My bread and butter for workday software, not counting the omni-present Office suite, is probably SQL Server. In my job, I’m frequently dealing with Very Large Data Sets, and with my years of training in the client server salt mines, SQL is still the best way for me to deal with that data and interrogate it in a meaningful way. I learned SQL on Sybase and Watcom (now called Sybase SQL Anywhere), and have hacked on various open source packages, but started using Microsoft’s implementation around v. 6.0 or 6.5 for a port of our software that never happened. Now in the last year I’ve had to come up to speed on SQL Server 2000, just in time to start making the transition to Yukon.
I am really pleased to see some hard core SQL bloggers start up at the appropriately named SQLBlogs site. None of the bloggers appear to be actual Microsofties; they’re all dedicated professionals who spend a ton of time day in and day out with the SQL engine, and are covering some cool topics, including handling errors with connection pooling and some tricky stuff about the various datetime data types in SQL Server. Looks to be a good place for me to push my skills.