Monthly Archives: May 2015

Immersed in SQL Server at SQLskills

Over the last two years I have had the pleasure of attending all three SQLskills Immersion Event classes. This training is second to none in its quality and intensity. The three courses help you look at SQL Server from different angles and are major parts of my job and likely yours as well. Each course uses a building block approach where you’re introduced into core fundamentals that the later modules build upon with more advanced topics.

IE1 – Internals and Performance

This class lays the foundation, it tells you how SQL Server does what it does, where it puts data and how it retrieves data. Guess what, that’s not simple stuff and SQLskills does a great of of making this approachable! After this class you will start to approach problems differently because you know how it works. Simple as that.

IE3 – High Availability and Disaster Recovery

I jumped to this class after IE1 due to my current role. The main objective of this course is how to protect your data. I often use a quote from this course with my customers, you don’t need a backup strategy, you need a restore strategy. It’s that type of thinking that differentiates the SQLskills team from the rest. In this course you’ll see Kimberly do the Partial Database Availability demo, where the storage subsystem is a USB hub with several USB sticks and she simulates a drive failure by pulling one of the USB sticks out and the database stays online. It’s awesome.

IEPTO2 – Performance Tuning and Optimization

This class may have been my favorite, likely due to it being the last and having all that other stuff in my head already. Looking back, IE1 was theory/how it works, this course is how SQL Server interacts with hardware, (disk/CPU/Memory), how you interact with SQL Server (query plans and statement execution) and techniques to find out what’s wrong (baselining and extended events). After this class you will have a solid understanding of where the potential pain points are on your SQL Server and how to fix them.

General Comments about the classes

Actionable – almost everything you’ll learn at a SQLskills Immersion Event you can take back to the office and affect positive change. Every once in a while during a course you’ll hit an esoteric topic, it will be identified as such but presented in the name of completeness. Buckets :) With the knowledge you gain, you will approach problems in new and creative ways. 

Professional – during IEPOT2 there was a brief power outage. Paul didn’t waiver a bit and began instructing the class by referencing the printed slides. Further the projector blew out, and was immediately replaced by Jonathan. I’m telling you this because the SQLskills team leaves nothing to chance in their training every thing is thought out. True professionals.

Team work – during IEPTO2 the group was struggling with thread scheduling concepts in parallel tasks. As there’s always more than one SQLskills instructor in the room and Paul jumped in and helped the group along with a diagram and clarifying explanation.

Small class size – the classes are limited to approximately 30 students. This allows everyone in the group the chance to ask questions and spend time with the instructors.

Personable –  each of the instructors are very approachable people and always respond to questions with patience and respect. 

Thanks to Erin ( b | t ), Glenn ( b | t ), Jonathan ( b | t ), Kimberly ( b | t ) and Paul ( b | t )!

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