Warning: I’m gonna geek out on you now. If you understand what this one says, cool. If not, don’t worry about it. It’s not a topic for everyone.
I went to a lunchtime training at work today on SQL. I know a meager amount, enough to get by in my daily programming duties. I pick up a little here and there as I go, and I manage to get the job done.
This guy at work taught us 25 different ways to use the SELECT statement in SQL. It was unbelieveable. I understand it so much better now. Little tricks to get query results properly formatted and such… doing calculations on result sets… it totally rocked.
The last example he showed was how he helped his eighth grade daughter solve a calculus problem in SQL. Not the most computationally efficient process (the SQL Server version of the program took 50 seconds to run; the VB version took 8 seconds), but the fact that you can do it is pretty darn cool in my book.
Also, the concept of NULL is a lot more clear in the context of SQL. I guess I never realized that (at least with SQL Server) you have to specifically ask for values that are NULL or they don’t get returned in the result set. For example, the statement
SELECT name, city, state FROM address_table WHERE state <> ‘CA’
will not return rows where the state is NULL. I guess I figured it would, since NULL obviously doesn’t equal ‘CA’ but apparently you have to specifically ask for those, like this:
SELECT name, city, state FROM address_table WHERE state <> ‘CA’ OR state IS NULL
Funky. But it was cool to learn that stuff, especially some of the more advanced syntax involving calculations on the result set (totals, etc.).
Well, enough geeking for now.
SQL SELECT - Minute to learn, lifetime to master.