There are a number of good sites that offer free training and free E-Books. The community around MS SQL is amazing! If I forget anyone, please add an update. I'd like to have a complete list if at all possible. Let's break it apart for a second.
Before I start, I want to make sure you all are aware of the PASS Chapters.
There are local chapters in your community that gather and learn as a group. If there isn’t one, contact me or anyone at pass. We can help give you the foundation you need to set one up.
There are Virtual chapters that are free and not locational specific. They are divided by the training they provide. They have 15 separate Virtual Chapters to choose from. This is a lot of free training just going to waste if no one signs in!
Free Video Training? Are you the type that only learns with audio and visual stimulation? Are you just bored and there's nothing on TV or Netflix? Well... There's a number of good sites with great video archives!
This Technet section offers a number of great videos with pointed training. 70 videos if I counted correctly.
This is Brent Ozar and crew's site. They have a fantastic archive of their weekly broadcasts and other videos they've made just to help out the rest of us. While I'm here, I'd like to mention that they do have very reasonably priced higher level training that can be purchased... but the link will take you to the free side.
Sean and Jen McCown run this site. There is a whole collection of videos that are free to download or stream. They also have a rather funny webshow on Fridays at 2300(11 PM) Central. It's a great way to unwind after a bad week.
Pass is the main hub for SQL Server training in America. Or at least the main one I've found. Once a year they have a summit that is rather pricey but I've never heard one person come back saying it was a waste of time or money. They offer the previous year’s training for free. You can purchase the current year if you wish. This is a great professional networking opportunity.
Similar to SQLPass, this is a large and free conference that gives great training.
RedGate offers a really good training site and conference that’s been growing in popularity as of recent. This is another one that if you look through, you can find archived videos.
SQL Saturday is an event done in many different cities worldwide. This is the step above your local user group. It’s a great place for new speakers to stretch their legs and for people to connect with other professionals all over the region. In OKC alone we had people coming in from all over the country. These are huge networking opportunities.
How about blogs in general?
SQL Server Central is a great hub for multiple blogs to be posted. It’s a great forum for people to gather and get answers in a timely fashion. That being said, don’t risk production down time waiting for an answer. People do sleep.
Below is a quick list of blogs in no particular order. These are all good places to hit on a regular basis. Of course I threw mine in there too. ^.^
How about the interaction you’ll be missing just internet stalking people and watching them in archives? Well we do have webcasts for you!
Brent Ozar, Kendra Little, Jeremiah Peschka, Jes Schultz Borland, and new comer Doug Lane host this consulting crew and they present a free webcast every Tuesday at 11:30 AM Central. It’s a lunch break for some free training.
Sean and Jen McCown run the Midnight DBA webshow every Friday at 2300 (11PM) Central. It’s more laid back and recently a lot more based around personal development and normal ethics based ideas than technical talk… but it does spring up. Don’t miss the preshow and post show both offset by 30 minutes.
PromaticWorks also hosts free training every Tuesday and Thursday at 11AM EST. This could make for a busy Tuesday.