I see the question coming up more and more of when to switch from something like Excel to something more like Access or a more fully fledged database server like MS SQL Server for data storage. So, here are a few things I find useful to consider when deciding between a relational database (RDB) driven versus a spreadsheet driven tracker:
Data are like words. Alone, their meanings are muted and confusing. Strung together, data points become information. Like a free standing sentence, information on its own can be misleading. Information combined with more information creates knowledge, the paragraphs where you start to understand what those strung together “words” really mean. And when knowledges collide, you get wisdom, the big picture, the fulcrum and the pivot point through which you can move worlds.
My former colleges and I, when I worked as a Data Specialist, were tasked with making sense of what a “Data Specialist” actually did in the company. I don’t remember who first came up with the idea of equating data and words, but it’s stuck with me. The thought above is my own phrasing, and I’ll likely keep changing the wording, but the essentials I think have developed pretty well.
Another discussion topic poised by my VB.NET teacher, this one sparked in part by the Association for Computing Machinery partnering with Code.org to increase the prominence of computer science in the US’s K-12 curriculum. He included a bunch of links there, of which “Should Everybody Learn to Code?” is one of my favorites.
My Visual Basic.NET professor threw out a link to the article, “States could count computer programming as foreign language skill” (from the Washington Post) and asked “What do you think about this idea?”.
I think it sucks. What I put out to the class follows.
I posted this link for my VB class and got some decent thoughts back, so I figured I’d share with you all, too.
Just throwing this perspective piece out there for your consideration: The art of commenting: Is commenting your code a waste of time, or programmer gold? By Brian MacDonald.
I mentioned JavaDoc tags to someone in class, and we didn’t have time to go into details. Since it’s something that’s likely to be useful to us all later on, here’s the low-down: