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rogerj234 avatar image
rogerj234 asked

Learning resources for becoming a DBA

Our current DBA(we'll call him Obi-John Kenobe) may be getting promoted out of his position. I am going to try and pick up some of his work. Need a good starting point for beginning to learn T-SQL and immerse myself in all of the DBA glory. Am thinking of picking up "Beginning T-SQL 2008" - the author I 'bing-ed' and followed to this site - and wanted to know if there were any other suggested readings that would point me in the right direction. I feel like I am trying to fill in the Grand Canyon with a garden shovel.... Any and all info is appreciated. If allowed, [email address removed] if not I am sure someone will edit that out...

Thanks,

Roger J.

sql-server-2008sql-server-2005learning
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I've removed your email address as we would prefer that answers were placed here for the benefit of any other visitors to the site with similar questions in the future
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mrdenny avatar image
mrdenny answered

Take a look at http://SQLServerPedia.com. It has a massive amount of information on it, and people are constantly adding more. In addition to the Wiki it also has blog feeds from dozens of SQL Server professionals including some of the biggest names in the business.

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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered
I wrote three of the chapters for that book (backup, restore, & performance tuning) and I think it's a great place to start. You're right, you are filling in the grand canyon with a shovel. Learning SQL Server is a huge undertaking. Best thing I can tell you is focus on what you need to know for your job first (and I don't know what kind of work they have at your company, different dba's do different things) and then find the areas that interest you and expand into them. Another book you should get a copy of is Kalen Delaney's SQL Server 2008 Internals. It's excellent.
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Tim avatar image
Tim answered
What type of experience do you currently have with SQL Server? The book you mentioned is a great starting point. If you don't already have developer edition installed on your box I would hit CDW and purchase a copy. It's only around $50.00 then get Adventureworks installed. Many of the books you read will have wonderful examples of code included that reference adventureworks plus it is a good resource to test scripts against. Another great book is [DBA Survivor]( http://www.amazon.com/DBA-Survivor-Thomas-LaRock/dp/1430227877/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309180617&sr=8-1) by Thomas LaRock. This is a great resource that any new DBA should read and learn the lessons from everyone else before having to make them yourself. The thing about becoming a DBA is there are many areas of interest and study. Performance Tuning, Developing and Business Intelligence to name a few. You will find yourself being overwhelmed at times with how much you don't know. You just have to keep perspective of how far you have came. You will quickly realize that you can't know it all but hanging around sites like this you will find you don't have to know it all. You just need to know enough people who do. I may not have all the answers, but I have plenty of friends in the business that it only takes an email to find the answer, "or a quick post on here". Best of luck to you in your new venture. You will love it. Welcome to the world of accidental dba's. Let us also not forget the vast resources available through [SQL PASS]( http://www.sqlpass.org) Things from 24HOP, SQL Saturdays, SQL Summit, webinars, etc.
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`This question along with many others like it inspired to me create a blog titled [Getting Ahead and Getting Involved]( http://wp.me/p14wce-3z) It lists various books of interest as well as opportunities for free training within PASS and SQL BITS. I hope you find it informative.
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And SQLLunches. Which all those mentioned and this one record the webcast/sessions so you can go back and re-watch them over and over and over and over and over, and over again.
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Shawn_Melton avatar image
Shawn_Melton answered
I have found that T-SQL knowledge is more and more important getting into SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2. The book I picked up (e-book) was Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals (by Itzik Ben-Gan). You cannot go wrong getting anything he wrote. He also did an advanced one as well, but I'm not ready to buy that one :) I have the e-book of the title @Grant Fritchey mentioned as well and it is a good read. I would also suggest SQL Server 2008 Internals and Troubleshooting. It has nothing to do with Kalen Delaney's book, just similar title. It has some good information in their though about troubleshooting performance issues and using extended events (which can only be done using T-SQL), that is just for starters. The other thing I did to learn some basic T-SQL things was to use the "Script to New Query Window" that you have in most wizards/properties windows within SQL Server Management Studio. Although the code SSMS runs should not be relied upon for every task, it at least will get you familar with the syntax and all.
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KenJ avatar image
KenJ answered
Sticking close to your environment, you might see about getting advice or part-time mentoring from "Obi-John Kenobe" himself -- providing he isn't getting promoted right out of the company, and that you picked the Obi-John Kenobi name because of his mastery of the database arts.
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