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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

#SSIS Training Live and In-Person


I had a great time in Boston earlier this month delivering the three-day version of From Zero To SSIS! - the only SSIS class written cover-to-cover by me. The feedback was very positive, which made me feel really good about spending a year designing a course to thoroughly instruct developers and DBAs in SSIS as quickly as possible.

I'm doing another class in December! You can skip my rambling and jump to the details...

I'm a Little... Different

SSIS is hard to learn. If you've stared at a Control Flow and wondered "Ok. Now what?" you are not alone. Also, sitting in a class is not the ideal environment for people used to working all day. We get bored quickly. So, I liven things up a bit.

I'd share with you exactly what I do to liven things up, but I've shared things like that before and then, coincidentally, they show up (unaccredited) in the work of other people. Go figure. :)

Bridge to Somewhere...

Earlier in life I was an instructor. Even though I had lesson plans prepared for me, I always deviated from the plan. Why? I felt that plan suited the person who created it more than the people sitting in my class. 

For example, one class I taught was basic electronics. Once you're into electronics a few weeks, you start talking about putting components together to make common reusable circuits (if you've ever wondered why I spend so much time talking about design patterns, now you know). One circuit you always see in basic electronics is the bridge rectifier. I was taught this circuit by an ingenious military instructor while attending the US Army Missile and Munitions School at Redstone Arsenal, AL. I taught my students bridge rectifiers using the same method.

Here's a schematic of a bridge rectifier:



When flowing at 60 cycles per second (cps, or Hertz), AC (alternating current) flows in one direction for 1/120 of a second and then flows in the other direction for 1/120 of a second. This is commonly graphed as a sine wave. DC (direct current), on the other hand, flows in a single direction. A bridge rectifier takes AC inputs (~) and converts AC to unfiltered DC. It accomplishes this using diodes - represented by an arrow with a line perpendicular to the point. Diodes only allow current to flow in one direction.

This sounds very dry and boring, whether you're into electronics or not. It's difficult to visualize. So when I taught electronics, I used light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead of standard diodes. When current flows through an LED it illuminates and you can see it. Running an LED bridge rectifier at 60 Hz was pretty useless, as human eyes cannot keep up and all the LEDs look like they're constantly on.

To work around this, I connected the AC inputs to a signal generator and supplied an AC sine wave at 1 Hz. It was very easy to see - and therefore learn - how a bridge rectifier works as the light from one pair of LEDs grew in intensity (as the AC peaked or troughed) and then dimmed, followed by the light increasing in the other pair of LEDs. When I connected a couple oscilloscope channels to the circuit - one to the input and the other to the output - the picture was complete. Students never forgot how a bridge rectifier works.

... To Here Actually!

I do the same thing when teaching SSIS. The labs are simple, but demonstrate powerful concepts. They are sequential, each building on the last and preparing for the next. My lecture and lab topics follow a different path than any other SSIS course I've seen; and I balance the lecture, demo, and lab portions differently as well. I'm not saying I do everything right. I'm saying I do things differently and get very positive feedback.

Thinking about it for a year is paying off. And now...

It's Time To Do Another Class!

Here's the details:

When: 6 - 10 Dec 2010 (5 days)
Cost: $2,500 USD
Where: Farmville Virginia
Maximum Class Size: 8

More details:

You will need to bring your laptop and you will need a version of SQL Server 2005 or newer - preferably 2008 or 2008 R2. SSIS will need to be installed and functioning.

We're meeting at the Hampton Inn in Farmville, where we have negotiated a rate deal for rooms. This is a really nice hotel, among Hampton Inns it's rated #1 in Virginia and #4 in the nation. There's a mini-mall within walking distance of the hotel that includes Sunchase Cinema 8. Farmville is home to Longwood University and Hampton-Syndey College, so you can get just about any kind of food you want in town. Speaking of food... 

Breakfast and Lunch will be catered by my lovely bride, Christy Leonard (Blog | @ChristyLeonard). That might be worth the cost of the class right there!

I'm limiting the class size to eight people. The Hampton Inn has a couple rooms that accommodate between 14 and 50 people but I'm not limiting the class based on this. I'm imposing the limit because I can deliver my full attention to eight students and not be hurried or feel like I'm leaving someone behind or out. I think eight is about the perfect class size.

For more information: Contact me!


You can get SSIS training from lots of sources. I've attended online training sessions and purchased recordings from some extremely knowledgeable and talented trainers. I've found nothing beats sitting in the same room with them to learn. The students who attended the Boston SQL Training course earlier this month shared similar thoughts. 

I simply want to deliver the most value possible. In-person is the best way to accomplish that goal. So do you want to get your SSIS learn on? Contact me!


Published Wednesday, October 27, 2010 12:00 PM by andyleonard
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Keith Mescha said:

Andy sounds really neat, kind of lost me on the electronics stuff but I would recommend you any day for training on SSIS. Heck you are the one that trained me and many of my peers on SSIS about 3 or 4 years ago.  You are a great trainer and very passionate about SSIS and come highly recommended.

Keep up the good work!

October 27, 2010 1:07 PM

Joel Cochran said:

I had about a half day in person SSIS training with Andy and it has led me to becoming a serious SSIS user: I can only imagine how much I could learn in 5 days!

I highly recommend Andy. If you are looking to go from zero to hero with SSIS this is the best time and money you could possibly spend.

