Question for the developers here

I got myself a bee in the bonnet and gone and registered myself on a “Querying Microsoft SL Server with Transact SQL” course. I’ve got very little background in programming, some faffing around with macros in Excel is the extent of my skills.

The training plan states the following:

    This course discusses the role of XML in the Microsoft .NET vision and the larger world of distributed standards-based computing. This 4-day instructor led course provides students with the technical skills required to write basic Transact-SQL queries for Microsoft SQL Server.
    After completing this course, delegates will be able to:
     Describe how XML and related technologies fit into the .NET Platform.
     Create a well-formed XML document.
     Use XML schemas to validate an instance document.
     Describe how XML Document Object Model (DOM), XML Path Language (XPath), XSL Transformations (XSLT), and XQuery are used to create real-world solutions.
     Describe how Office XP can be used to handle XML.
     Describe how SQL Server 2000 uses XML.
     Describe how XML standards and the .NET Platform are used to address a range of solution requirements.
     Identify the next logical .NET training experience and readily justify the decision to enrol in further .NET training.
     Describe the uses of and ways to execute the Transact-SQL language.
     Use querying tools.
     Write SELECT queries to retrieve data.
     Group and summarize data by using Transact-SQL.
     Join data from multiple tables.
     Write queries that retrieve and modify data by using sub queries.
     Modify data in tables.
     Query text fields with full-text search.
     Describe how to create programming objects.
     Use various techniques when working with complex queries.

I want honest (and your expert) opinion. Will a noob like me be able to crunch this into my head or should I attempt something a tad less enthusiastic?

I don’t work with MS products at all, but I do have some experience with XML queries and web services. The concept is simple, but the implementation can be quite complex and difficult to follow. This stuff doesn’t look as though it would be useful to you in any other environment than the MS .NET

One of the ‘learning objectives’ is to ‘Identify the next logical .NET training experience and readily justify the decision to enrol in further .NET training.’ They put their brain-washing right there on the tin.

What are you hoping to achieve by taking this course?

Aside from being interested in programming, it is a matter of upskilling myself too. I’m bored and want (need?) something new to chew on. Currently I’m working on humungous spreadsheets (Excel) and need to sprout out an amazing amount of information from there, I got the S/O to help me with some of the stuff, but I want to be able to do it for myself. I’m just dubious as to whether its the right type of course to do at this point of time. The work is paying, so its not a matter of me worrying about wasting money, but I dont want to go waste my time if I’m going to have to backtrack because I’m clueless of what they’re attempting to teach me because I jumped a step on the ladder.

I don’t see much in there about SQL theory, so I don’t know if they’ll go into “what is a database and how/why would I use one, and what is SQL?”. I think a course on SQL would be required before one embarks on a course about XML-based SQL. I simply don’t know if the course covers this.

I don’t know enough about microsoft’s stuff to tell you if this will apply only to server-based databases or if it’ll be of use in your excel spreadsheet stuff.

Hint: I’m giving you questions to ask.

Then I don’t think this course would help you much, because it deals with SQL databases. Perhaps you should look for a course that deals with .NET macros. Is there still such a thing as VB for applications?–I know there used to be, but I haven’t (thank the FSM) had anything to do with MS products for a long time.

Sounds more like a job for a Access course. My hardcore developer bones shudder when I say that, but I think it’s the tool for your requirement.

If reporting is what you interested in, I would look at MS Reporting Service Coarse.
Joind to that SQL and database, this sounds like a lot of xml and writing query’s on it so, i don’t think it would benefit you at this point seems very narrow and technical.

Thanks guys, I think I am on the wrong track with this course from the responses. It is more of database extraction and manipulation of information based, Access is probably the best option at this point of time and possibly a formal course in Excel Macros a step later.

Much appreciated!