Whether you are a SQL Microsoft Certified Master (welcome to the club!) or simply just want to learn more and improve your technical skills for free, please find lots of useful resources all in one place. If you have any other great references then send them my way and I’ll add them to the lists so we can spread the love.
I have collected links to many of these resources over time and hopefully now I have put them all in one location it will encourage not only myself but the community at large to realize the huge amount of free material available to us.
So enjoy and get stuck in…
On these pages you will find:
- Video – There is nothing like a video to demonstrate a point to perfection. Why? …because you can play it over and over again until you understand and there are some excellent free videos to be had.
- Audio – Driving to work or sitting on the metro, why not listen to some excellent podcasts.
- Articles – Lots of useful White Papers and documents for hours of bedside reading.
You may also find my following two blog posts useful:
Nothing beats a good video for some real in depth training sessions. There are some absolute gems here, so get stuck in.
*New* IBM Storage Innovation Summit 2011 – Unrated. TBA – Several interesting sessions from one of the leading storage vendors.
*New* Windows AzureConf 2013 – Unrated. TBA – These sessions were recommended by none other that the fabulous Buck Woody (twitter|blog). Anything cloud is right up my street, so I look forward to working my way through them.
*New* Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster Sessions at TechEd – Unrated. TBA – Whilst these sessions are available via the TechEd Online link, I thought I’d share this easy to use post which compiles a list of the Windows 2012 Failover Clustering sessions at TechEd 2012 NA together. So clustering fans, don’t delay and check them out now :).
*New* Pragmaticworks Past Webinars – Unrated. TBA – I cant say much about these yet since I have not had the chance to listen, but I’ll be back in a day or so to give you the low down!
*New* Six Weeks of Windows Azure Sessions - Unrated. TBA – So when “Six Weeks” was first announced, I immediately jumped onto it and registered excited at the prospect of (surprisingly :)) six weeks of Azure training. Unfortunately the IT gremlins got in the way and I never seemed to receive my enrolment or notification that this event ever actually happened. Thankfully I have put on my Indiana Jones hat and uncovered the Lost Ark of Windows Azure Training. I’m currently working my way through the recordings so this training is (as yet) unrated.
*New* SQL Server Quickies – – Ever fancied a quickie? Yep me too -and what is more you can have one with my good friend Klaus Aschenbrenner. Klaus has started releasing informal videos on complex topics explained in a very digestible format for your enjoyment. I encourage you to drop by and try not to snigger as Klaus rather mischievously says the word “quickie” in classic Benny Hill style.
SQLRally Nordic – – It is not often that I miss a SQL event these days, and it was a real disappointment to me that I couldn’t make SQLRally Nordic. The good news is that thankfully (unlike Orlando) everything was recorded! Yay! Enjoy.
Microsoft Virtual Academy – Unrated. TBA – I’ve not tried this yet, but it looks like it is going to be a real corker. Time to add to my to do list…
Technet Edge – A replacement for MSDN TV perhaps? Well I personally think this could be even better with not just Videos but Screencast, Podcasts and articles provided. Excellent!
SQL Server 2012 Developer Training Kit Web Installer – Fancy some rather awesome free SQL Server content and training materials? This download is very impressive as long as you have installed the prerequisite software. Don’t delay and download now.
SQL Server 2012 Virtual Labs – Have you got a Web Browser but not much else? No problem, Microsoft have provided a cost free way for you to learn this amazing product for SQL 2012!
SQL Server 2008R2 Virtual Labs – Have you got a Web Browser but not much else? No problem, Microsoft have provided a cost free way for you to learn this amazing product for SQL 2008R2!
SQL Server 2008 Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) Readiness Videos -No training list would be complete without Paul, Kimberly and Brent’s contribution to SQL Server MCM training. If you are looking to pass this prestigious certification, these are a must. If you want to download these videos from one convenient place then thankfully there is an RSS feed which can be accessed from here.
Microsoft Tech·Ed Online – is an excellent video library featuring lots of training videos from a wide range of Microsoft centric subjects such as Hyper-V, Azure and SQL Server.
TED: Ideas worth spreading – TED is a fantastic non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas around the world. Subjects are varied and challenging from visual presentation of data to the linguistic genius of babies. Simply brilliant.
PDC – For those that don’t know, the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference is the epicenter of Microsoft’s biggest platform announcements where leading-edge developers and architects gather to hear first-hand from Microsoft’s leaders about the next generation of Microsoft developer technologies. To put it into perspective …..Anders Hejlsberg is speaking here people!!!
MSDN TV -Running for 3 years, MSDN TV was an excellent show. Made to look very much like a chat show, guests then demonstrated products and features. The archives are all hosted on MSDN.
Victor Gaudioso’s Silverlight Video Tutorials – If you want to learn Silverlight, then MVP Victor Gaudioso has recorded some excellent training videos.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Develop strong database applications – People you ARE GOING TO THANK ME FOR THIS! This root page gives you access to some fantastic Microsoft Webcasts, Videos, Virtual Labs and Podcasts. Truly awesome.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Access Your Data Any Place, Any Time – Just like the last url these videos are related to a certain categorisation. I’ve not quite figured out how many of these there are or indeed where the root page is, but for now until I do, access the videos from these urls.
