learning about databases..

learning about databases..

Post by Angela VanOsdo » Wed, 09 Apr 1997 04:00:00



Hi...

I am interested in learning about databases this summer.  I don't have a
clue where to start and I was wondering if someone might be able to offer
some advice.  I obviously can't learn everything but would like to gain
some familiarity with database software in use now as well as general
database concepts.  Since I don't have access to a database, is it
unrealistic to try and learn how to use one efficiently?  I just can't see
myself being able to sit down and read a book on a program that I can't
even use.  As far as general database theory, can anyone recommend a good
book on the topic?  As far as what general knowledge level I am starting
at, I am a Computer Science major but have only had two CS courses so far.
I understand the basics of object oriented programming, but have never had
any kind of database related coursework.  

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.. =)

Angie VanOsdol


 
 
 

learning about databases..

Post by Juliekfr » Sat, 12 Apr 1997 04:00:00


There are several approaches you can try, all of which I have used myself.
 Databases are difficult to understand and fully appreciate until you try
to design one or work with one yourself and so gaining any kind of
experience will help in your education.  Designing databases for
organizations involves interacting with various people in the organization
to come up with the database solution, so a course in communications or
interpersonal skills would also come in handy.  (You might be surprised at
how "guarded" or "possessive" some employees feel about the data they
collect even if they do not actually "own" it.)

1.)  End User Approach:  Get a paid or volunteer job as a Data Entry
Operator or related position. You would then have the opportunity to work
with a database from the point of view of an end user, a critical
experience in my view if you plan to design applications in the future.
You would also gain experience on at least one database application.  In
the past 10 years I have volunteered my computer expertise at the local
public television station.

2.)  Home Project:  Design your own database based upon a personal hobby
or interest.  For example, I recently created an MS-Access database to
catalog all the video tapes in my personal library.  Of course, there is
always the list of friends and family to send birthday cards to and other
important things to keep track of.  Everyone I know keeps an address book,
a kind of personal DB.

3.)  Local Club or Organization:  If you belong to a club, you can
volunteer your services to organize the club roster.  Presently, I am
Membership Chairman of the Milwaukee Astronomical Society.  Lots of DB
work there!

4.)  Database Education:  The basis for all database design rests on
really just a few concepts which you can learn in a database management or
database theory course at your local college.  Once you understand SQL,
ISAM, relational theory, DB management and related topics, then you should
be able to tackle most any project.  Learning how to use Oracle, MS-Access
and other packages mostly amounts to learning how to use the software.

Learning opportunities abound.  You just need to know where to look.

Julie K Frey

BS Astronomy-Physics UW Madison, 1984
BS Business Management Systems-Computer Systems Milwaukee School of
Engineering, 1995
Programmer, IATN Inc.

 
 
 

learning about databases..

Post by Tom Anderso » Wed, 16 Apr 1997 04:00:00


Using any of the databases that live on Microsoft operating systems
will give you a feeling for what it's like to use them, etc. From a
CS point of view, this might be less than totally satisfactory, as
you cannot delve into the source code. Depending on your available
time and resources, you might consider giving Linux a home on your
PC (if you have one!); as long as you have enough disk space, it
can peaceably co-exist on the same machine, and there are some freeware
databases available for which you can obtain the source code. These
aren't the big commercial successes that Microsoft stuff tends to be,
but you can see exactly how the implementation works.

Tom


> Hi...

> I am interested in learning about databases this summer.  I don't have a
> clue where to start and I was wondering if someone might be able to offer
> some advice.  I obviously can't learn everything but would like to gain
> some familiarity with database software in use now as well as general
> database concepts.  Since I don't have access to a database, is it
> unrealistic to try and learn how to use one efficiently?  I just can't see
> myself being able to sit down and read a book on a program that I can't

<snip>

> Angie VanOsdol



--

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