Whether you are a ‘Master’ or simply just want to learn more and improve your technical skills for FREE, please find lots of useful resources all in one place. Many resources are SQL Server or Microsoft focused, but I include many that are not -so there is something there for everybody.
If you have any other great references, please send them my way and I’ll add them to the lists so we can spread the love together.
The History of the Ultimate Training Resources Page
Over time I have collected many links to free resources dating as far back as 2001 in some cases and I eventually decided that the best place for them was a shared location for the community! After eventually creating my blog in 2009 I eventually moved them here and now I regularly publish them every two to four weeks to this one location so that I not only benefit myself, but help the community at large to realize the huge amount of free material available to us.
Let’s learn, share and grow together! 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.
Tips and tricks
If you want to listen to the Videos whilst driving, then why not consider ripping the audio from those files. To achieve this, you may find my following two blog posts useful:
What is new
New resources for this latest update include:
Nothing beats a good video for some real in depth training sessions. There are some absolute gems here, so get stuck in.
2015.04.09 ***NEW*** Ignite Conference – – One of the first announcements to be released after the appointment of Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella was the news that Microsoft would host a new premier Conference called Ignite. Rumoured to be a replacement to TechEd, Ignite has just successfully ended (held this year in Chicago) and I am pleased to report that many of its session have already gone live. Ignite made many ground breaking announcements regarding the future of Microsoft Technologies and Products and these sessions are a must watch!
2015.04.09 ***NEW*** STL Tech Talk – CodecastSTL – – Beginning in 2014 and hosted by JJ Hammond & Gus Emery, CodecastSTL is already (at the time of writing) broadcasting it’s 42nd edition! The style of the show is very much in the form of a Video-Cast session (infact they also publish as audio podcast format too) and they publish approximately two or three shows a month. The content is centred around development topics although they subject matter is quite broad and can range from C#, SQL Server or even Cloud Platform. The material is very accessible and light-weight, so this is ideal even for Novices and the curious!
2015.03.30 Excel.TV – – I remember the days when you could run through a Step-By-Step book on Excel and pretty much know every single feature available, but times have certainly changed and Excel has become the focus of self-service BI. Excel.TV is an interesting channel dedicated entirely to MS Excel centric topics and the style of delivery is a nice balance between technical content and relaxed atmosphere. My only real gripes are that sometimes I think the shows are more labored than is necessary (i.e. talking for the sake of talking) and I’d like the audio and video to be crisper in quality. Other than that, an excellent addition to the Training Resources Page!
2015.03.27 PASS SQLRally Nordic 2015 – – SQLRally Nordic 2015 was the biggest so far at 600 attendees, with some high quality content and held in Copenhagen.
2015.01.05 PowerShell Magazine YouTube Channel – – The first new link of 2015, here we have another YouTube Channel dedicated specifically to PowerShell. Anything with Jeff Snover and Ed Wilson in it has to be great, however the Channel does not seem to have been updated for a long time.
2014.12.08 PASS Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter – – For those of you who are not familiar with PASS Virtual Chapters then you should hang your heads in shame. PASS VCs provide regular monthly online meetups where you can receive expert training on pretty much any SQL Server related (and some non-related) subjects completely for free. Here we have the excellent PASS Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Virtual Chapter YouTube Channel so you can watch over 40 hours (and counting) of sessions so far.
2014.12.03 Idera Resource Central – – Those kind guys in Orange have put together a nice portal page so you can get to all their Webcasts, product videos, scripts and other goodies.
2014.12.03 Quest On-Demand Experts’ Perspective Webcasts – – Quest (now DELL) have been kind enough to go through all their old material and pull their webcasts together onto a single page. Thanks guys.
2014.12.02 PuppetConf 2014 – Unrated. TBA – If you are interested in Development, Automation or Testing, then there is a good chance you have heard of Puppet. Either way, you should take a look at the latest videos available from PuppetLabs’ PuppetConf 2014 – videos are free but registration is required.
2014.12.02 Gigaom Structure Data Conference – Unrated. TBA – The Gigaom Structure Data Conference is dedicated entirely to Big Data. Taken at this years conference held in New York, we have a large range of interviews and presentations available for all you Big Data junkies!
