Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

  • Mood:

Career advice

I'm finishing answering an email from a gentleman in India who wants career advice. Never heard of him, he contacted me out of the blue. It's always weird getting email like that, but I usually take the time to answer it. I was able to give him some specifics since he asked specific questions, but here's a bit for you if you're a programmer.

Learn databases! Learn them, damn it! Learn how to design a database, understand why you should normalize your data and why you might break those rules. Understand why NULLs are a Bad Thing and why your DBA usually wants to shoot you for doing SELECT * FROM .... I am so tired of going into a database and seeing columns named "ingredient_1, ingredient_2 ...". I'm tired of fixing SQL injection attacks. Please, just learn databases, will ya!

There's a lot more about databases I could rant about, but I'll stop. Most serious developers today must work with databases of some sort or another and most suck at it. If you have a good handle on the basics, you'll trump most developers out there.
Tags: databases, programming
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