBA wasn’t in my job title, and it wouldn’t be for years.
I want to make your learning experience much better than mine was.
Every Wednesday for the next six months, you’re going to get an email introducing an important DBA topic. We’ll cover the basics of the topic, plus link to our favorite free training material on that topic.
In the next six months, we’ll take you from the bottom of the pyramid up to the top. You may not be able to fix everything in your environment during those six months, but at least you’ll understand the work involved and how to confidently get started. It’s all about making your journey to Professional Database Administrator easier than ours was.
If You Have Questions
Oh, and you will! When you have questions about what you’re reading, start by Googling your questions. It sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how much good stuff there is out there to help. (I’m not being sarcastic. This is exactly how we get started whenever we have our own questions.)
If you’d like to post a question, try DBA.StackExchange.com or SQLServerCentral’s forums. Yes, both of these require registration, but they’re totally worth it. On both of these sites, there’s hundreds – sometimes thousands – of people who are itching to help answer your questions. They react fast, too – make sure to go back and revisit your question every 10-15 minutes for the first few hours to see what’s happening. Answer their clarification questions, and include as much detail as you can. For more instructions, read Getting Help with a Slow Query.
If you still can’t get the answers you need, hit Reply to any of our emails. They come from a real email address manned by, uh, me – Brent. This isn’t one of those emails where it says, “Don’t hit respond because nobody cares.” Seriously, I care, and that’s why I put these emails together. Just please don’t use that as your FIRST resort – there are only so many hours per week that I can spend answering questions. By using the above methods first, you’ll be able to leverage the whole community’s expertise instead of just me. I’m all about teaching you how to fish.