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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1

    Need some advice on which direction to go...getting started

    Hi, new here, first post.

    I've been working as an independent contractor for 10 yrs as a company's sole PC technician. In 2011 I started working on a Bachelor degree in Information technology and graduated in 2013. Earlier this year I got my A+ certification. During the IT program, one course stuck out to me, and that was Database Administration II. We used the book "A guide to SQL" by Pratt & Last. I enjoyed it so much that I asked my professor if this class would be preparing me to take the cert test. He told me no and then I kind of just let it go. I've been having this nagging feeling that I should be doing something to learn more in this field, yet I feel time ticking away. The only IT jobs open here in my city are for security jobs that are way beyond my qualifications. I am still working for the company mentioned above, but there is no room for advancement, or increase pay.

    I see jobs for remote work (work from home) for DBAs but of course I'm not qualified. At this point in my life/career, etc...what are some things that might be beneficial, and not a waste of my time and money? I obviously can't get a job without any experience, so I'm faced with other options....taking a course, getting a certificate (this would obviously include learning the material before hand), or are there any books similar to the one I mentioned above that teaches you with hands on activities you would recommend? Or do I just have to find a job somewhere as a ??? and hope that I can learn and work my way up from whatever that position is? And if this is the best way to go about it, what kind of positions might that be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    There are many database platforms, and it isn't possible to learn all of them at once. You need to decide what kind of job you want in the next month to decade. It also helps to narrow down what time frame you want to target, but that's another question!

    I'm familiar with about five of the leading platforms. Each of those has plus and minus factors, and all of them can be good choices depending on your present experience and your goals.

    The most "friendly" database platform to newcomers by a HUGE margin is Microsoft SQL Server, and most of that is due to http://sqlpass.org which is the web site for a user group with thousands of members world wide, and at least a few on every continent (including Antarctica)! Their virtual user groups meet online, so anywhere you can get decent audio over the internet allows you to join these meetings. Local user groups meet in cities around the globe, usually once a month and within 100 Km or less for most people on earth. SQL Saturday's are typically an annual event, and they are generally within 1000 Km and provide a full day of professional grade training, usually for just the cost of your lunch and travel. The global event happens once a year and gathers about 5000 of the "movers and shakers" in the Microsoft SQL Server world in one place for one week. All of these events are fantastic, and they all serve to get newcomers up to speed very quickly.

    Other products have user groups and professional training, but the Microsoft SQL Server community does more to support newcomers than any user group or even any support organization that I've ever seen.

    If you post a bit more information about you, your location, and your interests then I can probably offer more specific ideas on how to get started.

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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