May 14 2010
If you’re reading this entry you fall into one of two major categories.
1) You’re really bored and will read anything.
2) You have a desire to learn and feel a constant need to improve yourself.
For my own sake I really hope that everyone that reads this falls into the second category! Chances are that because you are reading a technical blog you are in IT professionally and as such realise how quickly things change and therefore the need to keep up with the new technology.
There was a time when it was concievable for somebody to know all about SQL Server, these days with the advent of DTS and subsequently SSIS there is a need to know about ETL processes. Of course an ETL process is pointless on it’s own, it by definition has to have a destination and seeing as this is SQL Server it will 95% of the time end up being consumed by Analysis Services. Add on to that all the new functionality in the database engine, new data types and CLR Integration and there is a whole world of things to learn.
There is so much to learn in fact that Microsoft decided to change their certification strategy from an all encompassed SQL Server certification to have three distinct tracks.
I won’t talk too much about the tracks themselves as I’m going to start working my way through them to help fill in gaps in my own knowledge and will probably post quite a few blogs on how I feel the syllabus us set as well as how the exams are.
Back to the point in hand, there are several ways of improving your own knowledge. Certification is definitely one (if you go about it the right way) as is something called “Question of the Day” at SQL Server CentralI for one really like the concept and have a great range of questions regarding every aspect of SQL Server so no matter what area you specialise in you will end up learning something most days whether this is by answering the question wrong and reading through the explanation or (and this next bit might seem a bit left-field) if you answered correctly look at the discussion and see how others faired, what did they not understand about the question? Could you help them? Did someone else figure out the question using a different method to your own? How does that compare?
There are many ways of improving your knowledge of which these examples were just two. The two most important things are that the desire to learn is there and the source of this knowledge is trustworthy.