Where To From Fundamentals?

The Database Fundamentals series is now done. We started with understanding what a database is, and then spent a little time understanding how databases store text, known as collation.

The next step was understanding data types in general, and how SQL Server stores them. After that was understanding normalization, with a focus on only having one version of the truth. There was a lot to process, so we went into a little more detail about normalization and foreign key relationships.

Halfway through the series, someone told me they didn’t actually understand what a byte was, so I went into some detail about bits and bytes.

To wrap up the series, we looked at querying a database. The basic methods to query are SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE.

Where to next?

With our very basic understanding of how databases work from a theoretical level, we might want to jump right into the official Microsoft documentation, SQL Server Books Online. Unfortunately, it would take us so long to read it, the next three versions of the product would have been released. However, there are some good places to jump in:

SQL101

But let’s set our sights on a smaller step up into this wonderful world of databases and check out the ongoing series from SQLskills.com, called SQL101. You can jump into each of the blogs independently:

I also strongly recommend following their Accidental DBA series, which is a list of 30 posts covering the most likely issues facing a new or accidental database administrator.

Other Websites
Social Media

There is a strong Twitter presence of SQL Server experts and community members, and, provided your question is concise, you can post a question on Twitter with the #sqlhelp tag, and it will be answered fairly quickly.

You must be concise with your question (due to the limits of Twitter), while including as much information as you can.

Training
Conferences

SQLSaturday was created by PASS, the organisation with which most SQL Server community members are associated (including me). PASS used to stand for the Professional Association for SQL Server, but it does so much more now (SQL Server, Azure, Business Intelligence, and so on). The PASS Summit is a three-day conference held every year in October / November, in Seattle, Washington.

Before then, though, if you are able to travel to Norfolk in Virginia, the Compañero Conference is happening on 4–5 October 2017, specifically designed for Accidental, Lone or Junior DBAs. It’s a gentle introduction to what’s out there. I will of course be presenting a session there.

Contact Me

Finally, you can always chat to me directly. I spend a lot of time on Twitter, under the name @BornSQL, and my direct messages are open for any questions you might have about SQL Server or being a data professional.

Image credit: Aaron Burden

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.