On Monday this week we kicked off the sixth SQL Server capstone training rotation, now titled “Microsoft Certified Master” for SQL Server 2008. We had 17 victims, er attendees show up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on the most challenging training available on the SQL Platform. We started as usual with a brief into from me about how to survive three weeks with lips wrapped around the fire hose, and then opened the valve...
I’ve nicknamed our first week of content as the Paul and Kimberly show. We have Paul Randal and Kimberly Trip, arguably a couple of the best SQL Server trainers in the world. In five days they cover SQL PTO, data structures and dbcc in the kind of depth that normally takes weeks. After almost 3 complete days, yes it's 6:30pm, we started at 8:00am and we're STILL GOING STRONG, the group seems to be settling in, adapting to the incredible delivery pace. As usual I’m peppered with questions about the exams and provide the best answers I can, but reply frankly that the exams will be very challenging, and “no, I won’t tell them what’s on the Lab Exam”.
Not surprising, many of the candidates reached out to prior candidates hoping to glean the keys to success in the program. Last night after Kimberly wrapped her first day of PTO, I heard one candidate say to a group, “I think that I’d get through more material if I just go back to my hotel and study, but everyone I’ve spoken with says that group study is the key”. I don’t know who he talked with but I can attest that it was critical to my success in the program.
Tonight we’re joining with the Exchange and SharePoint rotations for a bit of a grudge match at the K1Speed race track where we have reserved the track for 3 hours to blow off some steam. While the program lead’s have been hyping taking on the other rotations, I have to suspect that at least some of the candidates will be targeting the program leads, as payback for some of the longest days they’ve experienced.
I’m personally impressed with the SQL-R06 group its one of the larger groups that I’ve worked with and there’s a lot of experience in the room. Based on what I’ve seen over the first couple days I have high expectations for this group through the rotation.
I know the pace has been more than challenging. Which is why I’m impressed to hear appreciation from the candidates for the pace, I heard from one candidate that we’d covered in 2.5 days would have taken them weeks to gather via other training venues. In economic times like we face today, time and money allocated toward training should provide the best return in the investment possible. That exactly what we’re striving to provide...
After such a blog - I might retake the course :)
And yes, I agree - group study is a key!!
Good luck to all the 17
Look at all of them fixin’ to jump in the pool! Heh. Not to minimize the difficulty that they’re embarking
Please tell me the exchange rotation ruled over the sql/sharepoint sissies :)
Yeah, we took them down. Kris from Exchange had the fastest lap (of the whole week actually).
I'll just add that in the final, 5 of the 8 were from Exchange... I think that makes it prety clear who rocks....
Ok, yes the Exchange folks landed the top spot on the podium, and most of the positions in the final, but their representation was really nothing more than the fact that their entire set of candidates plus a handfull of ringers showed up. Finally, while the podium had representation from EVERY program, there was only one program lead who didn't go home with hardware hmmmmmm...
The exchange guys were just faster as the SQL guys tried to use pessemistic locking and tries serializing stuff, Exchange people or not concerned about phantom drives :-)
Ringers? Ringers? I have world class instructors, both inside and outside the classroom Ken.... them's sour grapes you are cheewing on there... ;-)
But you are right, no Piston Cup for me this time round... but next time...
No sour grapes here just utter amazement at the driving I saw ahead of me on the track. That guy belongs on the racing circuit. Overall was a great event, +1 week and the soreness from the car has finally worn off.