Training course rant & SQLSkills

The people over at are running a competition with two tickets up for grabs at some of their upcoming classes. For anyone who’s seen their PluralSight or MCM videos, or been lucky enough to see them at conferences, you know the kind of quality you can expect.

In the last month I’ve been on three training courses thanks to work’s “spend it or lose it” budget culture; Oracle 12c DBA Performance Tuning & Management, Updating Your Skills to SQL Server 2016 and Performance Tuning & Optimizing SQL Databases. It seems that training courses are like buses as it was my first official training in three years at the company.

While the “Updating Your Skills” course had a speaker who came across well, the other two made multiple mistakes; with the Oracle speaker going off-slide and saying something wrong about cursor_sharing while the SQL speaker failed to notice the slides had mixed up physical/logical I/O despite repeatedly saying aloud “logical I/O is on disk”. The fact that myself & former-colleagues were all contacted via LinkedIn recently asking if we’d like to teach an upcoming course seems to suggest most UK training providers are quite lax on who they get to teach.

The same is not true when receiving training from Oracle directly nor is it from the people at SQLSkills or BrentOzar. Unlike an unknown entity from other training providers there is buckets (not even limited to 200) of content available online that can make you feel at ease about receiving training from them; sometimes it’s worth paying a little more to ensure you don’t get someone just reading off a slide deck. When I watch MCM videos by Paul it makes me think of Joel Goodman at Oracle; both work(ed) for their respective database companies, both taught courses there, present around the world and seem to be walking, talking encyclopaedias of knowledge.

The Choice

Between the two courses on offer I’d rather attend IEPTO2, with Module 13 seeming like a highlight to me; there’s not enough walk-through troubleshooting conference talks in the UK in my opinion. If that meant I’d have to go back and attend Part 1 when they return to the UK then so be it.

The Easy Fix

My favourite issue that comes up at work is the maximum praise with minimal effort; a project manager is freaking out about an application suddenly performing badly, you update statistics and everything is OK again, then they repeatedly thank you not knowing you simply issued one command. Sadly this issue doesn’t occur in my current company & became less frequent at my old place after setting up Ola’s scripts.

Why Me

Frustrated with mixing up terminology/features between the two, in June I decided to coast with Oracle and instead embark upon a reading challenge to consume as much SQL Server content as possible, taking notes along the way to review at some point in the future. The next step beyond this is to take that knowledge and utilise it on the SQL Server Central forums to make up for the lack of activity in my current work place; ensuring my knowledge doesn’t fade with time while making it easier to move to a busier company in the future. I feel like IEPTO2 would be a good supplement with this next step…assuming my company will fly me to America to maintain that special relationship.

Now time for me to get back to Expert Scripting and Automation for SQL Server DBAs by Peter Carter.



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