After my The Sad State Of Programmers Part 1 : The Phone Interview series I got an email from a person.
Thank you so much for making me realise how little I know. I’ve been programming first in Microsoft Access VBA and VB6 since 1997 (Some little playing before that) and I migrated my Company’s systems to SQL & .NET about three years ago. I could answer only a couple of your questions without looking them up and then I don’t think I got ANY of them totally right! I realise you probably have little time for an obvious idiot like myself, the ultimate example of WDP, but it would be great if you could point me in the right direction to start fixing the clear deficiencies in my knowledge. I’ve spent years learning just enough for what I needed and no more and it clearly hasn’t done the job well enough.
The WDP reference is about this link: How Well Do You Interview And Do You Use Wizard Driven Programming?
This has been a while back now but I am still bothered by my incomplete answer. Here was my answer to him but I don't think I gave him the best answer possible. For one thing I did not mention Erland's, Tibor's or other people's sites which I read. I did not mention anything about webcasts either.
Here are some of my favorites books, I think it would make sense for you to
start with The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL, it is not for SQL 2005 but for 2000, in my opinion this is still the best book out there to
teach you T-SQL
After that I would take a look at Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying this handles T-SQL exclusively with a lot of tricks and tips. If you need a little design in addition to T-SQL I would take a look at Louis' book Pro SQL Server 2005 Database Design and Optimization To learn about internals (indexes, pages, what sql is doing behind the scenes) take a look at Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: The Storage Engine
That is it for books. http://www.sqldownunder.com/ has a bunch of podcasts which are very good.
Spend time on newsgroups and see if you can answer the questions there, study the answers carefully. I think I learned the most from visiting newsgroups. A good one is here: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.sqlserver.programming/topics
A lot of SQL Server MVPs answer questions there.
Read sql blogs, some of my favorites are here http://sqlblog.com/
A bunch of aggregated feeds: http://sqlblog.com/roller/roller.aspx (this is a list of all the other good SQL Server blogs)
The thing that triggered me to write a post is this question from the msdn forums: ADVISE.....Experts ! Please
How would you have answered this, what did you do to master SQL? What should you know to be considered a SQL master or an expert. FWIW I do not consider myself a SQL master.