Hello, world!

Ugh, another tech blog. Well, in my defense:

  1. I really don’t expect many people to read this anyway
  2. I hope to cover something that I’ve had a hard time finding coverage of in the blogosphere – database design for application programmers

Databases are important. Really important. Maybe not the most important thing, but up there with showering and changing your oil every 3K miles. Problem is, at most of the jobs I’ve had I’m the developer who knows the most about how to effectively use the database (my apologies to anyone I’ve worked with who’s reading this). As much as I’d like to keep that the case for selfish reasons, it doesn’t seem right.

There are opposing forces at work in the development community. At the same time that modern technologies such as Hibernate give developers the mistaken impression that they can get away with knowing less about database design or database application programming our collective reliance on storing and searching large datasets has exploded. Application developers can no longer afford to assume the DBA will make it all better. And we are nearing the end of the era where poor database design can be shielded by raw processing power. The best applications, and the best application developers, must optimize data access at every point in the system.

It’s not always fun. Any modern DBMS has the ability to reduce a man to a heap of slobbering refuse. But….it’s important. Hopefully the experience I share will make it less painful.

From a technical standpoint, expect to get a lot of Oracle and MySQL as those are the DBMSes I’ve worked on. I love me some PL/SQL for business logic. My middle tier languages are Java and PHP, and I’ve done a lot of Perl in the no-so-distant past. I find C to be interesting if you must, but I choose to forget that I ever learned C++. I have a modest coder-crush on JavaScript but I don’t get to spend much time with it, and I find CSS fun in modest portions. So all of that is fair game.

So here’s my plan. As of this writing, I have loosely 30 database-related topics that I hope to cover (see the Future Posts page). Additionally, the initial concept for this blog was to analyze and critique the database schemas for well-known open-source projects like phpbb or MediaWiki, and I still plan on doing that if I find it interesting. Beyond that, I have vague plans on a recurring series to develop a fantasy sports database schema for educational purposes. And although I reserve the right to intermittently post about anything else that remotely interests me, from development practices to my sons to politics, the focus of this blog will be databases and will be targeted at application programmers. So since my goal is a post a week, I expect to have about a year of posts before I need to decide if this blog has any value to anyone besides me 🙂

All that said, thanks for reading!

P.S. For the doubters out there, please check out the Tech Cred section to the left to find out more about my technical background.

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