SQL SERVER – How do I Learn and How do I Teach

This blog post is written in response to T-SQL Tuesday hosted by Robert L Davis (aka SQLSoldier).

The blog post has raised three very interesting questions. How do you learn? How do you teach? What are you learning or teaching? Let me try to answer the same.

How do I learn?

This question is very interesting. I have written a blog post on the very same subject few days ago when I completed my 1400th blog post. Learning is a continuous process and it never ends. There are many different ways through which one can learn. Looking back, when I was a kid, I used to rely on my teachers and books to learn new things. I believed my teachers blindly and always visualized them as god. I even had a hard time accepting that they are just humans like us and also can make mistakes. I was really impressed with my Chemistry teacher in grade 12. His love for subject always fascinated me. He had a unique way of teaching the subject, and it worked like magic on us. Before this, Chemistry was not my subject and I never enjoyed learning the subject. However, after learning from my teacher, I received 94 out of 100 points in my final exam. The teaching method of my teacher was very engaging. The real reason I loved the subject was indeed his style of teaching, where he started the subject from the basics and explained it and then took it to the advanced level with ease. Every small detail was explained the first time, which helped each of us in understanding the advanced part very well. Today, I use the same method to teach others.

How do I teach?

I had tremendous learning experience from my Chemistry teacher. I have now adopted his style. I believe in getting the basics right at first, i.e., one has to thoroughly learn the basics first. I teach everybody the basics before I go into the advanced topics. Quite often I get students or attendees who claim that they know basics. I have created a small test for the same. When someone says that they know the basics, I give them the test. If they pass the test, I accept that they know the basics and I continue teaching on advanced topics. When I receive such students, I enjoy teaching more as they have solid fundamentals. If they fail, they accept that they need to know the basics before they continue on the advanced stuff. Using this method, I manage to avoid argument with the attendees and hence give them a better learning experience.

What am I learning or teaching?

I am a professional SQL Server Trainer; I also do consultation in the area of the Performance Tuning and Query Optimizations. I do teach many different courses, but the one which I enjoy the most is Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008 Query Optimization and & Performance Tuning. In this course, I go over various aspect of performance tuning tricks. Performance is a very subjective term and one has to understand all the sides of it. I enjoy surprising people with different demos and examples, which I have built from my experience of working in real life.

Thanks Robert for picking such a wonderful subject for all of us!

Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)

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12 thoughts on “SQL SERVER – How do I Learn and How do I Teach

  1. Hi Pinal,
    I have been following your blog for quite few months now.I use SQL server 2005 for performing job related duties every day.I read your blog on your method to teach .I was just wondering if you could email me your test that you give out your students to acess their basic fundamentals.I would like to give this test and would like to know where I stand.
    Many thanks,
    Ameet Bhat.

  2. Hello Pinal,

    I would also request you to send a copy to me, or if you upload that questionare, it would be easy for every one to download.

    Thanks
    Imran.

  3. Hi Pina,

    I like to take the test, can you email or upload as Imran suggested, it would be easier for us to download it

    Thanks

    Vijay Anand Kannan

  4. Agree with the fact that a good foundation of concepts is a must. When the audience has a goog grasp of the basics the class becomes more engaging. Could you send a sample of questions asked in the test to gauge the level of understanding the fundamentals.

  5. I too would like a copy of your test. I would enjoy taking the test to better understand what I know as a Jr. DBA and what I do not know. This information is vital to focusing on the areas I need to improve upon. Thank you.

    James Traub

  6. I am getting error while using Alter table with after command to create a new column after a existing column.

  7. Hi Pinal, thanks for the excellent quality of your blogs. With regards to ‘How do I learn….’ article, could you please write about ‘Sql Basics’ ?

    I am sure a lot of readers would appreciate that & learn from it & ask better questions.

  8. Pingback: SQL SERVER – Weekly Series – Memory Lane – #037 | Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

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