In response of my previous post about being sure you sign up for the correct training, I got the question where you could find training for more experienced DBA’s, for a reasonable price and not involving self-study. As I’m living in Belgium, I only can answer this question for my region. But I think you can use the same approach for other countries and regions.
First of all it’s true, the basic implementing and maintaining courses are so popular that they are regularly scheduled. When you browse the Microsoft Training Catalog you’ll find some other available trainings, it’s possible to call a training center and ask to schedule the training but keep in mind they need at least 2-3 students before they will start the training.
Another possibility is walk-in trainings. It’s something new: you can book a walk-in training and make an appointment whenever you want during a couple of months. The idea is you get a PC with a recording of the training and a PC to do the exercises. So you can come and follow the training at your own pace and when you have time for it. It’s a pity that there are no SQL Server trainings available for the moment but we are working on it.
Second place to check is your local Microsoft website. Sign-up for the newsletters and check the events they are announcing. The events they organize are not always very technical but can give you a head start when it comes to new products and releases. Check this blog where they announce some sessions about some new features in SQL Server 2012.
They also organize the TechDays every year where they have a lot of sessions about different Microsoft Technologies. Make sure you check the agenda and see if there are sessions you’re interested in. On the other hand it’s also a place where you can meet the local MEET members and ask your questions. More in-depth sessions but also for more money, you have the yearly TechEd week.
Also don’t forget to sign up for the local SQL Server User group (site|twitter). They organize sessions during the year about different SQL Server subjects. Also once a year they have their own SQL Server Days, 2 days with 3 SQL Server tracks full of sessions for almost no money. Together with other User groups they also organize every year a Community Day. Again just check if you find the sessions interesting or just go and meet the experts at the different user group booths.
If you have more budget and are allowed to go abroad, keep an eye on Pass or SQLBits they also organize events in Europe with top international speakers.
And last but not least. Instead of the money for a 5-day training and your wage, you can hire a consultant for at least 2 days who can come over, answer all your questions, audit your environment and coach you on how and WHY you should make some changes to your environment.
I’m sure there are a lot of other options to learn more about SQL Server. But this will get you started.