Introducing the SQLskills Blackbelt Badge

Well, it’s the 30th of December and as I look back over the year, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking that I’m soooo glad that 2020 is almost over. Good riddance! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! ;-) 

The only small silver-lining in having been home for our (Paul and I) longest stretch EVER – is that we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about our training platform and the options we offer. We’ve completely updated our website (thanks to the amazing folks at Papersword B2B), we’ve added verifiable badges so that you can better show off your achievements (we’ll be releasing “partner badges” soon too), and over the last few months we’ve converted all of our LIVE training from our September and October 2020 deliveries into online streaming courses. It took a massive team effort and a lot of testing / tweaking but now we’re finally ready (and continually improving the platform)! The best part is that we’ve decided to start off the New Year RIGHT by ADDING to and extending our discounts through the month of January. Look, we’ve all had a heck of a 2020 and we’re all looking forward to 2021 bringing us back up to a more normal pace again (I am truly hopeful for this). And, for those of you who want to ramp up some of your skills, we’re introducing both the Blackbelt Badge and our Blackbelt training bundles.

What is the Blackbelt Badge?

This is our most demanding verifiable-badge. To achieve this badge, a SQL Server professional has to have attended more than 150 hours of deep-technical SQLskills training across a variety of disciplines with primary focus on performance tuning and troubleshooting as well as appropriate design and configuration from an on-premises SQL Server to an Azure VM | MI (and know when each is appropriate) to Clustering and AGs to designing for VLTs (very large tables) and optimizing both OLTP and Decision Support / Relational Data Warehousing. IEPTO1 and IEPTO2 must be on SQL Server 2019 and at least half of the remaining courses must be on SQL Server 2019 as well. If you have already attended some of the required short courses on SQL Server 2017, they will apply!

The courses required to achieve this badge are:

IEAzure: Immersion Event on Azure SQL Database, Azure VMs, and Azure Managed Instance

  • Instructor: Tim Radney
  • Next LIVE, ONLINE delivery: February 23-24-25 and March 2-3-4, 2021

IEPTO1: Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 1

  • Instructors: Paul S. Randal, Kimberly L. Tripp
  • Next LIVE, ONLINE delivery: March 15-16-17-18-19 AND March 22-23-24-25-26, 2021

IEPTO2: Immersion Event on Performance Tuning and Optimization – Part 2

  • Instructors: Paul S. Randal, Kimberly L. Tripp, Jonathan Kehayias, Erin Stellato
  • Next LIVE, ONLINE delivery: April 12-13-14-15-16 AND April 19-20-21-22-23, 2021

IECAG: Immersion Event on Clustering and Availability Groups

  • Instructor: Jonathan Kehayias
  • Recorded delivery from October 2020 (SQL Server 2019) is available

IEQS (2019): Immersion Event on Solving Common Performance Problems with Query Store

  • Instructor: Erin Stellato
  • Next LIVE, ONLINE delivery: May 4-5-6, 2021

IEVLT: Immersion Event on Very Large Tables: Optimizing Performance and Availability through Partitioning

  • Instructor: Kimberly L. Tripp
  • Next LIVE, ONLINE delivery: May 17-18-19-20, 2021

IECS: Immersion Event on Columnstore Indexes

  • Instructor: Jonathan Kehayias
  • Recorded delivery from November 2019 (SQL Server 2017) is available

What are the Blackbelt Bundles?

The Blackbelt Bundles are specially-priced combinations that bring together the required courses to achieve your Blackbelt knowledge and associated Blackbelt Badge.

We offer two packages: the Blackbelt LIVE and the Blackbelt NOW. 

SQL Server 2019 Blackbelt LIVE Bundle

Includes the upcoming, Spring 2021 LIVE, ONLINE deliveries of IEAzure, IEPTO1, IEVLT, IEPTO2, and IEQS plus the recorded versions of IECAG and IECS – access to all SEVEN of these recordings does NOT expire!

The regular price for all five of these live courses and two recordings would be $14,970 and would require roughly 7 weeks out of the office. Our regular price for this bundle is $9,995 (saving you 33%)! 

**** Until January 31, 2021, this Blackbelt LIVE Bundle will be available for a discounted price of $7,495.00 (50% OFF)

SQL Server 2019 Blackbelt NOW Bundle

Includes access for ONE YEAR to all of our currently recorded versions of IEAzure, IEPTO1, IEVLT (2017), IEPTO2, IEQS (2017), IECAG, and IECS.

The regular price for all seven of these recorded courses is $7,715. Our regular price for this bundle is $6,995.

**** Until January 31st, 2021, this Blackbelt NOW Bundle will be available for a discounted price of $5,995.00 (22% OFF)

What if YOU HAVE already attended SQL Server 2019 versions of any of the courses above?

For those of you who are already on your way, you can get up to a $5,000 credit against completing the required Blackbelt courses by paying ONLY the difference between what you’ve paid and the Blackbelt LIVE Bundle (up to a max of $5,000.00). This is a more complicated process for me but here’s what I want you to do.

  1. If you have ALREADY attended ANY of the seven courses above in September / October 2020, send me (Kimberly at SQLskills dot com) an email that lists the courses attended.
  2. I will confirm the courses attended and the amounts already paid. 
  3. I will send you a specific discount code for your credit – up to a max of $5,000.00 – to be used toward your purchase of a Blackbelt LIVE bundle! NOTE: This only applies to the Blackbelt LIVE bundle and ONLY to Immersion Events delivered on SQL Server 2019 (All Immersion Events after December 1, 2019).

Which Blackbelt Bundle is right for you?

I’ve had this question a few times so I wanted to address it here. The Blackbelt LIVE bundle is really an incredible combination – not only the technical content but also the ability to ask questions and interact. For some, the sheer discipline of a set timeline for attending the courses will be enough. But, the interaction and the ability to go back to the recordings adds a lot of value! We all know how difficult it is to remember everything. Now, you can selectively go back and listen to that lecture with no expiration date on the courses you’ve attended (or purchased with the Blackbelt LIVE).

The Blackbelt NOW is for those of you who need the content NOW and are great at disciplined / self-paced learning! For the disciplined student, you’ll have one year to study and access all of these recordings.

In Summary

You can find more details on our training pages here. And, of course, you can always shoot me an email if you have any remaining questions! We do hope to see you in an event soon!

Above all, may the new year bring you great success in every aspect of your lives!

HappNew Year!



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