Do DBAs Still Read Techincal Books?

  • Hi Mark,

    In terms of the "classic" programming titles, the ones that tend to get name-checked are the likes of:

    "C Programming Language" by Kernighan & Ritchie

    "The Art of Computer Programming" by Donald Knuth

    "The Pragmatic Programmer" by Hunt and Thomas

    "Code Complete" by Steve McConnell

    "Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" by Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides

    "The Mythical Man Month" by Brooks

    They are, in the main, not tied in to a particular language or software release. People tend to refer to K&R years after they stopped programming in C. Part of what I was wondering with this editorial was: what are the equivalent "classics" for the DBA?

    The discussion has mentioned many excellent books that are specifically concerned with certain aspects of programming SQL Server, but few of what I would term "classic" database titles such as Joe Celko's "SQL for Smarties", or C.J. Date's "Introduction to Database Systems".

    Cheers,

    Tony.

  • I have only 3 hardcopy books in my overhead bin:

    T-SQL Querying (2005 Ed) by Ben-Gan et al

    SQL Server 7 Secrets by Rensin et al

    A Guide to SQL by Philip Pratt (ANSI SQL college textbook from 1991 - The book that I first learned SQL from)

    For everything else, its BOL or my bookmarks.

  • Tony Davis (3/23/2009)


    Part of what I was wondering with this editorial was: what are the equivalent "classics" for the DBA?

    For a classic, I'll vote for Ken Henderson's Guru's guide to SQL Architecture and Internals. It was written for SQL 2000 but a lot of the underlying fundamentals haven't changed. The section in there on Windows architecture is very well written and some of the exercises showed ways to see behaviour that I hadn't considered at the time (attach a debugger to SQL Server and look at memory locations)

    I often wish I still had a copy of it.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • First Itzik + Tom Moreau "Advanced Transact SQL" taught me ***a lot*** of tricks!


    * Noel

  • I've stopped shelling out cash for books that look good when I look at them online but never seem as good when I actually buy them. As a new DBA I fine the books are written as if the people that buy them never heard of a database. How many 'itermediate' books spend use half of there bulk explaining Select,update, insert and delete statements? then the other half is brief night useless explainations of more advanced topics.

    At my experience level the internet and sites like this one is where I live.

    The Wiley set on data warehousing are nicely written even if they are a little long in the tooth now. Even that set was a little annoying in the fact that there are so many of them and they all seemed to cover the same material.

    As a beginner The SQL pocket guide from O'Reilly ($14.95 in Canada) gave me the best value/dollar EVER!

    The Manga Guide to databases is also a excellent choice ( <- Joke)

  • I've stopped shelling out cash for books that look good when I look at them online but never seem as good when I actually buy them.

    I have a secret advantage. I live close to the Nerd Books warehouse, so I can drive over and browse most of the books in person before purchasing. Also have a B&N and Borders withing walking distance!

    Trying to get the company to spring for a ORA Safari account, but they are bulking!

    Chris

    "The Human ETL Processor"

  • What I should add is that I want to get an ebook reader of some sort so I can read all the PDFs of books that I've collected. As much as I like to have a hard copy of a book, lugging them around in the hopes I can find time to read them is getting old real quick.

    Not to change the topic of the post, anyone here use any the ebook readers?

  • I have a Kindle.

    I'm not sure that the Kindle is that great of a eBook reader. With the restrictions put on it by Amazon, the cost of the hardware, the screen and lack of high quality PDFs, it's about halfway there. It's good enough for nontechnical reading.

    I'd like to see a vendor take the screen technology from the OLPC project and use it in a eBook reader or better consumer netbook. Maybe use TI's OMAP3 processors. All the technical pieces for a great eBook experience are here, no one has yet to execute on it.

  • I have an hour long commute, so I read.

  • dwithroder (3/24/2009)


    I have an hour long commute, so I read.

    BWAA-HAA!!! Hopefully, you're not the one driving. 😛

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • I'm also an oldie who likes a good book - I found books on MS Word for Windows version 1 and DBASE 3 recently in my garage!

    I prefer to look through a book before I buy it which is difficult when you like in rural UK but on any visits to London or Oxford I take the chance to browse in Blackwells or the bookshops along Charing Cross Road.

    Code Complete is on the shelf as are the Wrox SQL 2005 books on IS,RS and AS which are well used. There wasn't much choice when they were bought as the subject was new so although I don't think they are the best on the subject now, they were the best available at the time. That's usually the criteria and possibly why poorer books succeed - they win the race to publish!

  • Jeff Moden (3/24/2009)


    dwithroder (3/24/2009)


    I have an hour long commute, so I read.

    BWAA-HAA!!! Hopefully, you're not the one driving. 😛

    I used to read while driving to work. 😀

    I used to have a 20 min stretch along a road that was always bumper-to-bumper, moving exceedingly slowly. I used to prop a book up on the steering wheel. I could read a couple paragraphs then inch the car forward a metre or two, then read another couple of paragraphs, etc.

    Gail Shaw
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
    SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

    We walk in the dark places no others will enter
    We stand on the bridge and no one may pass
  • My dream is an audio book with subliminal messages on SQL Server: go to bed a newbie, wake up a SQL MVP! 😀

    __________________________________________________________________________________
    SQL Server 2016 Columnstore Index Enhancements - System Views for Disk-Based Tables[/url]
    Persisting SQL Server Index-Usage Statistics with MERGE[/url]
    Turbocharge Your Database Maintenance With Service Broker: Part 2[/url]

  • Hmmm.

    gotta say that everything I've read by Brad McGehee has been great. his book on the profiler is awesome, very informative.

    "INSIDE MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2005" by Kalen Delaney is also one of the best, and "Securing SQL Server 2005" by me is a good one too.

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