2014.12.02 Xamarin Evolve Conference – Unrated. TBA – Xamarin is a company that provides a cross platform for .NET development and was founded by the great Miguel de Icaza. Here we have the videos from the Xamarin Evolve (currently) 2014 Conference, and featuring luminaries such as Jon Skeet. Check them out.
2014.06.30 24 Hours of PASS: SQL Server 2014 Launch Edition – – This 24HOP would probably be better known as “Controversial Edition” due to a minority of the SQL Community unhappy that this unique edition of 24HOP was given entirely by Microsoft speakers. However that very fact didn’t negate the quality of the sessions and lets not forget the money raised for community projects by putting it on. Whilst I look forward to the Summit 2014 24HOP preview, for now fill your 24HOP boots on this!
2014.06.30 InfoQ Conferences – – InfoQ statement of intent is that they are “Facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in professional software development” and the collection of training videos they host is quite special. Yes you are right, these are not really anything to do with SQL Server per-se but nether-the-less if you work in SQL Server or .NET Development you will no doubt be very interested in this excellent collection of materials, I know I am.
2014.05.12 Brent Ozar Unlimited Video Archive – – There is no doubting the popularity of the Brent Ozar brand. Brent’s adage is that in order to build your brand “you must give stuff away”. Well, Brent Ozar Unlimited have put their money where there mouth is and provided you with a huge collection of Videos, some from during Brent’s time at Quest and some that are brand spanking new and presented by several other Brent Ozar Unlimited team members. The thing that they all have in common is that they provide an excellent resource for new and experienced DBAs. Thanks guys! Please see also the Articles and White Papers section for more from Brent & Co.
2014.04.16 2006 PASS Community Summit Microsoft SQL Server Users Conference & Expo – – This one makes me chuckle at little. I was digging around my old archives a little further and what did I come across? All the training videos for the SQLPASS 2006 Summit is what! All 3 days for free, so go on, blow the dust off ’em and give them a whirl!
2014.04.16 BUILD Conference – – Yet another Channel 9 production, BUILD is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of the Windows Platform. So far we have 4 years of BUILD conference sessions free for your viewing!!!
2014.04.16 SQLRally 2013 Nordic & SQLRally 2012 Nordic – – So I was searching through my links the other day and stumbled on the most recent SQLRally Nordic sessions and realised I’d only published the recordings from 2011 (see below). Time to rectify that mistake with these!
2014.04.15 PASS 2013 Business Analytics Conference Top 5 sessions – – Here’s a few more free videos from those boys and girls at PASS, and this time from the PASSBac 2013 conference. Provided free of charge are the top 5 rated sessions from that event, so what are you waiting for -go and put on your BI hat today!
2014.04.01 TechEd Conference Sessions – – Strictly speaking, the TechEd Conference Sessions are part of Channel 9 which can be found further down in this list, however TechEd is freakin’ awesome and you have an incredible library of sessions stretching back (in many cases) to 2008 from events around the World!
2014.03.31 PASStv 2013 On-Demand Replay – – For those of you who couldn’t attend the PASS 2013 Summit in Charlotte, there was always the excellent PASStv to watch during the day which featured live presentations at the Summit and Community interviews. If you watch closely you will even see a quick 1 minute interview with yours truly :). Check these out for an excellent 3 days of action.
2014.03.28 Best of PASS Summit 2010 Session Recordings – – As someone who was lucky enough to attend the PASS Summit in 2010, and watched some of these sessions live, I can tell you that you are in for a treat. Sit back, engage and enjoy!
IBM Storage Innovation Summit 2011 – Unrated. TBA – Several interesting sessions from one of the leading storage vendors.
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.
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 :).
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!
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.
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! (2014.04.16 Update: It looks like the Edge is being incorporated into Channel 9, so if you have any trouble accessing it, try clicking here)
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.
2014.12.03 W3Schools – – These pages would probably not be complete without the inclusion of W3Schools. W3Schools is a comprehensive resource of instructional material not just on SQL but on a whole range of technologies and topics, and has been around for nearly as long as I can remember. The beauty of it is that the instructional material assumes almost zero knowledge of the subject area and keeps everything simple and to the point.
2014.12.03 Microsoft PowerShell Script Center – – This is an excellent portal provided by Microsoft to a whole selection of books, scripts and even videos.
