Database Learning Resources

My need, and the needs of my colleagues to keep up with many different platforms led to the idea of compiling a list of resources to use when you want to learn from experts about different technologies, from podcasts, blogs, and conferences. Of course, these won’t supplant search engines, large language models, and of course, Stack Overflow when you are stuck on a problem, but they are places to learn more and more of the things you don’t currently know about.

To help you get to grips with learning more about database technology and the latest industry trends, here are some of my recommended resources, along with those of my coworkers. We all have different sources we go to, so we started a list. 

Editor Note: Platforms are sorted alphabetically. It does not mean we favor one over the other.


Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to learn about a topic on the go. There are a wide variety of podcasts about technology that you can pull up while you are walking or driving and learn in an often entertaining way.

PostgreSQL

SQL Server

  • Dear SQL DBA Podcast – Covering database problems, performance tuning, and all sorts of data trouble.
  • SQL Server Radio – A podcast for anyone interested in the SQL Server platform. The show intends to add another platform of knowledge sharing to the SQL Server community.
  • SQL Data Partners Podcast – Focuses on Microsoft data platform related topics mixed with a sprinkling of professional development.
  • SQL Down Under Podcast – Featuring interviews with well-known individuals from the SQL Server and data communities. Each show provides information on using SQL Server and other data-related products.

Blogs

Sometimes it might seem like reading is a lost art, but blogs are some of the best ways to learn about one or more technical subjects. That is largely what the Simple Talk website is about, but we also read other blogs as well.

PostgreSQL

  • The Citus Blog – Includes thoughts about the Citus database, as well as PostgreSQL, sharding, distributed databases, and other open-source extensions to Postgres.
  • select * from depesz – Shares in-depth analyses of SQL queries and PostgreSQL-related topics. It’s a great resource for understanding PostgreSQL’s query execution and performance optimization.
  • Robert Haas’ Blog – Provides insights, technical discussions and updates related to PostgreSQL.
  • PostgreSQL Person of the Week, by Andreas Scherbaum – Shares interviews with people involved in the PostgreSQL community.
  • Software and Booz – A blog by Ryan Booz (Redgate PostgreSQL Advocate), Ryan shares content related to databases, primarily PostgreSQL.
  • Planet PostgreSQL – A blog aggregation service ran by the PostgreSQL community.
  • Simple Talk Ryan Booz – Content from Ryan Booz on the Simple Talk Website, focused largely on PostgreSQL.
  • Learning PostgreSQL with Grant – Series of posts from Grant Fritchey (Redgate Advocate) on his path from SQL Server expert to understanding how PostgreSQL works.

SQL Server

  • Brent Ozar Unlimited – Provides training, education, and technical insights for the SQL Server Community.
  • Modern SQL, by Markus Winand – A resource providing insights into SQL and how different systems support it.
  • Use The Index, Luke, by Markus Winand – A resource for developers seeking to understand SQL indexing and performance tuning
  • SQL Server Central – A SQL Server community and education site providing technical information and the latest developments in the SQL Server ecosystem.
  • SQL Authority – A blog for everything related to SQL Server, performance tuning and optimization
  • Port 1443 – Covers a wide range of topics related to SQL Server, administration, programming, and more.
  • LittleKendra.com – Kendra Little shares her experiences, tips and solutions related to SQL Server, data platforms, and Database DevOps.
  • Curated SQL – An aggregation of many of the best blogs and content around the web from Kevin Feasel.

Conferences and User Groups

While reading and listening to content on your own is great, sometimes it is nice to be amongst other people in person and learn from/meet people face to face.

PostgreSQL

SQL Server

  • Microsoft’s Azure Data Community – Links to data community and resources from Microsoft.
  • PASS Data Community Summit – A conference for data professionals to connect, share knowledge, and learn from industry leaders
  • SQL Saturday’s – Full-day conferences with technical sessions related to SQL Server, databases, and data management
  • SQL Bits – An educational data platform conference covering technologies including SQL Server
  • Data Saturday’s – Community-driven regional events that focus on data-related topics including SQL Server. These events provide a platform for learning, networking, and sharing knowledge within the data community.

Newsletters

In this section, we list some of the newsletters you can get delivered to your email box so you don’t have to hunt around for content.

PostgreSQL


Video Content

Content that is primarily video based. Typically walking you through some process and talking you through it. Can be very helpful when you are dealing with complex problems that are hard to write down, much like going to a presentation.

SQL Server

  • Darling Data’s Blog – This blog, by Erik Darling, mixes video and text blogs, but is more known for regular video blogs about tuning and writing T-SQL.

General Data Topics

  • Finding Data Friends – A video podcast by Ben Weissman and Jess Pomfret interviewing many of the people you may or may not, know in the data community.

Websites

In this section, I will list some well known websites that offer information beyond a regular blog.

PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL Documentation – A comprehensive resource for understanding and working with PostgreSQL
  • Bruce Momjian – Website from the original founder of PostgreSQL. Contains numerous presentations covering an array of PostgreSQL topics.

SQL Server

  • MSSQL Tips – A resource for SQL Server professionals, providing information, tips and techniques.
  • Erland Sommarskog – A plethora of well kept up technical resources for how to properly write T-SQL code
  • SQLServerFast – The website of Hugo Kornelis, who is painstakingly covering many of the internals of SQL Server

Tutorial content

Tutorial content differs from the other content in this list in that it is structured learning materials. Most of the material previously mentioned is more scattered, meaning the writers write about what they want to, and you either follow the person and get their information, or you find it when you are in need and are asking Google/Bing for help in crisis mode.

PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL Tutorial – Offers a structured and accessible approach to learning PostgreSQL covering topics from database installation to SQL queries and advanced concepts.
  • Tutorials Point PostgreSQL – A series of tutorials covering both basic and advanced concepts.
  • PostgreSQL Exercises – Helps make learning SQL more interactive and practical by providing a series of exercises to complete.

SQL Server

  • Microsoft Learn – A series of training modules and learning pathways for SQL Server to help the community solve challenges and keep informed about the latest developments.

Books

Books are very much related to tutorials, in that you know there is something you want to learn about, so you get the book and read about it. Unlike tutorials, they are usually a bit deeper and go into details that you rarely find anywhere else, in an ordered format that still only works in book form.

PostgreSQL

SQL Server


Community

Some things you just cant find using Google/Bing and you need help. This list will give you a few places to look to find people always willing to help.

PostgreSQL

  • PostgreSQL Reddit – A community driven subreddit where PostgreSQL enthusiasts discuss all things PostgreSQL.
  • Stack Overflow – An online community for developers serving as a Q+A site. There are over 170,000 questions covering PostgreSQL.
  • Asad Dhamani and contributors have a curated list of PostgreSQL software, libraries, tools and resources. It’s been around for years but is regularly updated.

SQL Server

  • SQL Server Reddit – A community driven subreddit for SQL Server enthusiasts to discuss all things SQL Server.
  • SQL Server Community Hub – Microsoft’s community for best practices and the latest news on SQL Server.
  • Stack Overflow – An online community for developers serving as a Q+A site. There are over 170,000 questions covering PostgreSQL.

Just the beginning

Even though we have a lot of resources listed, there are so many more out there. We have started out this list of resources with PostgreSQL and SQL Server links, but we will be adding more and more as time passes and we discover more.

If you have resources that you feel people should know about regarding any database technology, send a message to editor@simple-talk.com with the subject “Learning resource suggestions” suggestions, they will be added as we have time.