24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview Session Recordings – So did you go to PASS Summit 2010? No? Bought the recordings? No? Oh well at least you have access to many preview session recordings.
Microsoft tech days – Another great annual event and some more excellent presentations. From SQL Server to .NET there is some good stuff here.
Channel 9 – Yet another excellent offering from Microsoft. This time these sessions are a little bit more raw, rugged and real. More Blair Witch than Blade Runner in terms of filming style, but very much the latter in terms of quality. Channel 9 you rock!
SQLBits – You know not all the action happens in the States! Over here in the U.K. we have a Bi-Yearly conference called SQLBits, and the greatest thing about SQLBits? It’s the free conference videos. They are also excellently produced, good technical resources by leading experts in their field and community specialists and are FREE and NUMEROUS. Another fabulous video learning resource.
Five Classic Videos Every DBA Should Watch – If Brent Ozar is telling you that you should watch five videos, then YOU SHOULD watch these five videos. The only reason for the three stars is the fact that most if not all can be obtained elsewhere and that there are only five listed, but hey that was the title of the post right?! However a definite five starts for quality!
Technet Library SQL Videos – Most of these videos are short in length, usually around 10-30 minutes but are very well done and straight to the point. The majority of videos are Business Intelligence based although hopefully more will be added over time.
SQL Workshops Webcasts – Not a huge amount of videos available here, but what is there, is good.
PowerPivot Videos – Many videos from the boys in blue relating to their “client side” BI magic.
Articles and White Papers
White papers, ebooks, posters, technical documents and important posts -yes folks we are listing it all. Fancy some bedtime reading? Well check the resources below and download at your leisure.
*New* An Economist’s Guide to Visualizing Data If Visualisation is your thing, then why not check out this rather useful and interesting booklet with some rather fascinating Charts and Graphs/span>
*New* SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit Sample Databases Fancy getting hold of a few new Sample databases for your SQL Server 2014 instances? Better still, fancy getting hold of databases that showcase some of the new features of 2014? Thanks to Microsoft you can download these Training Kit Sample Databases for exactly that!
*New* E-book version of Scott Guthrie’s “Building Real-World Cloud Apps with Windows Azure” Yes the man needs no introduction and he gives you a very useful free 227 page booklet on Cloud Apps. Thanks Scott!
White Paper Gallery for SQL Server – What is better than a free list of stuff? How about a list within a list? Yes people this is a rather awesome compilation of excellent free Microsoft related training documentation. Simply brilliant!
Windows Azure Training Kit October 2012 Release – Courtesy of that fabulous chap Mr. Buck Woody, this link comes the October release of the Azure Training kit. A must have download in my opinion! Thanks Buck.
Pragmatic Business Intelligence Cheat Sheets – Those very kind chaps at Pragmatic Works have published several very useful BI focused cheat sheets available to make your life easier when writing SSIS and SSRS expressions and even have one for MDX! Very useful so thanks guys!
E-Book Gallery for Microsoft Technologies – Well Microsoft have posted various MS Press books for free. There are some nice ones there so check them out! (not all SQL though).
List of Free PowerShell eBooks - I unfortunately can’t remember who attracted my attention to this one (sorry whoever it was!), but this list is an excellent link to some brilliant PowerShell books …for free! Thanks to Jason Hofferle for compiling this.
SQL Server Stairways – It’s new to the web but it already is starting to look great and its run by Kalen Delaney!
SQL Server Central Books – Lots of excellent free books, that means hours and hours of free reading on your ereader. Awesome!
Brad McGehee Presentation Slide decks – Brad McGehee is kind enough to share with us his multitude of presentation slides and boy he’s done a lot!
Technet Magazine Digital Downloads – Technet Magazine has been going nearly as long as I’ve been using computers …well not quite but a long time, and the best thing is that the magazine’s production values are excellent.
SQLCAT Best Practices White Papers – The guys that work for SQLCAT are the best in the business. In fact doesn’t everyone want to work for SQLCAT? Well the next best thing is to read all their amazing White Papers.
Microsoft SQL White Papers – Well if the SQLCAT stuff wasn’t enough, the “ordinary folk” at Microsoft want to show you what they are made of -and yes I like the look of it.
Microsoft Community SQL Articles – So we also have White Papers written for Microsoft by external Technical Specialists, and therefore this gives us all the quality of the Microsoft White Papers but with a more independent viewpoint.
SQLCAT Articles – They are not quite finished. If the White Papers weren’t enough for you those guys at SQLCAT have even more articles for you to peruse.
Podcasts or Live streaming audio clips and other lovely non visual training materials. Great for your iPod or Music player while you are on the move… If I have it, I’ll put it here
.NET Rocks – When this show first started it changed my approach to learning using their weekly podcasts. Focused primarily around (but not limited to) Microsoft based technologies listen to the two heavy weights of audio technology broadcasting (Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell)
RunAs Radio – Does that man ever sleep? Its Richard Franklin again this time hosting this pod-casting show with Greg Hughes covering diverse Microsoft related technical subjects such as Virtualization to Group Policy.
SQL Down Under – Its the Aussie DBA …Greg Low and his fabulous podcast show featuring some great speakers from the world of MVP.
Polymorphic Podcast – Unrated. TBA.
SQL Summit – Unrated. TBA.
Deep Fried Bytes – Unrated. TBA.
Code Cast – Unrated. TBA.