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SQL Server DBA Tips & Tricks

FAQ

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for SQL University. Here I will post and answer some of the more frequent questions asked about SQL University to help you get started.

What is SQL University?
Is there any charge?
Do I have to enroll?
How does SQL University work?
Can I contact you if I have any questions?
What is basketball practice/DBA Coach?
What/where is the bookstore?
What/where is the computer lab?
Who/what is faculty?
Why are the posts on different sites? Wouldn’t it be easier to just write/host them all here?

What is SQL University?

SQL University is a free online resource for those seeking to learn SQL Server technology from the ground level up. This is done via a series of blog posts written by various SQL Server experts and bloggers from all around the world on various topics related to SQL Server. Each week in a semester there is a new topic presented and the professor (blogger) for that week writes up posts based on that topic.

Is there any charge?

No, SQL University is absolutely 100% free.

Do I have to enroll?

No, no enrollment is required. Simply start reading and soak up the knowledge!

How does SQL University work?

SQL University is loosely based on a typical collegiate-style format. We have semesters that are made up of 10-12 week (sometimes longer) periods. There is a syllabus located at the main page of SQL University you can refer to that links to all of the topics that will be covered within a semester, who will cover them and provide links to lessons already given. Ideally, you’ll want to start at the beginning of the syllabus and work your way down but you can skip around to any lesson you want since all lessons are hosted on each blogger’s site. Much like a university setting you are encouraged to INTERACT. If you have questions on a topic, ask them in the blog post and the professor will respond. This allows not only a new level of interaction but those who come after you can learn from your questions/answers by reading them in the posts. Also each professor’s contact information is available by going to our staff page. Many of them are available on Twitter so if you haven’t tried Twitter out yet now is a great reason to start!

Can I contact you if I have any questions?

Of course but please make sure you check the FAQ section to see if your question is answered here first. If you have any questions on a particular topic covered please ask questions directly to the professor who has written the topic.

What is Basketball practice/DBA Coach?

Tom LaRock, aka the @SQLRockstar on Twitter, has been named our “coach”. His role at SQL University is writing posts that mimic sports practices in regards to practicing that week’s lessons learned at SQL University. So, for instance, if the week’s topic is backups Tom’s posts will cover some things you can do to practice your newfound skills like backing up and restoring a database. In addition, he also names folks in the SQL community to play that week. This is basically his way of identifying who in the community are the go-to people in regards to the topic that week. This first semester Tom was coaching via basketball similes. Coach LaRock may have some more sports and tricks up his sleeve but you’ll just have to keep up to find out! Like a sports program at a real school, following along is voluntary but his mentorship and coaching will definitely help you hone your skills and get in the game instead of just sitting on the sidelines. You can find all of Coach LaRock’s practice sessions at http://tomlarock.com/category/sql-university/.

What/Where is the Bookstore?

Every school has a central bookstore where students can go pick up textbooks for classes and studying. SQL University is no exception. We’ve created a bookstore made up of books that are directly recommended by SQL experts from all over the world, and in many cases even written by some of them! The book store is located at http://sqlchicken.com/sql-university/bookstore and can be accessed by choosing the bookstore link from the main SQL University link at the top of this blog.

What/Where is the Computer Lab?

Another great resource at schools are students having access to computer labs to complete their work. For SQL University students may either not know how to install SQL Server or do not have a dedicated place they have where to install it. In order for students to be able to follow along without the hassle of installing and managing a SQL Server, we have partnered with http://previewsqlserver.com to offer everyone a free virtual machine with everything you need pre-installed for FREE! Simply head over to http://previewsqlserver.com and complete your free registration. Once you get your login information back you will have access to your new virtual machine lab environment which has SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition complete with sample databases installed so you can dive right into learning and practicing everything your professors have to offer! A big thanks to Dell Computers, PASS and Microsoft for offering this resource to the community!

Who/What is Faculty?

As I stated earlier I’m using university-style terminology for as much as I can for this project. Faculty is the designation for those bloggers who are slated to teach a topic week for SQL University. They are also referred to as “professors” or “teachers” throughout the project. For the time being faculty members are directly asked by me to join the project. In the future I may put in a structured application methodology but for the time being in order to control the pace I’m doing this manually. You can find who faculty members are by going to the Faculty page at http://sqlchicken.com/sql-university/faculty .

Why are the posts on different sites? Wouldn’t it be easier to just write/host them all here?

The SQL University project was meant to be a community effort. In that light I have decided it would be better to have each professor host the articles on their own site. Each faculty member in SQL University is a blogger in the SQL community and if a student finds they like the way they write they are more likely to read other articles on their site as well. This way each blogger has a chance to grow their readership base, students can find new experts and resources they may have not known before, and the community as a whole continues to grow! I could host them all here but then it would just make my site seem like I’m hunting for traffic and that’s not the case. The tie-ins back to this site do occur, however, when the professors link back to the SQL University page. When they do a trackback link is auto-generated so if you do come here first, or others are blogging about SQL University, you have another way of discovering new SQL content!

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3 Responses to FAQ

  1. HI,,,
    This virtual university is good and helpful, but i have a question for the authors as because they are more experienced than me, is there any university like this in reality, i mean do any university offer some higher course for sql in India or in oversea countries, please help me i need a help. Though I am a MCIPT-DBA 2005 holder i want to do some higher course, because i feel that there is many thing in sql which are still hidden from my eyes,,,,
    So i need to find them.
    Hope someone will help me

    • Rahul, this is a great question and I’ll be answering it in depth in an upcoming post/FAQ page update. There are TONS of great resources out there in the community though.

  2. Pingback: Free online training | Dan’s Tips

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