Learning Pathways

Your steppingstones to achieve new skills

Learning Pathways are sessions organized like steppingstones, helping you on a journey to achieve new skills. Our Learning Pathways consist of at least three sessions in which speakers collaborate to deliver on a set of learning outcomes. They are scheduled in order so that you can follow the pathway and feel your progression through the conference.

Learning Pathway

Modernizing with SQL Server

It can be a daunting task to kick off a SQL modernization undertaking. You plan to modernize your data strategy but aren’t sure how to proceed and may not know what it actually entails. Modernizing could  mean rehosting your existing SQL Server workloads onto virtual machines, moving existing SQL Server workloads to fully managed relational database services, or other variation depending on your situation and environment. In either case, we’ve got you covered.

Join our Modernizing with SQL Server learning pathway to explore how to leverage new features and technologies for your SQL Server, from the latest versions of SQL Server to Azure. You will learn which Cloud option is best for your enterprise needs and objectives, how to plan your SQL Server migration and how to enable more Big Data and analytics capabilities through the use of Big Data Clusters. You will leave this learning pathway with a solid overview of the concepts, tools and options to modernize your database.

Learning Pathway

Query Performance Tuning

Inefficient queries can drain your database server resources and reduce overall performance. It is vital that you optimize queries individually and holistically to minimize impact on the performance of your data platform. But how to tackle these very complicated issues where something that works great one minute, is terrible the next? What techniques can you use to optimize queries so that they execute faster with the least impact to the rest of the system?

Join our Query Performance Tuning learning pathway to explore the tools and best practices for optimizing your SQL queries. Not only will you learn how to find and solve query performance issues, but you will also discover how to increase overall query performance and how to anticipate decreased performance in the future. Don’t wait to build efficient, beautiful queries that will run smoothly and be the game-changer in your applications!

Learning Pathway

SQL Performance for Developers

SQL performance tuning is a core task for any developer working with data. The more we demand from the data platform, the more complex the task can become. This is particularly true when working with large data sets, high throughput, or large number of concurrent users. What are the best practices and techniques to prevent your data platform applications from slowing down?

Join our SQL Performance for Developers learning pathway to learn how to make your database applications run faster. You will learn where to start with performance tuning and the strategies for structuring the database for query performance. From SQL Statements to ORMs and code design, you will leave this pathway with the most important tools to improve processing and query response time in your SQL environment.

Learning Pathway

Becoming an Azure Data Engineer

As the need for Data Scientists continues to grow, so too does the demand for an evolving Data Engineer. Discover what an Azure Data Engineer is and what you need to learn to step into this critical role.

Join our Becoming an Azure Data Engineer learning pathway to understand what this role is and what you need to know, or already know, in topics such as Azure Data Factory, Data Lakes, and Azure Databricks. You will leave this learning pathway with everything you need to begin your journey in becoming an Azure Data Engineer.

Learning Pathway


Security can be one of the most complex issues for a data professional when managing SQL Server, yet it’s also one of the most important, especially when sensitive data is on the line, but how can you counter security threats? How can you protect your SQL Server?

Join our Data Security learning pathway to learn how to design secure database applications and protect your SQL Server. You will learn the powerful features of SQL Server for safeguarding your data, from Stored Procedures, Data Encryption to Azure Key Vault. At the end of the learning pathway, you will be able to build a complete security dashboard for SQL Server using all the tools and information available to protect your organization’s data.

Learning Pathway

Big Data Clusters

One of the biggest features of SQL Server 2019 are Big Data Clusters, allowing you to spin up scalable clusters and deploy SQL Server, Spark and HDFS containers side-by-side, but how does it accomplish all of this? How do you deploy your Big Data Cluster and start running your notebooks and SQL queries on it?

Join our Big Data Clusters learning pathway to gain a good understanding of how Big Data Clusters work. We will cover all of the aspects of Big Data Clusters, from Big Data Clusters Architecture, Data Virtualization, to Deployments.

Learning Pathway

Machine Learning

What does the future look like? Advancements in machine learning are by far among the most significant developments in the technology of the 21st century. 

Be part of the future and join our Learning Pathway “Machine Learning” to explore how to leverage and implement Machine Learning in the SQL Server platform. From Machine Learning Algorithms to Automated machine learning, you will leave this pathway with the tools to start using Machine Learning with your SQL Server.

Learning Pathway

Python and Spark

We are generating data at an unprecedented pace, and Big Data Analytics is becoming a major priority for many organizations, but how do you process data at this scale? How do you get started developing applications for big data analytics, using Python, Spark, and PySpark?

Join our Python and Spark learning pathway to get started with Big Data Analytics using Spark and Python. From coding in Python, PySpark, to DataBricks, you will learn how to tackle your big data analytics needs.

Learning Pathway

Putting DevOps into Action

Everywhere you go, you hear the virtues of DevOps as a better, faster, more secure, and less costly approach to building and deploying software. Those arguments are persuasive, but what is DevOps? And how can you translate DevOps principles into actual practice?

Join our Putting DevOps into Action learning pathway to understand what DevOps can do for you. We will show you how to build DevOps practices, from deployments inside an Azure DevOps pipeline, Visual Studio, to CI/CD. You will leave this pathway with the ability to implement DevOps processes in your database deployments today.

Learning Pathway

Data Visualization & Storytelling

Data is everywhere, but it’s what we do with that data that make it so valuable. Which is essentially why data visualization and storytelling is so important, to put the data to its best use. How do you tell a story with data and where do you start?

Join our Data Visualization & Storytelling learning pathway to make sense of your data. You will learn how to communicate data effectively and how to create a successful data story. No matter where you are starting from, this pathway will provide you with the best visualization and design techniques to take your skills to the next level.

Are You Ready?