Continuous learning in a business context is the practice of seeking out knowledge and information that will help you do your job better, expand your skill set, and add value to the organization. Studies show that the benefits of continuous learning reach beyond simply improving your job performance; continuous learning also increases important brain functions like problem-solving and memory.
The best part is that continuous learning doesn’t require time-consuming college courses or expensive seminars and conferences. Today’s technology has made it simple and free to expand our knowledge as far as we have the time and inclination to grow. You have millions of books, research papers, lectures, and expert advice literally in the palm of your hand.
There is no shortage of SQL Server monitoring information available to DBAs on the internet. But, as with all web content, some sources are more reliable, trustworthy, and accurate than others.
To help you get started down the path of continuous learning, we did some of the legwork for you and compiled a list of four outstanding resources to help you find the SQL Server monitoring information you need to excel in your DBA role and stay competitive in the job market.
Microsoft SQL Server Documentation
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s an essential resource for every SQL Server DBA. Microsoft’s SQL Server documentation site provides all the information you need to install, configure, and run SQL Server on Windows or Linux.
Microsoft provides a ton of documentation for SQL Server administrators using examples, code samples, and video. It’s broken down by version and by high-level topics such as business continuity, development, security, and managing, monitoring, and tuning.
Documentation related specifically to SQL Server monitoring includes sub-topics like:
- Monitoring SQL Server components
- Performance dashboard
- Performance monitoring and tuning tools
- Live query stats
Each of these sub-topics includes breakdowns of even more in-depth topics that DBAs need to know to monitor performance effectively. You can view the SQL Server 2017 documentation or view the documentation for older versions of SQL Server.
Stack Exchange is a collection of topic-specific communities that are created and run by experts and enthusiasts with a common interest. Each community is organized in a question-and-answer format with the intention of educating and sharing knowledge and expertise with others.
The DBA Stack Exchange is a valuable resource for both new DBAs and seasoned veterans because there is always someone out there who knows something you don’t. It also is helpful when you encounter an issue you aren’t sure how to resolve. Chances are good that someone on Stack Exchange can point you in the right direction.
Stack Exchange users can ask and answer questions related to SQL Server or search the site to find previously posted threads. Tagging makes it easy to narrow your search to a specific topic. For example, “performance” pulls up SQL Server monitoring-focused threads.
The DBA Stack Exchange is a great opportunity to be a part of a community of other DBAs who want to learn and help each other excel at their jobs.
Spotlight Cloud Blog
Spotlight Cloud is a group of SQL Server performance monitoring tool experts and a solutions provider that is committed to sharing knowledge about SQL Server monitoring and DBA best practices with the industry.
The Spotlight Cloud blog is an excellent resource for DBAs of all experience levels. The blog covers technical topics—like how to ensure SQL Server peak performance, server health, and cloud-based monitoring—but it also explores career development concerns, such as articulating your value within the organization and living life as a DBA. You can even subscribe to the blog and get weekly email updates.
SQLShack was originally launched by ApexSQL as a place for SQL Server experts and users to share their knowledge and experiences using SQL Server. SQLShack publishes articles by and for SQL professionals on topics like SQL Server query optimization, ways to auto-schedule an SQL Server backup, and when to use temporary tables vs. table variables.
Continuous learning is crucial for SQL Server DBAs because the role involves wearing many hats and managing a ton of moving parts. The DBA landscape is always shifting, so knowing the best sources for the latest SQL Server monitoring news and trends is essential to keeping your DBA skills honed. Enjoy your learning journey.