Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thoughts on February SQL Server 2008 Boot Camp

Wow!!! Things have been so hectic the past few months, that I'm just now getting to blog about February's free SQL Server 2008 Boot Camp taught by Mike Hotek. Over the course of 9 evenings in Oklahoma City, Mike Hotek (18th SQL Server MVP) taught a FREE 32 hour Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Certification Boot Camp 70-433 to 40 professionals. Professionals ranged from an Informatica specialist with an Oracle background all the way to very experienced SQL Server DBAs.

The course was coordinated over the course of just a few weeks by just five individuals. They were Rob Sullivan (VP of OKCSQL), Mike Hotek (our instructor), Lily Liu (amazing volunteer who coordinated with OUHSC to get us the free location), Rao Velvadapu from OUHSC, and myself. The course was planned very last minute, so we just had a few weeks to get everything together. As a result, neither myself nor Rob had the opportunity to visit the location beforehand. Thus, I remember showing up on night one only 10 minutes before the class (I had been lost on the OUHSC Campus for 30 minutes) and walking into a SUPER crowded classroom. There was almost not a place for me or any other later arrivers to sit. So lesson one learned, always visit the location of an event before the event, if you're a key coordinator. The second night we started rearranging the table layout before and after each class.

The course was to focus on SQL Server 2008 Database Development. Since, I'd been working with SQL Server for over a decade, I didn't think there would be a lot of new stuff for me to learn on the database development side. The DBA-side would have been another story, since I've been very developer/BI focused in my SQL Server experience. Boy was I WRONG about how much I would learn. I learned a ton!!! Even more, I have lots of notes related to topics to blog on. Hopefully, I'll get to blogging on them at some point.

What many of us commented about liking so much about the class was Mike's teaching style combined with his vast knowledge base. Mike would start a topic at near beginner level and would eventually bring it to an advanced level. I expect Mike is able to do this given his international speaking experience and his experience working with more than a thousand clients over 20 years.

We got a lot of great feedback on the course and even had at least one guy skip a NBA game for which he had tickets in order to not miss a specific session.

With a small classroom of 40 people dedicated to advancing their SQL Server 2008 skills over 9 evenings for a total of 32 hours, the class even started to become like a family. The experience was great and led to a second class which Mike is currently teaching about SQL Server 2008 Database Administration. Hopefully, I can blog about that class soon.