What to learn?

In this page I will tell what you what you should learn and what sequence might be most useful for you.

Are you new to SQL Server?

If you are just starting with learn SQL Server than I will first thing to learn is T-SQL. This is a fundamental skills with SQL Server and this is where everyone starts before studying other SQL Server components.

To you get you started you will need:

  • SQL Server (database engine) Installed (at work or at home).
  • SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) Installed.
  • Microsoft Samples installed. 

Once you have software and samples up and running you can start learning T-SQL.

Here is the order in which you should learn T-SQL:

  • Understand database concepts (tables & relationships)
  • Learn SSMS interface (navigation).
  • Learn basics of using T-SQL SELECT Statement which is used for querying.
  • Learn T-SQL Functions.

After that you can study various different topics in pretty much any order you want. If you don't know what to study, than you may consider studying towards a Microsoft Certifications which will give you a clear goal.

Do you know T-SQL already?

If you already know T-SQL then next step for SQL Server is to study either SSIS which is used for data migration, reporting (ETL) & data warehousing (Business Intelligence), or study SSRS which is used for creating reports and dashboards.

Whether you choose to study SSIS or SSRS is up to you. Once you know a bit more about one of the tools, you can either learn more about the tool you chose (SSIS or SSRS) or learn the second one, for instance if you learn SSIS to a certain level you may want to study SSRS to a certain level next. Please note if you want to specialize in one of the tools, it's best to focus your energy on a single tool, however if you would like to become a Business Intelligence Developer, then it's best to study both tools as both are needed.

Want to become a BI Developer?

If you have strong T-SQL skills, know a bit about SSIS and SSRS, and want to become a BI Developer, then final skill is to learn SSAS Tabular. There is an option to learn SSAS Multidimensional, however if you are new to SSAS then I recommend to study SSAS Tabular which is was released in 2012 and is becoming very popular, and Power BI runs behind the scenese (in the cloud) SSAS Tabular so it's going to be very easy to move to Power BI as well.

I hope this article provided you with interessting information.

Take care

Emil