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MySQL Marinate!

tl;dr: This virtual self-study group is for folks who want to learn the basics of MySQL, or refresh their MySQL skills.


We are very excited to announce a new self-study group called MySQL Marinate. It will begin on January 1. 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.


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 January 1.  Refer to the MySQL Marinate Season 1 Master Discussion List for specific dates.

Q: Do I have to wait until January 1 to begin?

A: No need to wait.  Feel free to begin by reading the first lesson (chapter 1) once you obtain a copy of your book.

Q: What if I didn't RSVP in time and still want to join?

A: Just write us a note, and if there is still time we can add you to the list. Or you can wait until the next season when we start another.

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 complete the course?

A: All you need is the book and access to a computer, preferably one that you have control over.

Q: Where can I put completed assignments?

A: You will be able to put completed assignments on github. We will have instructions coming soon, and will update the appropriate threads with information on how to submit assignments.

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

A: Yes! We are working on new material, but it won't be ready by Jan 1, 2013. 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

Join or login to comment.

  • Simón B.

    I just joined when do we start the first lesson?

    October 23, 2014

  • Sheeri Kritzer C.

    Whenever you want! You can use the master list at for reference - just ignore the dates and work at your own pace!

    October 23, 2014

  • bret

    hi, just found out bout you folks, all good. recently completed the 'kenexa' sql exam. great fun and can share what learned where applicable. please sign me in and point to git hub where you 'reposit.' thanks kindly.

    January 7, 2013

  • Sheeri Kritzer C.

    January 3, 2013

  • Ronak A.

    I am a Mac OS X user.

    when using the cd to open a folder or directory is there a quick way to go back a step to the previous folder

    for example

    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$
    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$ ls
    Desktop Downloads Movies Pictures lib
    Documents Library Music Public xaa
    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$ cd documents
    ramin-mbp:documents ronakamin$ ls
    About Stacks.lpdf PDF Converter Pro
    ArcSoft Personal Docs
    Bluetooth Folder Personal Files
    Bouced Content Files RDC Connections
    Company Docs Screen Shots
    Count_Requests Scripts &Templates
    Cover Sheet Test Files
    Documents Unsorted Tasks
    FIREFOX_bookmarks.html WebEx
    Genius Project bookmarks[masked]-29.json
    Meta Data desktop.ini
    Microsoft User Data iChats
    ramin-mbp:documents ronakamin$ cd arcsoft
    ramin-mbp:arcsoft ronakamin$ Is there any easy way to get out of arcsoft and back to documents

    thanks in advance

    December 6, 2012

    • Ronak A.

      Perfect thank you Wesley

      December 6, 2012

    • Sheeri Kritzer C.

      If you want to go to the last directory you were in, you can use "cd -" for example, let's say you're in /home/ and do a "cd /usr" and want to go back to /home - you can type "cd -" and it goes back to the previous directory.

      January 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here's a good site with slide show and references in downloading MySQL

    January 1, 2013

  • Robert S.

    Thanks for getting this going

    1 · January 1, 2013

  • Ronak A.

    if I am attempting to open a folder/ directory with a space in between its label, is there a substitute character to replace the "space"

    I am having trouble commanding to open a folder with a space in its name

    for example:

    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$
    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$ ls
    Desktop Documents Downloads Library Movies Music Pictures Public lib xaa
    ramin-mbp:~ ronakamin$ cd documents
    ramin-mbp:documents ronakamin$ ls
    About Stacks.lpdf Count_Requests Meta Data Personal Files Unsorted Tasks
    ArcSoft Cover Sheet Microsoft User Data RDC Connections WebEx
    Bluetooth Folder Documents NetProspex_Overview.pdf Screen Shots bookmarks[masked]-29.json
    Bouced Content Files FIREFOX_bookmarks.html PDF Converter Pro Scripts &Templates desktop.ini
    Company Docs Genius Project Personal Docs Test Files iChats
    ramin-mbp:documents ronakamin$ cd Cover Sheet
    -bash: cd: Cover: No such file or directory
    ramin-mbp:documents ronakamin$ thanks in advance

    December 6, 2012

    • Ronak A.

      So essentially Cover Sheet would = Cover\ Sheet

      December 6, 2012

    • Wesley D.

      well when you type "\" you are telling the shell to interpret the following character (in this case white space) as its literal not as its meaning in the current environments syntax. So when you type "cd cover sheet" bash is only expecting one item, the path in which you want to move to, but instead you are giving it two pieces of information "cover" and "sheet" this is not what "cd" is expecting and so it barfs. by using "cover\ sheet" you are converting "cover sheet" into one variable which "cd" can then act upon. Hope this answers your ?

      December 6, 2012

  • Ronak A.

    Glad to be a part of the group! Thanks for starting this.

    December 6, 2012

  • Kevin F.

    Where is a good place to get the software we will need?

    December 2, 2012

    • Sheeri Kritzer C.

      The only software you will need is MySQL, which can be downloaded from This is chapter 2, so have no fear, there's nothing you need to set up to start.

      December 2, 2012

    • Sheeri Kritzer C.

      (we will be submitting homework via, so I reserve the right to amend what you'll need, but the first real homework to submit is in week 4, so again, nothing to worry about for a while).

      December 2, 2012

  • akin O.

    I have been looking for something like this for a long time. thanks to doing this. I can't wait.

    October 23, 2012

  • Sheeri Kritzer C.

    Hi all! I am so excited to see so much enthusiasm around this. Don't forget that once you start reading, check in at the appropriate thread for your chapter - they can all be found at

    October 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in!

    October 5, 2012

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