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SQL Server Training Plan/Problems RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I've been asked by company to begin training as a database developer using MSSQL Server 2005. I've looked at a bunch of Microsoft courses that I think would help me build a good foundation, including: 2778, 2779, 2780, 2794, and 2795. I began studying with 2778 (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Transact SQL), but I had problems with the course material (factual errors, broken code, showing concepts/code before explaining them much later in the course). Since that brought up a bunch of questions, I figured I would have better luck going to the classroom. I signed up for a 5-day instructor-led course. Unfortunately, the course had the same problems with the course material. The instructor admitted the problems, but couldn't really do much about it other than skip or acknowledge them. The other problem was that because the course covers so much material so quickly, you end up being rushed and there is little opportunity to really learn anything. We would rush through a module or two and then get to the lab, but nobody really learned/absorbed enough to really do anything but follow the answers at the back of the book. I think the only people that really got anything out of the course were the DBA guys that were just brushing up their skills.

    Anyway, has anyone else had problems with the training? Moreover, I would appreciate any suggestions as to how I can continue my training. After taking 2778, I have little faith in the rest of Microsoft's Learning track, but, OTOH I don't know where else to look.

    Thanks in advance.
    Friday, September 25, 2009 8:30 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I've been asked by company to begin training as a database developer using MSSQL Server 2005. I've looked at a bunch of Microsoft courses that I think would help me build a good foundation, including: 2778, 2779, 2780, 2794, and 2795. I began studying with 2778 (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Transact SQL), but I had problems with the course material (factual errors, broken code, showing concepts/code before explaining them much later in the course). Since that brought up a bunch of questions, I figured I would have better luck going to the classroom. I signed up for a 5-day instructor-led course. Unfortunately, the course had the same problems with the course material. The instructor admitted the problems, but couldn't really do much about it other than skip or acknowledge them. The other problem was that because the course covers so much material so quickly, you end up being rushed and there is little opportunity to really learn anything. We would rush through a module or two and then get to the lab, but nobody really learned/absorbed enough to really do anything but follow the answers at the back of the book. I think the only people that really got anything out of the course were the DBA guys that were just brushing up their skills.

    Anyway, has anyone else had problems with the training? Moreover, I would appreciate any suggestions as to how I can continue my training. After taking 2778, I have little faith in the rest of Microsoft's Learning track, but, OTOH I don't know where else to look.

    Thanks in advance.

    I use to teach MS courses and I can say that unless you actually do the job day in, day out and already working as a DBA then the 5 day bootcamp would not be for you.  If you're going for class based, then I would strongly recommend find a part-time course which would spread the 5 day intensive course over a period of 4-5 weeks (for example either 1 day a week or 2 evenings a week), this would give you the time to properly study the material.  Plus also do not rely on only 1 form of study resource, I would always recommend (and still do recommend) 2 or more resources per exam: for example a combination of books, CBT's, e-learning, courses, practice exams, on the job training, etc...

    Publishers of book that I would recommend would include: MSPress, Sybex, Syngress, Examcram...
    Practice Exams that I would recommend: Preplogic, Transcender, Measure-Up, Boson...
    CBT's that I would recommend: Learnkey, CBTNuggets, Trainsignal...
    Courses: If you already have experience and doing the job, maybe a bootcamp.  Otherwise a part-time one over the course of 4-8 weeks. 

    I would also recommend, the continue use of these forums, plus other forums like www.certforums.co.uk

    Also you may want to realise that in general the MCTS is aimed at professionals with approx 1 year working with the technology and the MCITP is aimed at professionals with approx 2 years actually doing the job already.

    MCTS: One or more years of experience implementing, troubleshooting, and debugging a specific technology, see here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcts.aspx

    MCITP: The Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) credential validates that an individual has the comprehensive set of skills necessary to perform a particular job role, see here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcitp.aspx
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Edited by KitKatNinja Friday, September 25, 2009 9:23 PM more info
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Thursday, January 7, 2010 5:02 PM
    Friday, September 25, 2009 9:19 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I've been asked by company to begin training as a database developer using MSSQL Server 2005. I've looked at a bunch of Microsoft courses that I think would help me build a good foundation, including: 2778, 2779, 2780, 2794, and 2795. I began studying with 2778 (Writing Queries Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Transact SQL), but I had problems with the course material (factual errors, broken code, showing concepts/code before explaining them much later in the course). Since that brought up a bunch of questions, I figured I would have better luck going to the classroom. I signed up for a 5-day instructor-led course. Unfortunately, the course had the same problems with the course material. The instructor admitted the problems, but couldn't really do much about it other than skip or acknowledge them. The other problem was that because the course covers so much material so quickly, you end up being rushed and there is little opportunity to really learn anything. We would rush through a module or two and then get to the lab, but nobody really learned/absorbed enough to really do anything but follow the answers at the back of the book. I think the only people that really got anything out of the course were the DBA guys that were just brushing up their skills.

