Yes, that’s me now… the SQL Queen!
I pretty much live, breath, eat, and sleep in SQL code now, thanks to the web developer job.
I’ve always been a database nut. I love using them and building them. Searchable full-text databases are what made me decide to become a librarian.
When i first went away to school in the late 80s, Melvyl was still a DOS-based in-house catalog that only allowed me to painstakingly retrieve bibliographic records for some of the collection holdings available to me at UC Berkeley. After a nearly decade-long hiatus from school, databases like LexisNexis and Jstor had completely revolutionized libraries and the ability to do research. From the moment I stepped into my first bibliographic instruction session at CSU Fullerton, I knew that I had to pursue a career that would allow me to use and build those fabulous cool new research tools. And I found I had a real knack for organizing data and teaching others how to use databases well. That’s how library school came into the picture, and I naturally gravitated towards library work that kept me exposed to using and evaluating databases, teaching database search techniques, and eventually building database-driven applications.
The much dreaded access was my first database programming language, but a few years ago I started learning basic SQL syntax and starting working mainly with MySQL and a bit with SQL Server. All of this required the use of a SQL UI, though, usually PHPMyAdmin because my command prompt abilities were basically nil. I”d forgotten almost all of my DOS training by this time, and once I transferred from The Register’s news library to its systems team, my supervisors permitted me almost no time at all to do any real programming, despite the word “system” in our team name.
So once I started dabbling in database projects after my layoff, I found my SQL skills a bit rusty. That rust pretty much got chipped off within just a couple weeks on the new job.
I was initially brought on to do a 23-week PHP project for Leverage, but they were in dire need to get a ton of SQL programming done for the site launch, and that task immediately fell on me. No complaints.
I spent about 90 percent of my first 3 months there coding massive amounts of SQL queries, most of which were far more complex than anything I’d coded before. And the true development nature of the programmer environment prevented me the ease of us of a UI like PHPMyAdmin to build my queries. I had to learn to actually build and save each and every query in SQL files just using a basic text editor. No more inserting and updating right into the live database. And yes, I had to start using a command prompt again. Again, no complaints. Just more rust blown off these programmer fingers all to my benefit .