SQL Server: Free Yet Noteworthy E-book Package from Red Gate Software/Simple-talk.com

Before I start, I thought I would mention that I've always thought there was something a little suspicious about simple-talk.com. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but.. ok for instance, one of their bloggers, "Phil Factor" (FILLFACTOR -- get it?), kinda freaks me out. Maybe it's his avatar.

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Or maybe it's because he is so very anonymous. With that kind of talent, why on earth is he hiding his identity? Also, I also don't understand where all of these tremendously talented SQL pros came from and why simple-talk isn't super well-known. And how on earth did they score such influential authors as Joe Celko or even Louis Davidson?

So I'm poking around the the site for articles by DBA wiz Brad McGehee and I realize why the company seems so strange to me.... They are British! See, while I can appreciate British music (most of my library is filled with BBC Radio 1 artists), I've never been able to "get" other things they like, like British Humor. Ab fab? Not funny. Bland food? Not delicious. Powerless Monarchy? Not even grammatically correct.

But jokes about the British aside, simple-talk articles are bloody informative and well-written. Brad McGehee's posts and e-books about SQL Server are no exception. Here are a couple of my favs, along with a bonus from Louis Davidson.

  • BEST DBA CHECKLIST EVER The title says it all. Also available in PDF format if you want to professionally print a pretty poster.

  • A zipped collection of exceptional DBA e-books I didn't want to link directly to the 14MB zip, but to get just the e-book collection and not the software+e-book, click "Just the e-book please" link. This collection includes:

    • Brad's Sure Guide to SQL Server 2008 This Top 10 list of New Features for DBAs somehow manages to weigh in at 113 pages of awesome.

    • How to Become an Exceptional DBA This e-book sports about 80 pages of exceptional advice for DBAs. With chapters dedicated to managing your Online Brand as well as Managing Your Brand within Your Organization, this book also includes advice for techs who aren't DBA. Topics covered include honing your people & communication skills, time management, education and the GOYA principle.

    • DBA Best Practices PDF version of "THE BEST DBA CHECKLIST EVER" mentioned above.

    • Pro SQL Server 2005 High Availability Oh whoa, this is the ENTIRE 775 page book by Allan Hirt/Apress.

    • Ten Common Database Design Mistakes Written by Louis Davidson, the person who wrote the APress book "Pro SQL Server 2005 Database Design and Optimization.

    And in celebration of passing my first MCITP exam (70-431 - SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance) last Wednesday, here's a link to McGehee's article "Professional Certifications for DBAs."