At the last SQL Server User’s group meeting, I got into a long conversation with someone about where to go to find good training materials online for people at various skill levels. Contrary to popular belief, I do spend time on the internet not on twitter or shoe shopping, and have come up with a list of sites where I think the training material is quite good, and also free. I included a lot of video content, as a lot people find that easy to use for learning new things.
This is not meant to be an exclusive list, just the places I’ve found helpful most recently or have found myself visiting a lot. If you have some suggestions of places you think I should add, please send them to me.
MSBIAcademy – This is a really good way to get up to speed on Big Data and other topics.
Apache – If you are interested in Hadoop, you will make your way here to get the latest releases and see what wacky name the latest new tools has.
Hortonworks – I found the training information on Hortonwork’s site to be very good at explaining things.
Learning Map for HDInsight and Azure – SQL Server data is moving to the cloud too and this is a great place to get up to speed.
Mostly SQL Server
A lot of these sites have crossover information too.
SQL University – This site has information for those people just getting started with the Microsoft stack to more advanced topics.
Pragmatic Works Training on the Ts – Every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Pragmatic Works provides free webinars on SQL Server and Big data topics with some of the people who wrote the book, ok lots of SQL books about all kinds of SQL and Big Data Stuff. Flip through the archives if you are working during the day and don’t have time to view them live.
Microsoft Virtual Academy – This is Microsoft’s site where they offer free training and you get points. I didn’t know that I wanted points before, but I do now.
Microsoft’s SSIS Tech Net Videos – The audio on these is often very lousy, but the content is pretty good. I am not sure how often these are updated, but you can find good best practice material here.
Ola Hallengren’s Site – At any time you have anyone calling you a DBA, you should know about this site.
CBT Nuggets on YouTube – If you can find anything on YouTube from CBT Nuggets, it probably won’t be a waste of time. This link is for information on SSIS. Be wary of some of the things posted on YouTube, as not everything there is correct or best practices and the quality can be marginal.
Channel Nine – Microsoft has some random-ish videos out here, some of which are really helpful
SQLServerCentral – This is a great resource. Go create an account here as it is free and there is a treasure trove of information.
SQLPass – Last but certainly not least, check out all of the information archived on SQL Pass. They have a lot of virtual groups on a wide variety of SQL related topics. If you can’t attend when they are being held, the videos are available for later viewing on the website. The previous PASS Summit information is awesome. They also have a YouTube channel as well, where you can find interesting things to watch.
All of the other stuff I mentioned is archived and available when you have a chance, but there is nothing like being able to ask resident experts about various stuff and network with other SQL Server people. Check out SQL Saturday to see when and where there is going to be an event near you. These events have gone worldwide, so it is very likely there will be an event near you sometime this year.
Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur