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looking to cert in MCDBA

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by SQLearner, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. SQLearner

    SQLearner New Member

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    Hi All,

    Well this seems to be the best forum site for my needs! I am looking to cert to MCDBA and have initially started off by purchasing a couple of Sybex books for exam 70-228.

    Any advice on reading or training mediums would be greatly appreciated. My background is MOS and CCNA study (though never re-sat the exam)- however my company is looking to resource a data warehouse at some point next year...so I thought I'd try to make myself invaluable (if that's thr right word!), so hence the MCDBA route.

    Looking forward to learning from the site.

    Cheers for now
     
  2. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    How much background do you have with databases?
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  3. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Greetings, SQLearner. Welcome to CertForums.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  4. SQLearner

    SQLearner New Member

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    Hi Ffreeloader,

    No real time spent on specific relational or otherwise, only competence is with Access
     
  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    SQLearner,

    First let me say I'm no DBA guru. Far from it. I have, however, worked with an extremely badly designed production database for year and then worked through the requirements for an MCDBA. The combination of the two taught me quite a bit. I have learned enough to realize that this is a very specialized field, but that I enjoy doing this. I like playing with T-SQL and seeing what I can pull out of a database. I'm better with it than I am with any other programming or scripting language.

    My first bit of advice would be to not study for a cert, specifically, but rather study to learn all you can about SQL Server and T-SQL programming. If you do this you will gain many more skills, and along the way pick up your cert. If you study specifically to get a cert you will fail of attaining some very usefull and needed skills and find your testing experience to much more stressful.

    An MCDBA is much more difficult to attain than an MCSE, at least IMHO. A DBMS is it's own animal and it is very complex. There is a reason that most DBA's are specialists and that large organiaztions hire specialists. This is a very large, and very complex field to enter. However, it's also a lot of fun if you like this type of work, but it takes a certain type of individual to enjoy it too.

    Well, it sounds like you have very little or no T-SQL experience so I'd recommend that you get a couple of books on it, unless you have other programming experience and can pick it up really quickly that is. If you're brand new to programming the first book I started with was pretty usefull to me. It's called SQL A Beginner's Guide by Houlette. I will advise you though that the author specifically left some coding errors to make you really dig and practice. Unfortunately he doesn't tell you this at the beginning of the book, but rather at the end of the book. I about threw the book away before I ran across this bit of information because I thought the author was an idiot because several of his examples simply didn't work and I had to really play with them before they would work. It sounds crazy but in the end you learn a lot just because he purposely used some flawed examples. He does give a very good basic introduction to SQL programming and uses the sample databases Microsoft includes with SQL Server so it's very easy to follow and work right along with everything he does.

    I'd also recommend at least a few of other books to you too. On SQL server in general I'd recommend SQL Server 2000 Programming by Rob Viera, and SQL Server 2000 DTS by Chaffin, Knight, and Robinson.

    I don't know how much formal math background you have for understanding the mathematical aspects of database design, but I'd also recommend Database Design for Mere Mortals by Herandez as he does a very thorough job of showing how to design a normalized database without going through all the technical aspects of it. It's a lot easier to understand than any of the highly formal explanations of normalization I've ever read, and if his advice is followed a normalized database is created.

    I also have SQL Server 2000 Unleashed by Rankins, Bertucci, and Jensen. It covers a lot of the same material Rob Viera covers but there are enough differences in explanations and exact material covered that I thought both were worth having.

    The other books I purchased were Mastering SQL Server 2000 Security by Young and Young, SQL Server 2000 Performance Tuning by Whalen, Garcia, DeLuca, and Thompson, and a couple of Ken Henderson's books The Guru's Guide to Transact-SQL and The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Stored Procedures, XML, and HTML. He also has one more out that covers SQL Server architecture that I've read parts of and it is very good. His books aren't beginners books by any stretch of the imagination though. He covers some very advanced aspects of SQL programming. His titles really are accurate.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    As an addendum to my previous post I'd just like to add that it was written with the unstated assumption that you would have a lab to use that contains at least two, and preferably more, SQL Servers so that you can set up all the things you need to do to learn how to work with SQL Server. If you don't, I don't know that you'll ever pass the tests, let alone be able to do anything with a database in the real word. Hands on is a must.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  7. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. :D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  8. SQLearner

    SQLearner New Member

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    Hi ffreeloader,

    The info you've given is excellent, thanks very much. Unfortunately I do not have current access to a SQL server, which as you rightly pointed out is a must. I have though contacted a friend who is CCNE/MCSE cert'd and he has VMware that will allow me to create two virtual Enterprise edition SQL servers on my spare PC, alternatively he mentioned MSDE software.

    Your advice on the SQL learning is first class, so I will start there
    and, as you suggested,not look purley down the cert path.

    Cheers, :D
     
  9. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    WElcome to the forum :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  10. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Good luck, SQlearner. You'll do well if you make sure your learning is hands on. It's a fun journey.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    SQLearner,

    I had forgotten about this site earlier, but it is a very good tutorial for learning the basics of the SQL language as used in several database server systems.

    Hope it helps. I've found it very useful.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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