We become artists when we continuously build stuff that we think has value to someone (our customers, our friends, our family, ourselves), ship it for them to see and engage with, learn from the process, and use what we’ve gained to produce something of worth again, repeating the cycle.
About Art and Being An Artist | One Software Tester
I have spent the past couple weeks working on the SQL lesson for my database class. For the first (of four) practice sets on SQL commands, I felt like SQL was really kicking my butt. I didn’t have a good grasp of all the commands and how to put them together.
The lectures on SQL in my class were very … dry. They mostly consisted of the professor introducing a new command and then demonstrating how it worked, over and over, in different queries. There weren’t any breaks for us to try little problems. And there wasn’t any overview that helped us learn how to break down a problem. I imagined something like, “If you’re trying to find this kind of information, think about using this combination of commands,” or perhaps, “You need to find this information. Can you imagine how to build up to the right query? Start by formulating the query for X.” Instead, the lectures went more like this: “Let’s learn the JOIN command; here is how it works for this query. And here is how it works for this query. And here is how …”
After watching nine different lectures about SQL commands, I wasn’t always sure where to look for information about the specific problem I was trying to solve. So I turned to teh intarwebs. I found two really nice resources:
Most applications devote less than 10% of their code to the overt function of the system; the other 90% goes into system or administrative code: input and output; user interfaces, text editing, basic graphics, and standard dialogs; communication; data validation and audit trails; basic definitions for the domain such as mathematical or statistical libraries; and so on.
– Mary Shaw, “Architectural Issues in Software Reuse”
The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the complexities of his own making.