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Know MySQL by the end of the year!

tl;dr: This free virtual self-study group is for folks who want to learn the basics of MySQL, or refresh their MySQL skills. RSVP to this meetup to join and get critical updates!

Biggest questions and answers:

- What happens on the actual meetup date?  This is not a real-time meetup, I have put a time for a meetup because by January 1st, you will know MySQL!

- What do I need to start this course? All you need is the book. If you do not have the book by the start date, you can still do the first week by using the online material from "Browse Contents" at

- When do we install MySQL? Chapter 2, week 2. If you already have MySQL installed, week 2 will be a breeze! Related - can I use Percona or MariaDB? YES!

- Is there a book newer than 2007? No, but I have posts for each chapter with updates, where relevant, for the newer versions.


The full description:

If you would like to learn MySQL from the ground up, consider joining us. This is for beginners - If you have no experience with MySQL, or if you are a developer that wants to learn how to administer MySQL, or an administrator that wants to learn how to query MySQL, this course is what you want.

If you are not a beginner, you are welcome to join too - maybe you need a refresher, or maybe you just want to test your knowledge or earn badges. That's OK too!

The format of a virtual self-study group is as follows:

  • Each participant acquires the same textbook (Learning MySQL, the "butterfly O'Reilly book", published 2007). You can acquire the textbook however you want (e.g. from the libary or from a friend) but if you buy the book, we ask that you buy it from our Amazon Store, to help pay for meetup fees.
  • Each participant commits to read one chapter per week, complete the exercises and post a link to the completed work. Tweet using the hashtag #mysqlmarinate.
  • Each participant obtains assistance by posting questions to a discussion area set up on the Virtual Tech Self Study Message Board for each chapter.
  • Each participant receives a badge upon finishing all chapters and all assignments and their name on a public website.

Note: There is no classroom instruction. However, hands-on assistance is available. In the Boston area there will be "marinating hours" (location and schedule to be announced). We will also set up real-time IRC hangouts so that anyone, virtually, can get live help.

How do I get started?

  1. Become a member of the Virtual Tech Self Study Meetup Group.
  2. Register for MySQL Marinate.  Simply RSVP to this event: Yes
  3. Acquire a book (the only item that may cost money).  Simply acquire Learning MySQL - see if your local library has it, if someone is selling their copy, or buy it from our Amazon Store (this helps pay for meetup fees).

    Learning MySQL

  4. When your book arrives, start your virtual learning by reading one chapter per week. Complete the exercises; if you have any questions, comments or want to learn more in-depth, that's what the forums are for!


[Anticipated] FAQs:

Q: How long will the course last?

A: We will cover 12 lessons (chapters) in the book, so 12 (twelve) weeks starting October 1st, though we will have one weeks that is a break so that you can catch up if you need to or you have a week off if you need it.  Refer to the MySQL Marinate Season 3 Master Discussion List for specific dates.

Q: Can I get ahead?

A: Sure! This is go-at-your-own-pace. To prevent spoilers, please put comments in the appropriate chapter threads.

Q: Does this cover the Percona patch set or MariaDB forks?

A: This covers the basics of MySQL, which are immediately transferable to Percona's patched MySQL or MariaDB builds.

Q: What do I need in order to start the course?

A: All you need is the book and access to a computer, preferably one that you have control over. Installing MySQL is chapter 2, so really, all you need is the book and a computer to start, you don't have to worry about any prerequisites.

Q: Where can I put completed assignments?

A: You will be able to put completed assignments on github. Instructions are in week 1.

Q: The book was published in 2007. Isn't that a bit old?

A: Yes! O'Reilly is working on new material, but it is not ready yet. The basics are still accurate, and we will let you know what in the book is outdated. We will also have optional supplemental/"extra credit" material for those who want to learn more right away. We are confident that this self-study course will make you ready to dive into other, more advanced material.


Soak it in!

Sheeri Cabral

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  • Dennis H

    will this be offered again anytime soon?

    October 27, 2014

  • May T.


    January 1, 2014

48 went

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