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Beginner Question - Where is the best place to start learning SQL? Difference between DBA and Developer?

    Question

  • Question says it all.  Thinking about changing gears in my profession possibly to something like SQL.  I'm not sure really where or in which direction to go.  Thoughts?  Thanks.
    Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:37 PM

Answers

  • Lots of folks are reconsidering their career path and knowing where to get started is tough. I, for one, read every magazine article I could get my hands on and started writing code when I switched from mainframe to personal computers (in the mid-70's). A lot has changed over the years and I've had to retool/retrain every couple of years as the technology evolved so its an ongoing process. That's what college or technical schools are all about (or should be)--how to learn how to learn. There are technical schools and some college courses but you really need to figure out what area on which you want to focus. Business apps development, games, finance, process-control and many others. However, most of these require "foundational" skills like programming. Get a book on Visual Basic (.NET) (because it's easier to learn) and start building applications. Focus on WPF as soon as you can (even though it's harder) because by the time you're up to speed it will be a useful skill. Windows Forms are also an easy way to get started. They're easy to learn but this technology won't be around in another 15 years (or less).

    So, the difference between a "DBA" (Database Administrator) and a "Developer" is ... well, the DBA is responsible for the integrity of the data. The developer's job is to create applicatons that access, update and expose the data. The DBA tries to stop unauthorized and damaging access and spends considerable time working with the developers to grant them limited access to limited parts of the data. In small organizations these roles are often handled by the same person.


    __________________________________________________________________
    William Vaughn
    Mentor, Consultant, Trainer, MVP
    http://betav.com
    http://betav.com/blog/billva
    http://www.hitchhikerguides.net

    “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition)”

    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:02 PM
  • Well, based on any number of informal metrics I think that developers (and DBAs) with Reporting Services skills are going to be (or are) in greater demand. I base this on the number of questions on Reporting Services and the growing number of students signing up for my RS webinars.

    Showing up at an interview with SQL skills, database design, database application front-end design, web-page design, IIS and SQL Server management skills can't hurt. Spend every waking hour adding to your skillset. Find a problem and write an application to solve it.

    IMHO, learning the latest technology is NOT essential but helpful. Consider that 99% of the sites out there have NOT implemented the latest technology but are struggling with older (as in 5 year-old or older) systems. Yes, some companies are trying to investigate newer solutions but these require quite a bit of learning to become competent. I would certainly make myself aware of the new technologies.

    hth


    __________________________________________________________________
    William Vaughn
    Mentor, Consultant, Trainer, MVP
    http://betav.com
    http://betav.com/blog/billva
    http://www.hitchhikerguides.net

    “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition)”

    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Friday, November 05, 2010 8:26 PM

All replies

  • Lots of folks are reconsidering their career path and knowing where to get started is tough. I, for one, read every magazine article I could get my hands on and started writing code when I switched from mainframe to personal computers (in the mid-70's). A lot has changed over the years and I've had to retool/retrain every couple of years as the technology evolved so its an ongoing process. That's what college or technical schools are all about (or should be)--how to learn how to learn. There are technical schools and some college courses but you really need to figure out what area on which you want to focus. Business apps development, games, finance, process-control and many others. However, most of these require "foundational" skills like programming. Get a book on Visual Basic (.NET) (because it's easier to learn) and start building applications. Focus on WPF as soon as you can (even though it's harder) because by the time you're up to speed it will be a useful skill. Windows Forms are also an easy way to get started. They're easy to learn but this technology won't be around in another 15 years (or less).

    So, the difference between a "DBA" (Database Administrator) and a "Developer" is ... well, the DBA is responsible for the integrity of the data. The developer's job is to create applicatons that access, update and expose the data. The DBA tries to stop unauthorized and damaging access and spends considerable time working with the developers to grant them limited access to limited parts of the data. In small organizations these roles are often handled by the same person.


    __________________________________________________________________
    William Vaughn
    Mentor, Consultant, Trainer, MVP
    http://betav.com
    http://betav.com/blog/billva
    http://www.hitchhikerguides.net

    “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition)”

    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:02 PM
  • In addition to MVP Vaughn excellent reply 

     

    >>Where is the best place to start learning SQL?

     

      Download SQL Server Express 2008 R2 (Free) and install in your System.

     

      SQL Server product manual is called “Books Online” and it provides a great help
      Link to  Download

     

    You can also find a set of videos that describe basic usage on official ASP.net site

    http://www.asp.net/sql-server/videos

     

    Again, these were generated for 2005, but they cover basic concepts of database functionality so they apply equally to 2008.

     

    There are also webcasts on MSDN related to SQL Server

    Just search for them there are hundreds of them

    Few of them that I adore are available at (look for primer for proper SQL server development)

    http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/Msdnsqlserver2005.aspx?tab=webcasts

     

     

     

    Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:31 PM
  • Just picked up SQL for Dummies 7th.  Seems like a good place to start.  I'm really kind of stuck at the moment.  My ideal job is Windows Admin but lately it seems those jobs are scarce and not very common so I'm looking for different directions to go with my career.  Do you guys notice anything that is up and coming in IT?  Not sure if this is the right forum for that but I figure why not ask.  Thanks.
    Friday, November 05, 2010 12:02 AM
  • Well, based on any number of informal metrics I think that developers (and DBAs) with Reporting Services skills are going to be (or are) in greater demand. I base this on the number of questions on Reporting Services and the growing number of students signing up for my RS webinars.

    Showing up at an interview with SQL skills, database design, database application front-end design, web-page design, IIS and SQL Server management skills can't hurt. Spend every waking hour adding to your skillset. Find a problem and write an application to solve it.

    IMHO, learning the latest technology is NOT essential but helpful. Consider that 99% of the sites out there have NOT implemented the latest technology but are struggling with older (as in 5 year-old or older) systems. Yes, some companies are trying to investigate newer solutions but these require quite a bit of learning to become competent. I would certainly make myself aware of the new technologies.

    hth


    __________________________________________________________________
    William Vaughn
    Mentor, Consultant, Trainer, MVP
    http://betav.com
    http://betav.com/blog/billva
    http://www.hitchhikerguides.net

    “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Studio and SQL Server (7th Edition)”

    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Friday, November 05, 2010 8:26 PM