I'm working as a SQL Developer in the healthcare industry and I have about 2 years experience. I'm primarily using SQL Server 2012. My company will pay for me to get additional training and/or certifications. My first thought was to look at Microsoft, so I was looking here for possible certs or courses. I'm wondering what others have done and/or would recommend?

  • Just in case someone doesn't know, there's also quite a lot of free training / material available too, for example the PASS virtual chapters, 24h hours of pass and SQL Saturdays. You can also find a lot of previous webcasts / sessions from sqlpass.org, sqlbits.com, channel 9 and youtube.
    – James Z
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:30
  • I'm really looking to build my resume, so the more "official" the better.
    – Jon
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


Being certified in SQL Server is a good way to demonstrate that you are willing to put in time and effort to studying the technology. Besides, when you study for the certification, you get exposed to a lot of things that you would probably skip otherwise. It's a good, systematic approach to studying SQL Server.

We had attended a class once from Microsoft. Their study material is good and the instructor was helpful. When he didnt know a specific answer, he promised to get back to us. And he did! That's really good.

Good luck on your certifications!

  • 1
    thank you! that's really what I'm looking for is BOTH knowledge and certification.
    – Jon
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:36
  • @Jon If you can go to an in-person class that would be best. Yes, pluralsight is great if you're ok with hardcore self study - but having a person to ask questions to and get the answer or explanation without sifting through a bunch of noise is invaluable. Speaking from personal experience. Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 4:53

If your company is willing to pay, I would suggest you to have a subscription for Pluralsight. Its worth for your company or as an individual as well its worth taking it.

(I am speaking from my experience, since I have the subscription and its worth quality investment).

It has courses from SQLSkills team and other people which teaches you a lot about SQLServer - internals, XEvents, Query plans, troubleshooting methodology, powershell, etc.

As a side note, certification will give you a level of confidence to you and your employer, what matters is hands on experience.

  • I will have to look into Pluralsight, thanks for the recommendation!
    – Jon
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 15:38

I'm wondering what others have done and/or would recommend?

Whether you proceed with getting certified or not, I would strongly recommend you consider the relationship between knowledge and skill. It's great to obtain knowledge and to learn as much as you can, but if you're unable to translate that knowledge into practical skills you will find the rest of your career to be a struggle.

I've personally seen people at both ends of the (Knowledge <----> Skill) spectrum. Some develop extremely useful skills while never having taken a single certification course/test. Others have lots of letters behind their name and know the textbook answer to certain questions, but have a lot of difficulty with critical thinking or actually being able to apply that knowledge to the world around them. As with most things on a spectrum, neither end is typically where you want to be...

The main point is that certification is not an end in itself, but instead a tool that you can utilize along the way. If you are purposeful in your development and continuously try to strike the right balance between Knowledge and Skill, you'll find you're able to have a truly meaningful impact.

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