SQLAuthority News – Excellent Learning Experience at SQLskills Immersion Events

As many of you know, I attended the Immersion Event at SQLskills learning center in early Feb. I consider myself a SQL professional, but there is no age limit for being a student. One can learn forever, there is always something new to pick up – particularly when you go to a SQLskills event. They are going to teach you something fantastic, something you didn’t know before. It is quite possible to know a lot about a concept, but when we learn about the right ways and wrong ways to do things, and see all the mistakes we made without knowing it, we will learn how to do our jobs better.

The quality of learning at a SQLskills event is amazing. The instructors for Immersion 1 were Paul and Kimberly, and for Immersion 2 there was Paul, Kimberly, Jonathan and Joseph. They take turns teaching, and at every interval there is a new instructor with a new style and new material. It is both stimulating and relaxing, because you are constantly learning, constantly challenged, and there is a new instructor always coming up next. You never get bored. It was also highly interactive with the audience as well.

At both Immersions, questions are encouraged, and the instructors are not shy about answering any and all questions. They encourage feedback and engage with the students. There is always plenty of time allowed for questions and answers, so the sessions are not rushed. The instructor comes at breakfast and stays the whole day, even through lunch. They make sure everyone has had a chance to ask questions and get answers, and they don’t leave the room until the job is done.

The attention to detail is amazing. Each session is right on time, nothing is delayed, nothing is late, there are frequent breaks and meals are right on time. You are totally immersed in learning. They even pay special attention to dietary restrictions. For example, I am a vegetarian and they always made sure I was provided with the correct meals and that those around me with other dietary requirements were also served probably. I was especially a big fan of the desserts, which were served every day at 4 o’clock. They were served closer to dinner time because lunches were so filling no one had room for desert! There were also plenty of drinks, munchies, and coffee available at all times, so that if your stomach growling was getting in the way of your learning, you didn’t have to worry, there was a snack available.

Immersion Event Completion Certification

The best part was that the instructors never tried to hide their information. Sometimes at training events the trainer is reluctant to share slides or give handouts. However, at SQLskills, every slide, demo and diagram were delivered to the students. Before you leave you are sent an email with all the details. I had a great time, those 15 days were tremendous. I will never forget them. If you love SQL you need to attend an event at least once – you can’t afford NOT to.

Additionally, if you are a Pluralsight subscriber, you can also watch the SQL courses authored by SQLskills trainers.

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

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SQL Authority News – Advanced T-SQL with Itzik Ben-Gan – Solid Quality Mentors

As mentioned earlier in a blog post SQL SERVER – Advanced T-SQL with Itzik Ben-Gan – A Dream Coming True, I got the wonderful opportunity to attend the course of Itzik Ben-Gan. Itzik is one of the true masters of SQL Server, and his fame had set my expectations quite high. The most interesting aspect is that I have taught a similar course in India several times, and I was quite familiar with all the slides and examples. As I already knew a lot about this course, I was wondering if I would be able to enjoy the class or learn something new. The reality is I learned alot of new things.

Overall, this class delivers quality training way more than what we expect. Learning the course from Itzik is a great experience. In the last five days, I have learned several new things. In fact, I felt that if I attend the class again, I can for surely learn more. Itzik suggested so many useful tips, which really impressed me.

Let me list a few of those tips here:

  • When TOP is used along with 100% and ORDER BY clause in table expressions (view, CTE), the ORDER BY clause is ignored.
  • For only two tables, both JOIN and SubQuery can be the optimal solution.
  • You can use TOP to gradually delete a table with millions of rows.
  • Understanding the instances when Index Scan is faster to retrieve data than Index Seek.
  • Power up analysis of data without using analysis service and grouping set features.
  • Trivial plan does not look for index selectivity.

This class was on Advanced T-SQL Server 2008, and it was faithful to the concept. Itzik has a very interesting way of delivering the sessions. His course and sessions are perfectly managed, and the learning topics are very well paced. All the sessions are perfectly timed and very interesting. All the sessions are followed up with exercise and lab. Itzik takes a good amount of time to explain the Hands on lab, which is very helpful.

There are 10 different advance T-SQL sessions, and they are covered very well. I enjoyed each session and learned a lot of new concepts. Few things are difficult to put in writing, and Itzik has effectively discussed many concepts like that.

To top these, all the attendees were given two different books written by Itzik for FREE!

I think this five-day training was one of the best training sessions I have ever had in this subject. A large number of concepts were covered in this training. If I get a chance to attend this course again, I will surely not miss it as I do not want to let go of the opportunity to learn from Itzik at any cost.

I express my special thanks to Itzik Ben-Gan for accepting my registration at the last moment even though the seats were full, as well as to Rushabh Mehta for making this happen for me.

During the class, Itzik invited me for dinner to Maggiano, an excellent place for Italian cuisines. Two other excellent Solid Quality Mentors also joined us for dinner – Greg Low and Peter Myers. I was extremely delighted to have these top-notch industry experts around me talking SQL. I consider myself fortunate to have dinner with them and to have spent Solid Quality time with them.

If you are in waiting list for the course and want to get into the class earlier than your schedule, please feel free to email me and I will help you as much as I can.

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

SQLAuthority News – Business Intelligence Training Roadshow August September 2009

UPDATE : This is FREE training.

I quite often receive request from readers and expert from all over the world if I do any training for SQL Server. Currently I am on Tour of 8 different stats of India and will be training on Business Intelligence Boot Camp.

Here is quick image of the topics, which I am going to cover this boot camp.

Currently, I am schedule to deliver the same course in many of the cities as described below.

Let me know if you are interested in doing similar session at your city or organization and we can arrange one based on my upcoming schedule.

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