In preparation for upcoming work and projects on SQL server I have created a starting learning plan. My exposure to SQL and SQL server has been fairly limited so I am looking to put in some considerable time reading and practicing over the next few weeks and months.
I don't know if I intend to ever seriously call myself a "rockstar DBA" but I do plan for SQL Server to become a part of my core strengths and I will also be perusing at least 1 SQL Server 2012 certification. Here is my study plan so far.
DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA
I found this book a great resource not only for those looking to become database administrators but anyone who is possibly beginning their IT career, starting a new job or looking to refine their view of their IT processes.
This book does not go into depth on any specific database type, technology or language usage. Instead it focuses on broad understanding of database and DBA concepts, best practices, how to manage your work, job and even some lifestyle/balance tips. The best part is it manages deliver this information very concisely. For good measure the authors and contributors have sprinkled in many personal experiences in the above areas beyond the regular chapter outlines.
I especially liked chapter 2 on "Your Initial Checklist" which I think I found the most value on best practices for starting or improving support on any IT infrastructure and chapter 4 on the topics of "Managing Expectations" and "Time Management".
Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
I have found Microsoft Training Kit books to generally be a good starting point when learning a new technology for their wide coverage of concepts and some really good hands on lab guides.
I have just started into the book and am finishing the setup of my lab environment in VMware Workstation to be able to complete the labs as I go.
This is SQL Server 2012 but I am choosing to run my SQL servers on 2008 R2 for now. The starting requirements are 1 domain controller and 4 SQL servers. I can't wait to jump in.
Ongoing learning and certification.
As per my usual study strategy I will be supplementing the books I read with TechNet references and guides. As a reference book I have Database Administration: The Complete Guide to DBA Practices and Procedures ready to go in my Safari Books Online queue . I also plan to successfully complete the 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases exam. Depending on how things go I may go through the 461 and 463 to complete my MCSA: SQL Server.
Around this time my study will be more directed by the needs and direction of the actual hands on work that I will be required to do complete with SQL Server and related platforms.