SQL Server is a massive product so the learning curve will be steep and a life long process to stay current. To tackle my initial goal of passing the MS exams I will need to first decide how best to proceed to get a good foundation and minimize at least becoming quagmired in all the available SQL Server information.
One initial area of confusion was the Microsoft Learning site. There are 2 different “MyLearning” areas one here and the other under the MS Virtual Academy-MyDashboard. They both help with organizing your resources needed for a course, exam, subject area. Though the MVA courses are more focused on the newest features in the latest (SQL 2014) version.
Having viewed an on going survey showing that 80% of SQL shops still have SQL Server 2008 in production I am surprised MS is retiring 2 SQL Server 2008 exams at the end of July this year. I was thinking this was the version to focus on. I may still try to at least get the MCITP: DBA cert and time permitting the MCITP: DB Developer one for 2008.
A few of the first things that come to mind are 1) in order to blog this journey I will be updating my html skills for improved text formatting. The default text formatting here on WordPress is bloated and the uploaded Word documents are coming out mangled. Since XML documents can be stored in SQL and perhaps read(?) by SQL it may come in handy down the road. 2) I will need to brush up on the SQL syntax & commands 3) become familiar with using the SSMS 4) map out then perform a divide and conquer on the SQL components 5) design a database environment to use while learning SQL Server. As well as using the AdventureWorks or NorthWind databases. Current ideas are to monitor and build a list similar to the IBD stock components based on a few different criteria, along with storing TickerMonkey chat logs in order to do full text searches. 6) identifying the relevant resources materials for where I am at in this process.
One place I will be looking at is the blog “How To Learn SQL Server Online”