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Is Your Data Relational? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, November 30, 2013 11:27 AM


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Post #1518656
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 3:02 AM


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It is likely to be an unpopular opinion with some of the less trained in our industry but I believe that the overhead in utilising an experienced team1 far outweighs the expense of allowing an inexperienced2 team making suitable for release then maintaining and supporting a system where the application of tools was not properly evaluated and not properly implemented.

Also decisions based on CV Engineering are generally poor ones. It is certainly an unprofessional practice.

1 The team needs to be experienced overall but can include inexperienced team members that can learn through working with knowledgable colleagues.
2 Definition of inexperienced in this context is a team with little or no prior experience applying the tools and methodologies chosen in a similar system to the one being developed.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1518813
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 3:47 AM
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You can't beat a good solid RDBMS!
Post #1518823
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 4:36 AM
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Gary Varga (12/2/2013)
It is likely to be an unpopular opinion with some of the less trained in our industry but I believe that the overhead in utilising an experienced team1 far outweighs the expense of allowing an inexperienced2 team making suitable for release then maintaining and supporting a system where the application of tools was not properly evaluated and not properly implemented.

Also decisions based on CV Engineering are generally poor ones. It is certainly an unprofessional practice.

1 The team needs to be experienced overall but can include inexperienced team members that can learn through working with knowledgable colleagues.
2 Definition of inexperienced in this context is a team with little or no prior experience applying the tools and methodologies chosen in a similar system to the one being developed.


Well before others start harping on your opinion, let me say that I think you nailed it. I hate listening to people claim that "people skills" are more important, that anyone can learn technical skills, which is just one example of the issue.

On the specific topic of Mongo DB, YouTube has a video that I thought was funny when I saw it some time ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URJeuxI7kHo


Dave
Post #1518839
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 5:07 AM


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I'm baffled when people say that there are certain things that can't be done by a relational database that are easy to do in a document database. This was true before SQL Server 2005. but since we got XML support, and now with useful indexing into XML, all this is supported in SQL Server. OK. If you don't need ACID, then you don't need a relational database, but then you need to be Billy-Two-Brains to be able to accurately judge that you really don't need ACID and all that it implies. For the rest of us, it is best to stick with relational. Storing all the fluffy stuff in XML doesn't mean that you need to be hands-on. You can treat that XML column as atomic. Unless you are intent on doing something useful with a value within the XML fluffy-stuff, you can just treat it all as an atomic value.


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Post #1518851
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 6:47 AM
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Among our local OSS data guys, not one of them recommends or uses MongoDB. It's not that it's NoSQL, it's just not a mature solution for most problems it claims to solve. I still see it used by folks that are writing tools to scrap web sites.
Post #1518879
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 7:14 AM


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chrisn-585491 (12/2/2013)
Among our local OSS data guys, not one of them recommends or uses MongoDB. It's not that it's NoSQL, it's just not a mature solution for most problems it claims to solve. I still see it used by folks that are writing tools to scrap web sites.


I presume you mean scrape...otherwise there are too many jokes

(Edit to correct a spelling mistake. Ironically.)


Gaz

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Post #1518894
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 8:33 AM
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I think this snippet from the MongoDB article sums it up nicely:

This was ultimately a communication problem rather than a technical problem. If these conversations had happened sooner, if we had taken the time to really understand how the client saw the data and what they wanted to do with it, we probably would have done the conversion earlier, when there was less data, and it was easier.


I'll be good and spare everyone the inevitable "Cool Hand Luke" reference...


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Post #1518916
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 9:43 AM


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djackson 22568 (12/2/2013)

Well before others start harping on your opinion, let me say that I think you nailed it. I hate listening to people claim that "people skills" are more important, that anyone can learn technical skills, which is just one example of the issue.

On the specific topic of Mongo DB, YouTube has a video that I thought was funny when I saw it some time ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URJeuxI7kHo


You're conflating two things. The fact that people skills are more important, which I believe, doesn't imply that you choose employees without technical skills or experience. It's just saying that if I get two experienced people, technical skills rank second in how I judge them. It's not that they don't count, but that I'll take slightly less technical experience over much better people skills. However, I can teach you some technical stuff if you don't know it. I can't teach you to learn how to work with others very easily.

If both are really close, I'd have to make some judgement call.

The problem comes in when you replace technical skills with people skills.







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Post #1518939
Posted Monday, December 02, 2013 11:33 AM
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (12/2/2013)
djackson 22568 (12/2/2013)

Well before others start harping on your opinion, let me say that I think you nailed it. I hate listening to people claim that "people skills" are more important, that anyone can learn technical skills, which is just one example of the issue.

On the specific topic of Mongo DB, YouTube has a video that I thought was funny when I saw it some time ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URJeuxI7kHo


You're conflating two things. The fact that people skills are more important, which I believe, doesn't imply that you choose employees without technical skills or experience. It's just saying that if I get two experienced people, technical skills rank second in how I judge them. It's not that they don't count, but that I'll take slightly less technical experience over much better people skills. However, I can teach you some technical stuff if you don't know it. I can't teach you to learn how to work with others very easily.

If both are really close, I'd have to make some judgement call.

The problem comes in when you replace technical skills with people skills.


I think I recognize what you are saying about conflating two things. Unfortunately I had a few things come up while I was writing this, and couldn't spend as much time editing as I would have liked. I failed to convey that I was presenting an example.

You mentioned an issue where the developers didn't model things well. To me, that shows a lack of skill, although admittedly it can sometimes be due to other issues such as unreasonable time pressure, et cetera. When I point the finger at a lack of skills, bear in mind that the skills that are missing may be technical, but they are also frequently a lack of skills when it comes to proper planning. If we assume it was a skills issue, then we may look to blame the hiring process, or the training process, or even incomplete/inaccurate requirements being provided. There are a bunch of reasons, so in an effort to keep on target, let's assume it was either a skills issue, or not providing sufficient time to do proper modeling.

Given that assumption, my "insufficently documented example" above, was meant to convey my opinion that too many companies are abandoning the technical requirements in favor of soft skills. I think that is a big mistake. I understand that people skills are important - but to me, we should only look at people skills once we have a sufficient quantity of TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED applicants. My company recently did that, and chose a person with better soft skills after confirming he had the technical skills. Both met the technical requirements, one more than the other, but the one with lesser technical skills had far, far better people skills. I hear you saying that you agree it is fine to choose the person with better soft skills, as long as the tech skills are met.

I know of too many examples, though, where soft skills were looked at as the dominant criteria, and technical skills were pretty much excluded. Those hires either end up separating much sooner than necessary, or even worse, continuing employment at a substandard level of competence. The end result is higher costs. My opinion is that people hear someone say "people skills are more important" and they take that to mean there is no case where we should hire a person who isn't a superstar when it comes to people skills.

Lastly, in my experience in a number of fields and positions, I have found that far too often someone with "people skills" is really just someone who is a good salesman, and frequently they are able to sell themselves as being able to do a job that they are truly incompent at. Judging technical skills is relatively easy if you are willing to ask hard questions. Create a test that has easy, medium and hard questions, have some multiple choice, some essay, some code writing, whatever. It can be done in a way that allows you to find a group that appears to have what you need "technically". I know of no such reliable test for people skills, and IMO people skills are the easiest to fake.

So with respect to your opinion, I don't see myself swaying from my opinion that technical skills matter far more to me. I hope your opnion/method continues to deliver the results you have seen, just as I hope my choices do as well.


Dave
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