One DBA's Ongoing Search for Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere


Yet Another Andy Writing About SQL Server

Thursday, November 12, 2015

SQL Server Training

Brent Ozar’s group ( just announced a pretty crazy set of “Black Friday” deals:

Insane sales if you can be one of the first few at midnight, but discounts all day on various training.


The other top training in the field (to me) is from Kimberly Tripp & Paul Randal (& company) at SQLskills (  

UPDATE - I originally said SQLskills wasn't offering discounts right now but their CEO Paul Randal corrected me:

Actually we do have discounts right now - up to $200 off every 2016 class if you register before 2016. Thanks

Sorry Paul :)

Make sure to include this as well:


None of the above training is cheap, but it is pretty much the only in-person training classes (as opposed to conferences) I would consider spending money on for SQL Server.  In-person class from Microsoft and smaller providers have never provided me with much value and even less so as a Senior DBA


The conference options are the PASS Summit ( - what I attended last week) and SQL Intersection (formerly Connections - ) which is usually held in Vegas around this time of year.  The Summit is put on by the non-profit PASS (formerly the Professional Association for SQL Server) and Intersection is put on by a for-profit group that runs a variety of Intersection conferences (Dev, SharePoint, etc.).

I haven’t been to Intersection so I can’t objectively compare one to the other, but the Summit definitely gets a broader array of speakers and content, while Intersection is curated to a specifically narrow group of speakers, always of the MVP/MCM level.


I would be remiss to omit PASS SQLSaturdays - this is free training by the same speaker that present at PASS Summit and the other conferences. (Disclaimer - there is often a small fee for lunch.)  There are one or two day SQLSaturdays all over the world, often more than one event per week!  Check out the list at: 


I always feel I learn more in person, but failing that, here are some other options:

For Purchase:

Pluralsight – for a monthly membership fee you get access to all of the recorded courses Pluralsight has online, and it is quite a large library – the SQL Server courses are by a wide array of individuals but many of them are from the folks at SQLskills (see above).


PASS Virtual Chapters – there are currently 27 virtual chapters that provided monthly or semi-monthly free webcasts on a variety of topics -

Vendors – the major vendors each provide some variant of regular free webcasts – some of it is marketing for their products (obviously) but there is often good content along with it – sometimes you do have to register, but at the end of the day if you have ever done anything online as a SQL Server person odds are these companies already have your info:

SQLbits – the major European SQL Server conference is SQLbits, often held in the UK.  One of the plusses to SQLbits over the PASS Summit is that the post most if not all of their recorded sessions online for free!


Of course these are just training content in the form of presentations, etc.  There are always blogs (and they are just as important – content produced every day from SQL Server Pros all over the world). 

Start with Tom LaRock’s (SQLRockstar) list here: but make sure you read Tom too

If you are looking for more, SQL Server Central (owned by Redgate) publishes a strong list at


I apologize to anyone I omitted and all opinions are my own as to who provides top content in their arenas - thanks!


  1. Actually we do have discounts right now - up to $200 off every 2016 class if you register before 2016. Thanks