Acquiring Sybase DBA skills

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

I want to become sybase sql DBA. i have 15 years prog exp in cobol.Can i learn through e-learning.?

There are really two questions here… Can you learn the DBA skills if you are an experienced programmer? Absolutely, if you have access to a live system you can play with. But do you have a live system with which you are allowed to play? If you do, there is no problem. If you don’t, you will need to set up your own. And this is the real problem. Unlike MySQL, which is free, or Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle 10g, which have free versions of their products (they are fully functional, but have restrictions on the amount of memory they can address and/or the amount of data they can manage, which still makes them suitable for DBA training), Sybase’s Open Server Development and Testing edition costs $7,500…

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