October 27, 2010 1:40 PM

Joel Garner said:

Thats way too much cost for a 5 day session.

November 2, 2010 3:18 AM

Kashif Feroz said:

You gotta lower the fee dude. Is 2500 per person charge ? Thats half my salary man :(

November 2, 2010 6:21 AM

andyleonard said:


  I'm sorry to hear the class is out of your price range.


  What fee would you propose for five days of SSIS training with me?


November 2, 2010 9:02 AM

Linda Kuczynski said:

Andy, do you ever hold classes in Pittsburgh?  I was considering the Pragmatic Works online training, but I prefer live classes.

November 2, 2010 9:26 AM

Steven Tahan said:

The cost is more than reasonable.  I'm looking at a class in a different technology, $7500 for 3 days (and no chow).  

What prerequisite level of knowledge do you expect for the class?

November 2, 2010 9:49 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Linda,

  If I can identify a few people in Pittsburgh to take the class, I'll do one there. Do you know anyone else intersted in SSIS training in your area?

:{> Andy

November 2, 2010 10:15 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Steven,

  I thought $2,500 was reasonable too, but I've attended and delivered lots of training. Others haven't, so I understand the sticker shock.

  No prerequisite knowledge is required. I really mean "From Zero".

  I once taught an SSIS class and had someone raise their hand when I said "Click Start, then All Programs." They had never worked in Windows before. At the end of the class, that person was building SSIS packages.

  This is one of the reasons I'm limiting class size to 8: I expect attendees from all levels of experience. I need to be able to bring those new to the technology along - especially during the first day - without boring experienced folks silly. It's a challenge, but one that I love.

:{> Andy

November 2, 2010 10:24 AM

Linda Kuczynski said:

Hi Andy,

No, I'm sorry, but I don't know anyone else who would be interested in this class.  I'm the only one at my company who uses SSIS.

You might try contacting the Pittsburgh SQL Server User Group (PSSUG) ...


November 2, 2010 11:37 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Linda,

  Cool. And you inspired an idea.

  I've created a survey so folks all over can let me know if they'd like live, in-person SSIS training in their area. Thanks for the inspiration!

  The survey link is

:{> Andy

November 2, 2010 12:32 PM

Rafael Mejia said:

Hey Andy,

I'm glad to hear that you are doing this.

I am really interested in seeing a course in my area and will distribute your survey to the PASS chapters in my area to try and drum up interest.



November 3, 2010 1:43 AM

Kashif Feroz said:

So Andy , since i cant attendd the class. Is there any way i could get hold of the session videos or training material that you will be delivering, or are you gonna charge for that as well ?:)

November 11, 2010 2:00 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Kashif,

  I often present at free events (SQL Saturdays, Code Camps, and User Groups), as do many other technology professionals. There are also many video training events free of charge online - I recommend the PASS Virtual Chapters ( and SQLLunch (


November 11, 2010 8:59 AM

Howard said:

Andy, how many openings do you still have left for this class?  I need to see if my mgmt will pay for it and let me attend but the wheels move slowly here.  I've seen one of your presentations at the Richmond SSUG so am very interested in this class.  Thanks.

November 11, 2010 10:25 AM

andyleonard said:

Hi Howard,

  There are still openings at this time. Let's communicate more about this via email / Contact page (!


November 11, 2010 1:32 PM

Nancy said:

I'm in Pittsburgh and would love SSIS training!

November 12, 2010 9:04 AM

JT said:

I am very interested!  I just emailed you.

November 18, 2010 11:57 PM

Joel Cochran said:

Hi Andy,

Sorry for the delay, I just saw the comments.  If you are serious about learning SSIS then $2500 for 5 full days of training with Andy is absolutely worth it.  It's also completely inline with other similar courses like Shawn Wildermuth's Sivlerlight Tour which is $1995 for only 3 days (and doesn't include Christy Leonard's cooking!)

The real value in these kinds of training sessions is the instructor.  Yes, you are paying for the information, but being able to tap into the real world experience of a genuine, recognized expert increases the value of the training exponentially.  And seriously, Andy is as good as they come.

The small class environment is also fantastic because it means you will get far more personal attention than usual.  And after 5 days together, I'd wager that the other people in the class will become friends and assets to you for a long time to come.

November 19, 2010 7:47 AM

Doreena Doherty said:

I had the opportunity to take a week long class taught by Andy, a couple of years ago.   I knew nothing about SSIS at the time, and had been tasked with doing a major Legacy to SQL Server conversion using SSIS by my company.   After a week with Andy, I had the skills I needed to get the job done.

I would highly recommend Andy's class.

November 19, 2010 7:56 AM

Tim Mitchell said:

Andy, I'm glad to hear you are doing this.

If there are any folks one the fence about this, let me share my experience.  I am a very experienced (8+ years) SQL Server BI professional, and I have learned something new each time I see Andy Leonard present an SSIS session.  He's a very patient and methodical instructor, and is instantly likeable which helps to keep your attention as well.  If you spend a week with him, you won't be disappointed.

November 24, 2010 10:00 PM

Sridar said:

Hi Andy,

I am from Asia. My annual CTC itself is 7000$. So we cannot offer this much for a training. It would be better for guys like us, if you provide a video training series or video recording of your 5 day programme.



November 30, 2010 9:40 AM

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