Welcome to the last day of Community Service week for SQL University. Before we get started, I’d like to say it has been nothing short of a pleasure writing the last two weeks for SQL University. All of the discussions and topics were a lot of fun to go over and I’m looking forward to hearing from everyone how they were able to use them. Don’t forget to pass SQL University and the community itself on to the person to your side that may not be aware of them. Let’s keep building this community together!

The last one means, TEST!

Today being our last day of community service week, we’re going to take a quiz.

Kidding!!! (I think an apple just whizzed by my head)

Resources are up to bat and we have a plethora of them available to us in the community. Between Jes, Coach LaRock and I authoring community service week, we have covered a ton of community information.

You could almost take what we’ve gone over and spend the next 2 years diving into just those topics. There is one other corner of the community that I find to be exceptional that cannot go without discussion. That is, the companies that stand behind us.

If you are reading this and have been part of a SQL Saturday, SQL Server User Group, Pod cast or any type of resource that requires funds, you already know exactly how devoted SQL related companies are to supporting the SQL Community. Quest, Red-Gate, Pragmatic Works, Confio, Idera…the list goes on and on. These companies all sell products that help us make life easier for a DBA or DB Developer. As many say, they help us be lazy database administrators.

These companies take the vast amount of resources and pour them into building the community.

Quest Software is a great example. Quest has not only been a major sponsor for dozens of SQL events but also spends a great deal of resources on providing things like, “The pain of the week” to the community. SQLServerPedia is a huge resource powered by Quest with Mr. Ozar leading the way. You could without a doubt spend a month reading, watching and learning from SQLServerPedia.

Red-Gate is another great company supporting the community in a number of ways, from the Exceptional DBA of the Year recognition that is going on right now, to the work that Steve Jones (Blog | Twitter)and Brad McGehee (Blog | Twitter) do for the community backed by Red-Gate. Red-Gate stands behind the community and does a great deal for us all. And did I mention the SQL Tools rock?

Pragmatic Works is one of my favorite online free resources in the community. There are so many webinars provided to the community to build on, you could spend another month just watching them to catch up. Pragmatic Works has an entire resource page devoted to the webinars, whitepapers, articles and my personal favorite, the SSIS Cheat Sheet. Pragmatic Works is a resource that is valued and highly recommended to everyone that touches anything SQL Server related.

I hardly even scratched the surface of these companies’ devotion and support of the SQL Community. There are dozens of others that I could sit down and praise for everything they do daily. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of them during SQL Saturdays and User Groups and sat down to talk with them. If you have a chance to find them at one of these events or meetings, stop by and get to know them. You will be amazed at just how much they are involved in the community and the passion that comes out for it.

Don’t forget these resources

Having lunch at your desk today while we talk about all these cool resources we have? Good! We can talk about SQL Lunch. SQL Lunch is another resource that is absolutely free and invaluable. SQL Lunch is composed of the entire world as a location. There are speakers from all over that take their time out to hold sessions during the lunch hour (in some time zones). I know I can’t think of a better way to spend my lunch. And I know if you are a DBA or DB Developer, you are eating at your desk just as often as I do.

SQL Share is another virtual training resource. SQL Community leaders such as Jessica Moss, Jonathan Kehayias, Brian Knight, Andy Warren, Grant Fritchey and many more are all part of providing this free resource. These are web casts that focus on SQL Server topics and get right down to it. They have an amazing talent for making the difficult topics very easy so you pick them up fast and do them the right way.

Simple-Talk: Do I need to say more? I spend a lot of time on Simple-Talk. The amount of knowledge that is held in this resource is almost frightening. If you sat back and thought of trying to build a knowledge base and author listing like the one on this site, you would think it is impossible. But it is there and if you don’t use it, you need to start.

Scratched it

Yes, I scratched again. I’ve only named a handful of places you can find resources to build your knowledge and networking in the SQL Community. There is an enormous amount the SQL Community has to offer. The homework for everyone is to go out and find people that do not know about the SQL Community and make them aware. Nothing is ever perfect and everything can build higher and out farther. The SQL Community has a lot of space to grow and growing with it is the reward we all shall share.

I’ve had a great time doing SQL University the last two weeks. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I have. As with all of the sessions, I welcome your suggestions on making things better for all of us. If you would, please take the time to fill out the SQL University Course Evaluation.