When I started at Microsoft just a short time ago, I needed to ramp up my learning of Azure SQL as well as the other products and services in Azure as quickly as possible. My manager, Muazma Zahid, send along an email with links of resources to start with. This post is going to share these resources as well as many others that I have found along the way. Also, I have to mention, most (99%) of the training and learning links I will be sharing are 100% free.
Microsoft.com Training hosts many modules on pretty much every topic and product available from Microsoft; from Azure to Xbox. This is where I started with the Azure SQL Fundamentals learning path. This set of modules covers the basics of Azure SQL, deployment options, and important features such as HA, DR, and security. What’s even better is that there are a set of YouTube videos that go along with this learning path; more on that later in this post.
Another learning path I found very useful was Introduction to Transact-SQL. Coming from primarily using Oracle SQL, this set of modules let me see the basics of T-SQL and how they compared to what I was used to (spoiler alert: they are very similar).
Putting concepts into practice always helps to solidify learning, so going through the Build serverless, full stack applications in Azure and Architect modern applications using Azure SQL Database did just that. These learning paths took the Azure SQL knowledge and applied that to modern application development in the cloud.
Something to keep in mind when on Microsoft.com Learning is that you can add selected learning paths to a collection. Once you find a module you would like to take or a group of modules, you can use the Save link under the description. This will allow you to save this module into a collection to refer back to at a later time.
Some of the learning paths also include exercises that you can perform on free cloud resources.
Different sections of the learning path will prompt you to Launch the lab environment which opens up in a new browser window.
You get a full development/lab environment to use with the database and database connections all set up and ready to go!
Microsoft has multiple YouTube channels with some that accompany the learning paths as mentioned above. To start, we have the Azure SQL Fundamentals set of videos with Anna Hoffman and Bob Ward that go along with the Learning Path. Additionally, Anna and Bob have a 61 episode Azure SQL for Beginners set of videos that go more into depth on deployment, HA, DR as well as security to name a few. Anna also has the weekly web series Data Exposed which covers the complete Azure SQL and cloud ecosystem with PMs and Microsoft MVPs.
Contained in the Microsoft Developer YouTube channel are many video series for beginners that address multiple topics. Some of those topics are Java for Beginners, CodeStories, and a brand new series just launched; Learn: A Full Stack Application with Azure SQL & Prisma for Beginners.
GitHub hosts a myriad of code samples and guides you can use for learning. The Azure Samples repository is a treasure trove of code for all things Azure Cloud. The Microsoft Azure repository contains samples for working with APIs, SDKs and open source projects (python, .NET, etc). A fellow co-worker, Davide Mauri, has multiple repositories with practical samples such as full stack kickstarts, Azure SQL samples, and a “curated awesome list of resources for taking advantage of everything Azure SQL has to offer”.
There are many many books available on Azure SQL, but I wanted to mention two exceptional ones. First, Practical Azure SQL Database for Modern Developers, which was written by many of the Azure SQL PMs here at Microsoft (Davide Mauri, Silvano Coriani, Anna Hoffman, Sanjay Mishra, Jovan Popovic). The second book is Azure SQL Revealed, written by Bob Ward. These two books are excellent as I said before, and can be purchased in paper or PDF formats.