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Lesson 3 What you need
Objective This page describes what you need to take this course.

Platform support

You can take this course on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux platforms.

Software

It is optional for you to have a copy of SQL Server 2012. If you do not currently own SQL Server 2012, you can order have an evaluation copy from Microsoft.
SQL Server requires Windows 7 or Windows 10 as an operating system.
In the next lesson, you will learn about course resources.

Database programming is a pretty big shift from most other kinds of software engineering. If you are at all like me, something brought you from your early programming experience (6502-based machines in BASIC for me) to databases. In particular relational databases.
Working with SQL Server is a whole different animal from ordinary procedural programming. You must be an animal of type human in order to program SQL-Server. You get to think in mathematical and set-based terms, and learn how to ask carefully for what you want without spelling out how to actually accomplish the work. Transitioning from procedural programming to this kind of thinking without help is like trying to make a paradigm shift without a clutch. And yet this language, SQL, has a certain simplicity to it sometimes that makes it a pleasure to work with, once you learn how to think like it thinks. What I wished for at the time was a course I could read that would give me the concepts and the functional knowledge to understand what I was seeing and know what was out there that I did not know about yet. This book is the book I wanted, which means if you are in that early learning phase with T-SQL, it is probably the course you need as well. This is a step-by-step tutorial, providing you the concepts you need in bite-sized pieces presented in an orderly way, each building on the last. The whole reason it exists is that you would likely have a terrible time picking up such a completely new set of concepts by choosing topics out of an online help database. My hope is that, in this course, you find something that covers all of the core elements of SQL Server. When you are done, you should be set to be a highly functional SQL Server 2012 programmer and enjoy the unique challenges of database programming for years to come.