Resources for SQL Students

SQL Server Central

My top-favorite site as a SQL student has been SQL Server Central. They are a public service site created by Red Gate Software that features a great library of articles, daily quizzes and forums - all geared toward Microsoft’s T-SQL. There is new material daily and articles are open to corrective comment from other developers so the quality of the material offered is generally very good from the get-go. Don’t hesitate to take a few minutes and register here.

Self-Test Software

I have used test-prep software from Self Test Software that was technically good, but visually a challenge. When the SQL Server 2008 exams were first introduced they beat other popular test companies out of the gate with their test-prep materials. The software features flash cards, randomization of test questions and a learning mode which will reveal the answer and appropriate study links at the MSDN reference site for SQL Server. Their support department is quick when it comes to updating test questions for accuracy, but they were not able to resolve an issue with fonts scaling incorrectly. CTRL+, instead of increasing the font size, results in a wild-looking combo of large and small type throughout the page. So it’s a recommended product unless vision is an issue for you.

Joes 2 Pros

I took employer-sponsored classes from an instructor I highly recommend, but since you may not be near Rick Morelan’s classroom here are the Amazon links to two of the books he’s authored:
As a teacher Rick is quick and engaging and if you use these books as we did in class you won’t be just reading about code, you’ll be creating it - right away. Rick’s You Tube© channel has a description of the books and several sample lessons.


If you become a serious SQL student will probably live on the MSDN SQL Server reference site. A couple of pages that are helpful to visit first thing are the documentation conventions and particularly the Transact-SQL syntax conventions.

Just for fun...

Another site I particularly enjoyed is the developer section of Microsoft’s 'SQL Experience' site but the English version is deprecated, however several of its videos about the construction of the software and its features can now be found on MSDN’s Channel 9. One that proved to be a great learning tool featured a gentleman named Bruno Denuit talking about the creation of the merge operator, making crystal clear the operations combined in the new command.

Designing and Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Applications - Exam 70-576

As mentioned in the sidebar I have an interest in Sharepoint, particularly as it relates to SQL, but for its own merits also. I’m preparing for a certification test and will be blogging about the study points as I review them at


Wiki answers provided by Ramona Maxwell

About SQLSolver and Ramona Maxwell

I began studying Microsoft’s version of SQL in March of 2009 and passed the 70-433 exam to become a Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist in SQL Server 2008 in June, 2009. Happily I also passed the 70-451 exam in May of 2010, which is the next test in the SQL Server 2008 development track, and qualified as Microsoft Certified IT Professional. I earned a master certification in the Microsoft® Office suite in 2002, including expert level certifications in Word and Excel.

I’ve been enamoured of databases for more years than I should tell, designing them for my own use and other SMB clients. I had no idea how much fun I was missing by using menu-based database design instead of SQL. I’m interested in integrating my SQL training with previous exposure to SharePoint technologies, as well as learning more about ways to bridge the gap between different vendors’ implementations of SQL. I hope this site is a useful resource to you and I welcome your visit to my primary site at Maxwell Arts.

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