Execution plans – learning opportunities

Execution plans – learning opportunities

Most people know they have to invest in themselves, so that they can get better at their job. And if that job involves query performance on SQL Server, then part of that investment should definitely go towards execution plans.

I happen to teach about execution plans. A lot. And there are a few opportunities in the near future that I want to make sure you are aware of. (If you are allergic to self-promotion, you might want to skip this post!)

The basics

Perhaps you are here because you have heard that execution plans are an important tool for query tuning on SQL Server, but have no idea yet why, or what they are. Or perhaps you have just started to get your feet wet with execution plan, but you’re not sure you really understand the fundamentals. A lot of the available training might appear out of reach for you, because it targets people who already have some understanding of and practical experience with execution plans. You need a started course.

For this group, I have created the session “Execution plans … Where do I start?”.

If you want to watch the content of this session now, you can. Two of the conferences where I delivered this session in 2020 have made their recordings available for free on You Tube. Here is the recording from the PASS Virtual Summit 2020. And here is the recording of the SQLBits 2020 delivery. The latter is quite a bit shorter, because SQLBits preferred to have more sessions of shorter duration.

If you prefer to attend a live delivery, then the next available option is at Techorama Virtual 2021. I am scheduled to deliver this session live on Tuesday May 18, 9:00 CEST (click to see in your own time zone). Attending a live delivery has the benefit that you can ask questions. And you might get a discount code for some of my other training materials!

If you are interested in attending a live delivery but can’t make it on May 18, then I recommend that you keep an eye on my list of upcoming speaking engagements. I have submitted this session to several other conferences; if any select me as to deliver this session (or any other) I will update this list.

In depth

Perhaps you already know the basics and you want to learn more, much more. In that case, you might find a lot value in attending a full day training class with me.

And the good news is: You can! My full day training class “Execution plans in depth” has been selected by two upcoming conferences, both in May 2021 already!

For SQLDay Poland (virtual), my training class is one of the pre-con sessions scheduled for May 10, 8:0017:00 CEST (click times to see in your own time zone). This event is not free, though; admission to a pre-con only costs zł1,200 (approximately €265 or $320); or you can buy a ticket for pre-con + conference for zł1,700 (€375, $450). VAT is added but you might qualify for a tax refund depending on your country of residence and legal status. Click here to purchase tickets.

Just a few days later, at Techorama Virtual 2021, I will deliver this same class again, as a post-con workshop, on May 19, 9:0017:00 CEST (click times to see in your own time zone). Again, not a free event; you can buy access to the workshop only for €299 (~ $360) or buy the conference + workshop package deal for €449 (~ $545) VAT and fees will be added at checkout. Click here to buy tickets.

Regardless of which one you choose, you will receive a full day of training. The target audience are SQL Server developers and DBAs who know their SQL and have some understanding of performance tuning and execution plans. In one day, I will fill your brains with knowledge to take you to the next level. Getting good requires knowledge and experience. I cannot provide experience in a single day of training, but I can sure put a heck of a lot of knowledge in there!

Plus, everyone who attends one of my pre-cons and survives will receive a code that can be applied to get a 20% discount on all the current and future training material I sell through my own website.

The ultimate

A full day of training is awesome, but it still has some disadvantages.

One problem is that a single day is too short. Those who already attended my workshop in the past always noticed that I ran out of time near the end of the day, having to rush or even skip subjects. And that is of course a shame!

Another problem is that a full day is too long. Not for me, but for attendees. During live deliveries of my training day in the past, I have seen people start to zone out near the end of the day. I cannot see this for myself when I present remotely, but I know that watching a screen for a full day can be even more taxing that sitting in a room to listen to a speaker for that same period. So I assume that at least some of the attendees at virtual deliveries will also get too tired to absorb more knowledge before the day is over.

Finally, a training day gives attendees zero control over time and location, over pacing of the speaker, and so on. I’ve already heard from many people that they prefer watching recordings over live deliveries, because they can control when they watch; they can increase or decrease the replay speed to match their speed of intake; they can rewind a bit if they missed something; pause and resume at will; etc.

And the final disadvantage of a training day is that it’s a one time event. Once the day is over, attendees have their notes, their memories, access to my slide deck, and demo code … but that’s it. Imagine running into an obscure problem one day, recalling that I mentioned it, and then racking your brain to recall the details. If only there were a way to refresh your memory!

My answer to all these shortcomings in the SQLServerFast Execution Plan Video Training, an extensive and in-depth set of training videos to learn all about execution plans. This is not simply a recording of a live delivery. This is a set of meticulously prepared videos, where I use not only traditional slides and demos, but also animation and other visual effects, to enhance my explanations. Not constrained by any time limits, I can include all relevant details. Overall, these videos give the viewer an experience that is much better than a conference session or workshop.

Plus, viewers get all the benefits of recorded sessions. They can enable or disable captions to read the spoken text. They can change the replay speed to match their preference. They can return to a video as often as they want, without limitations.

I put a lot of time and effort into creating these videos: each minute of finished video represents almost 45 minutes of work. With so much time invested, I can unfortunately not afford to give them away for free. Well, not all. The first block is free. The rest is not, but I did set the price as low as I could, to ensure this resource is available for as many people as possible.

And even then, you can still save money. Whenever I get ready to release a new set of videos, there is a pre-order period where you can sign up for those videos at a discounted price. When I deliver regular sessions at conferences, I often give attendees a 10% discount code they can apply (for a limited time) to all purchases. And all attendees who attend my workshop receive a code for a 20% discount, no time limit, and useable for all current and future videos. (Discount codes do not stack, but discounts can be applied to a pre-order).

Bottom line

So the bottom line is simply this. If you are involved with performance of SQL Server queries, you need to work with execution plans. I try to help you, with conference sessions and recorded material. Are you going to use it?

Or, in other words … do you want to get better at your job?

Execution Plan Video Training – Announcing the next block
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