Get involved in the community, and try to give back. I have been posting/ranting/larking about here for about a year now (side point - is it time for a first birthday bash??) and I have learnt more in that year through trying to help people with their problems than I have done in the past 12 years of using SQL Server. As a result of my participation here, I was invited to speak at a conference in Sweden, and then registered and was accepted to speak at SqlBits - and doing that furthered my understanding of the CLR in SQL Server because of the research required. Then I attended the training day @ SqlBits and learnt more in 8 hours with a guy called Maciej Pilecki than I have in any other day, ever, period. So yeah, get involved.
Great answers from everyone. I have learned a lot at this site (not just the ask section, but also the QotD section) and most of my performance knowledge is from real life and from [
www.sql-server-performance.com] (sorry for reffering to another site, but I feel that I need to give some credits to them also) Thanks to everyone that is contributing to this site! :
I strongly recommend getting a copy of Brad McGehee's book "How to Become an Exceptional DBA." It's not so much a "how to use SQL Server" as it is a list of things you should study, habits you should develop, things to watch for, things to avoid... basically an excellent selection of advice.
Some great advice here. I've found subscribing to a couple of newsletters (only a couple as any more can be overwhelming) can be helpful as they can throw up all sorts of info that trigger different avenues of learning. I currently have a daily from [SSC] and [MSSQLTips]. I also subscribe to a number of RSS feeds and set myself the personal challenge of reading a blog a day with a soft rule of once a week picking a blog in an area out of my comfort zone so to speak. Hope this helps. :
There are lots of great suggestions here. Let me offer two that may be a touch controversial (so take with a grain of salt): 1. Study for the certifications. First, they are good way to learn in a structured, organized fashion, and they specifically target SQL Server which might be even more significant for someone transitioning then someone starting fresh. Also, if your ultimate goal is to get a job then at least for certain employers having that certification can make a difference. This is especially true if you have little to no other SQL Server experience on your resume. 2. Write. Matt alluded to this, but for me writing about something I learned helps me crystalize it in my mind. Anything I think is decent I try to post somewhere like
SQLServerCentral.com but even if its not worth posting the act of writing it and thinking through it helps to really consolodate the information for me. Alsot, when I do post the feedback is also helpful. In your particular case, I think there would be some interest in the community in what you see as the major differences between MySQL and SQL Server after you get to know SQL Server a bit.