    Anyway, has anyone else had problems with the training? Moreover, I would appreciate any suggestions as to how I can continue my training. After taking 2778, I have little faith in the rest of Microsoft's Learning track, but, OTOH I don't know where else to look.

    Thanks in advance.

    I use to teach MS courses and I can say that unless you actually do the job day in, day out and already working as a DBA then the 5 day bootcamp would not be for you.  If you're going for class based, then I would strongly recommend find a part-time course which would spread the 5 day intensive course over a period of 4-5 weeks (for example either 1 day a week or 2 evenings a week), this would give you the time to properly study the material.  Plus also do not rely on only 1 form of study resource, I would always recommend (and still do recommend) 2 or more resources per exam: for example a combination of books, CBT's, e-learning, courses, practice exams, on the job training, etc...

    Publishers of book that I would recommend would include: MSPress, Sybex, Syngress, Examcram...
    Practice Exams that I would recommend: Preplogic, Transcender, Measure-Up, Boson...
    CBT's that I would recommend: Learnkey, CBTNuggets, Trainsignal...
    Courses: If you already have experience and doing the job, maybe a bootcamp.  Otherwise a part-time one over the course of 4-8 weeks. 

    I would also recommend, the continue use of these forums, plus other forums like www.certforums.co.uk

    Also you may want to realise that in general the MCTS is aimed at professionals with approx 1 year working with the technology and the MCITP is aimed at professionals with approx 2 years actually doing the job already.

    MCTS: One or more years of experience implementing, troubleshooting, and debugging a specific technology, see here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcts.aspx

    MCITP: The Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) credential validates that an individual has the comprehensive set of skills necessary to perform a particular job role, see here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/mcitp.aspx
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    • Edited by KitKatNinja Friday, September 25, 2009 9:23 PM more info
    • Marked as answer by Rubel Khan Thursday, January 7, 2010 5:02 PM
    Friday, September 25, 2009 9:19 PM
  • Your response is encouraging and helpful, thank you. I would *love* to find a place that covered the course material in a less hurried, more thorough fashion. But where? The MS online courses aren't all that bad (because you can take your time), but all but one of them are not available (they are all classroom bootcamp-style training). Do you know where I can find online versions of the courses I want (or similar) and/or where I can find extended classroom training? If not, where would be a good place to look/ask (I'm in the northeast USA, btw)?

    FYI, I also want to reiterate that I'm not at all concerned about certification. I just need a working knowledge of these technologies (T-SQL, SSIS, MSAS/cube development) so that I'm comfortable with them. I don't need to be an expert, but I need a good foundation that I can build off of.
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 2:50 PM
  • Your response is encouraging and helpful, thank you. I would *love* to find a place that covered the course material in a less hurried, more thorough fashion. But where? The MS online courses aren't all that bad (because you can take your time), but all but one of them are not available (they are all classroom bootcamp-style training). Do you know where I can find online versions of the courses I want (or similar) and/or where I can find extended classroom training? If not, where would be a good place to look/ask (I'm in the northeast USA, btw)?

    FYI, I also want to reiterate that I'm not at all concerned about certification. I just need a working knowledge of these technologies (T-SQL, SSIS, MSAS/cube development) so that I'm comfortable with them. I don't need to be an expert, but I need a good foundation that I can build off of.

    I don't know your area, however over here in the UK alot of (but not all) colleges do evening classes, alot are MS academies so they use MS courseware taught by IT Pro's that are either working in IT during the day or ex-IT Pro's who now teach full time (but have experience with the technology).  

    So I would say first point of call, contact your local/surrounding colleges...

    Hope that's helpful :)
    -Ken | http://ken.wagnerfamily.co.uk
    Saturday, September 26, 2009 8:21 PM
  • In the UK, you can find some excellent SQL courses which are delivered as instructor-led, classroom based by Wise Owl Business Solutions.  They are Microsoft Partner and run most of their techy courses at their Manchester venue.  The courseware that is provided isn't the MS "official" courseware and doesn't have the problems described above - it's written in plain English and easy enough to understand that you can refer to it way beyond the course.  The Writing SQL entry-level course is 2 days and although it helps to have a background in Access or similar, it's not a prerequisite!  They also offer higher level training courses to follow on after this.  Might be worth a look?
    Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:22 AM