New online course: Detecting and Correcting Database Corruption

My latest Pluralsight online training course went live today: SQL Server: Detecting and Correcting Database Corruption

It’s 4 hours long and is the first in a two-part series, with a more advanced course coming in a few weeks.

The modules in this course are:

  • Introduction
  • Causes of Database Corruption
  • Detecting Page Corruption
  • Consistency Checking
  • DBCC CHECKDB and Related Commands
  • Interpreting DBCC CHECKDB Output
  • Simple Restore Techniques
  • Simple Repair Techniques

You can get to the course here.

Pluralsight starts at US$29/month, for more than 80 hours of SQLskills SQL Server training (growing all the time) and more than 770 total developer and IT Pro courses (also growing all the time).


Death of the MCM program

Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the sudden announcement by Microsoft of the cancelling of the MCM/MCSM (Microsoft Certified Master) program, I kicked off a survey asking how the decision affects you. I hoped it would be one more data point that would help persuade Microsoft Learning (MSL) that the MCM program should continue. Alas, it is not to be, as on Monday’s con-call between the MCM community and MSL it was made very clear that the program is effectively dead.

Although the MCM webpage still says that October 1st is the deadline for taking the exams, for those of you now hurrying to complete the certification, MSL have extended the deadline to December 31st. See Ryan Rinehart’s comment for confirmation of this.

Here are the results of the survey.


The “Other” responses are:

  • 5 x “I had always planned to work towards MCM certification.”
  • 4 x “I’m disappointed, but accept the rationale.”
  • 3 x “I am taking the lab a week from tomorrow. I’d like to be able to retake if i don’t make it!”
  • 3 x “I support ms decision because the design of mcm is wrong though mcm’s purpose is right”
  • 3 x “I’m pretty much tired of all the changes going on, and will probably wait for SQL 2014 certification.”
  • 3 x “Just one more reason why i never pursued certs in the first place. the programs change to frequently”
  • 3 x “no i don’t see this having any direct effect on me but i am disgusted that miscrosoft can treat peoples investment of time and effort so casually.”
  • 1 x “Combination of spent time & money studying and taking the prerequisite certifications because they are prerequisites”
  • 1 x “I am an MCM who was planning to sit the MCA review board and won’t be able to before the program shuts down.”
  • 1 x “I was enrolled for the October rotation.”
  • 1 x “I was waiting for a BI one”
  • 1 x “I’m MCSM: Messaging and had another rotation (DS) scheduled in October”
  • 1 x “stop whining, its not like they are going to change this because of this poll”
  • 1 x “What is MCM?”
  • 1 x “Yes, I have a team of SQL Professionals and MCM is on all of their personal goals. I had 2 due to take this by EoY – one who is stuck between Exam and Lab, with booking engine down. Very disappointed that this prestigious and aspirational Certification is being cancelled”

And there you have it. I feel particularly bad for those people who have spent time and money taking prerequisite exams, or have passed the knowledge exam but not the lab exam.

I made my feelings on the decision pretty clear in the Insider newsletter editorial last week – I’m very sad about the decision, the manner in which it was made, and the manner in which it was communicated – having been deeply involved in the SQL MCM program since the very first Ranger rotation inside Microsoft.

I’m not going to waste your time by reiterating the same arguments about certifications and the MCM program that you’ve probably read several times now over the last two weeks. But I do urge you to read the eloquent post by Joe Sack (who used to run the SQL MCM program) on the subject and the really disappointing con-call with MSL: We can handle the truth.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything Joe says, including the part about being very wary of advocating any future advanced certification that Microsoft comes up with, if they even do – which many of us doubt.

Although the MCM has been removed as the focus point for learning goals, learning still goes on, and people will still aspire to make themselves better SQL Server professionals.

Don’t give up learning – it’s always worth it.

Survey: SQL Server MCM cancellation – does it affect you?

I’m sure most of you have heard the news now that Microsoft has effectively cancelled the MCM/MCSM/MCA program abruptly, with a cold email sent at 10pm last Friday night. There’s a lot of anger in the community about the way it was done – with only one month’s notice for people to attempt the exams before everything closes down October 1st.

The Connect item to bring the certifications back had almost more than 850 up-votes before it was closed and made inaccessible outside of Microsoft (due to abuse from a small handful of people) and there are lots of impassioned comments berating Microsoft for cancelling the program. Plus many people have blogged their thoughts – I liked Jason Brimhall’s post that I linked to in my commentary in yesterday’s SQLskills Insider newsletter.

[Edit: the survey is closed – results are here.]

I think it would be interesting to know just how many are affected by this decision, as I know that many of you have invested time studying for the MCM and money and time attending classes like ours.

And that’s the point of this survey. I’ll editorialize the results next week. You’ll notice there’s only one “No I’m not affected” answer – that’s because I’m only interested in the number of unaffected people.