I am considering a career change to become a DB programmer. I can already write VB code and design DB's in Excel. I am a self-taught beginner.
However - it seems to me that there are many, many, many DB servers, languages, applications out there (Access, SQL, Cold Fusion, Java, XML ... etc).
How do I find out which languages and applications are of most use in the employment market - so I can get the relevant training & experience to make myself employable ? Where is a good place to start and get the right experience ? Any good websites ?
I can already write VB code and design DB's in Excel.
Well, if you want to be taken seriously as a DBA, my first advice would be NEVER SAY THAT AGAIN.
If that is what you know, you almost literally know nothing about databases.
Here is my advice:
1. Get a copy of Microsoft SQL Server Developer's Edition (I believe it is a free download...).
2. Get a book about database design that teaches you principles such as normalization.
3. Learn SQL.
If it's not practically useful, then it's practically useless.
I am with BM though I would learn relational principles first then learn SQL in tandem with an RDBMS (and SQL Server would be my first choice there too especially as you can pick up a free version on MS.com).
VB and Excel are to databases what coutesy and good naturedness are to DBAs.
If someone offers design changes or UI implementation ideas that seem bizarre and wildly off-base, try it anyways. Even if the purveyor of such things presented them in as brash, uncouth and disrespectful manner possible, try it anyways.
Best practices and funky workarounds can't generally be found in books, you have to learn them from the community. DBA's as a community in general can be a little... uh.... "more concise" then you might like...