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You’re reading this series of posts because you want to learn about databases and how to use them.

What you should not be doing is learning about databases and how to use them, while working inside a production environment.

Also called “prod”, because we’re lazy, this server (or servers) is not meant for testing things out. We should always make sure that when practising new bits of code, we do it in a development environment (“dev”). At least if we make a mistake (and mistakes happen a lot in this field), it won’t cause the main payroll system to crash.

The best way to set up a development server is to create a virtual machine where you can install anything you like, and if something goes wrong, you can delete and rebuild the virtual machine without causing monetary and/or data loss.

I’m not kidding. Go set up a virtual machine. If you don’t know how, then ask me and I’ll explain it (there’s a future blog post for setting up a virtual machine).

Get off production.

Author: randolph

Randolph West is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, and has worked with SQL Server since the late 1990s. When not consulting, he can be seen acting on the stage and screen, or doing voices for independent video games. Randolph is available for talks on SQL Server, and technology in general. He also offers training for junior DBAs. Connect with Randolph on Google+ or Twitter.