2014.07.28 Windows PowerShell tips from the field – Free PowerShell eBooks and PowerShell.org – Free PowerShell eBooks on oneDrive – – We have already featured a great link to many PowerShell Books courtesy of Jason Hofferle, and now he has come up trumps again by providing a two more awesome links to even more free goodies – in particular a huge collection on a oneDrive folder!!! Thanks again sir!
2014.07.24 Charles Petzold Books – – If you are a developer then the name Charles Petzold will be no stranger to you. Author of many many development books on the Microsoft platform for as many years as you have been working with Computers, Charles is probably best known for his “Programming Windows” editions. Found here are the listing of his books, of which a selection are made available to you for free.
2014.06.23 Pro Git EBook- APress – – Ok so not strictly anything to do with SQL Server, but sooner or later you are going to be exposed to source control, and what better than the popular Git? Hosted here on the Git pages, totally free of charge (and legal), is the online edition of the book.
2014.06.03 Microsoft Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides – – Over 90 documents and reference guides for the Microsoft OS and Software stack. This material is perfect for any budding Systems Architects or Product specialists, so why don’t you go and check these beauties out!
2014.05.12 Brent Ozar Unlimited Free SQL Server Books, SQL Server Posters and SQL Server and Cloud White Papers – – Three links for the price of one, Brent Ozar Unlimited have provided a really nice and colourful (thanks to some nice illustrations by Kendra Little) set of resources making complicated topics very easy to digest. Hopefully as more are added, Brent Ozar Limited will add more guides for the advanced SQL Professional (thereby earning an extra star!). Please see also the video section for more offerings from Brent & Co.
2014.04.15 Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture Poster and Hyper-V Mini-Posters – – If you are into Virtualization and Cloud, then those lovely people at Microsoft have provided a nice array of colourful posters on Hyper-V related topics that you will not only find concise and to the point, but very pretty to look at. Download today!
2014.04.08 Microsoft® SQL Server® 2014 Product Guide – A small selection of SQL Server 2014 White Papers and Slide Decks. If you haven’t seen these yet then they are worth a look. Some are obviously marketing and others more useful
2014.04.04 Windows Azure Infographics – Ok I’ll be honest. I’m an absolute sucker for fancy graphics and I just love the simplicity of these Infographic posters. You will even see some pixel art in some of them, so this is nearly as good as it gets! Granted you are not going to learn a whole bunch of spades form these things, but they will give you a great overview of the technologies discussed. Another shout out to Buck Woody (twitter|blog) for publicising these and someone who is becoming a regular mention on these pages!
2014.04.01 Windows Azure Mini Case Studies – It is true that all of these case study documents are infact really marketing posters for the Azure Platform, however there is no doubting that there are a few very useful snippets in there for consultants like me. Well worth a look.
2014.03.28 The Data Science Laboratory Series – From “The Man” himself, Buck Woody has written a fascinating series of articles on essential Data Science topics. Do you know when to use Cygwin or what a Graph Database is? Check them out.
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>
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!
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 :)
2014.08.20 Sofware Engineering Radio – Unrated. TBA. – I’m ashamed to say that this podcast station has passed me by but it has been going for a very long time. It looks awesome, but I shall rate it when I get the chance…
2014.08.20 SQLServer Radio – – Well I’m really excited to add the first new link for an audio based training resource for many years. SQLServer Radio is relatively new and at the time of writing has published its second episode. It is the brain-child of Matan Yungman and Guy Glantser who currently both work for Madeira SQL Server Services based in Europe. Their “Israeli Twang” is nice to listen to, and strangely makes the experience more personal. So what of the content? Basically, through the shows, Matan and Guy spend the majority of their time discussing their own experiences with SQL Server, whether it be problems they have encountered, conferences they have recently attended or even Blogs they have read. Great stuff so far and I am very much looking forward to further shows, keep it up guys! And finally, I’d like to give a shout out to Brent Ozar for bringing this podcast to my attention.
.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 enjoyable podcast show featuring some great speakers from the world of MVP.
Polymorphic Podcast – Unrated. TBA.
Deep Fried Bytes – Unrated. TBA.
Code Magazine CodeCast – Unrated. TBA.