A pleasure to "meet" you, as well. And, to be sure, we all started out as novices. I had SQL Server thrust upon me back in '96. I was truly an "accidental DBA" and, although it was "fun", it was trying (heh... still is, sometimes). There's so much to learn about SQL Server. While I'm pretty darned good at T-SQL and other things like indexes and the like, I'm still a rank novice in a lot of areas.
That's all a part of the reason why I taught myself how to build shedloads of test data. I found a website way back then called "Belution.com" and was a fairly active member. A lot of what I saw, when it came to issues of performance, was based on hear-say, opinion, and "Best Practices" that actually turned out to be not so good and so decided to "let the code do the talking" for me. Unfortunately, Belution.com went offline more than a decade ago.
With sites like this one (SQLTeam.com) and the good people (there are some serious heavy hitters on this and other forums), it's pretty easy to find new and sometimes better ways even for an old dog like me.