Posted by: Colin Smith
DBA, SQL Server, SQLSkills, Training
I am way behind on doing this post as well as the series that I would like to do about the IE1 Class that I attended in August. First and foremost I have to say that this is the BEST TRAINING I have ever had. I have been to other training classes for other RDBMS’s but this is BY FAR the BEST I have ever been too. So that is the Short of it but lets get into some more detail.
Paul Randal (Blog | Twitter) and Kimberly L Tripp (Blog | Twitter) really make it easy to get the most out of the training. The training is in the Hotel so you do not need to worry about getting anywhere, no traffic worries or having to walk around town to get to class. This really made it nice for me, I was able to sleep in, for me, and still be down in plenty of time for class.
When I arrived down in the conference room for Class breakfast was waiting and or being set up, depending on how early I arrived. This was very nice since I could also eat before the class started so I was not distracted with food during the training. I also had plenty of time to organize my things and get ready for the day of training in plenty of time for class to start. Also during this time Paul and Kimberly are setting up for the day but they are also busy fielding questions and messing around with the class and each other.
Once the time for class to begin it was time and no time was wasted. This was great because I sure did not feel like my money was being wasted with how prompt they were everyday. They provided a Book of all the slides that they covered as well as more slides that they did not go over in class. The amount of information that they provided was just amazing, and none of it is filler…
Another really great thing about the class was the whiteboard. I think this was the first class that had this whiteboard and I was happy that I was in this class. Instead of a traditional whiteboard they used a tablet. This was great because I did not have to try to draw all the diagrams and notes that they were putting on the whiteboard. I was able to just listen, pay attention, and take my own notes as they did the whiteboard. I did not miss out on the instruction because I was copying what they were doing. After the class not only did they send us all the whiteboards that they did but they also went back and put some good notes on the whiteboards for us so that we could make sense of them. this was amazing and I think it adds a lot of Value to the class.
As the class progressed we obviously had a lot of questions and some of them were about the current material and some were off on tangents. This may have been the best part of the class. Not only do they build in time to answer questions, but they do not care what the tangent is. If it is pertinent they will go as far down the “Rabbit Hole” as is needed to answer the question as well as all the other questions that tangent brings up. On a few occasions they did not know the answer, shocking I know, but even then they did not give up on it. They reached out to other resources and found the answer. Just Amazing!!
The only bad thing I can say about my experience is that the chairs get pretty uncomfortable after a few days but really even that is not bad because I was so engrossed by the material that I did not think about it. Paul and Kimberly also do a great job of providing breaks throughout the day. No matter how into this stuff you are it is hard to pay attention for that many hours in a day without a few breaks.
I almost forgot to mention the food. I already mentioned that breakfast was ready when I arrived in the class but I did not talk about how good it was and that Lunch was also very good everyday. Not too mention how convenient it is to have that provided so I do not need to worry about it and be distracted from class or be late after lunch because I went somewhere that took longer then they needed too.
I could go on and on about this week of training and how great it was but that would take forever… Like I said at the beginning this is the BEST TRAINING I have EVER had and I got a lot out of it. I have only been back a few weeks and I am using what I learned already. One big thing that I just setup for one of our developers was table partitioning. They had attempted to get it set up but did things very wrong. Thanks to what I learned at SQLSKILLS I was able to get it set up properly and things are working great.
I really hope to be able to go to week 2 at one of the upcoming events and I would like to thank Paul Randall and Kimberly L Tripp for the amazing week.