Do DBAs Still Read Techincal Books?

  • I'm not sure I think the books are horrible. They have some mistakes, however I bet you'd be hard put to not find mistakes in any technical paper over 10 pages. I bet plenty of white papers have mistakes. They just don't allow comments.

    The books often are general, and appeal to a wide variety of people. That's good when you're trying to learn, at a general level. As you gain more knowledge, they do become more problematic.

    However the economics of paper make it hard to write a 100 page book on a single subject. At least for traditional publishers. Hmmm, I need an editorial here. I think what Simple Talk is doing helps, we just need better Print-On-Demand technologies. Like the capability in Barnes and Nobles/Borders/ etc.

    Lots of books aren't written on pre-release technologies. Some authors go early, and I think MS press does a huge disservice here with some of their early releases. However Kalen's book was finished a couple weeks ago on 2008. She makes sure she checks everything against RTM before it goes out.

    This is one place where a technology like the Kindle/e-readers can help. They could update automatically with newer editions as errata come in.

  • I did not use the word 'horrible' 🙂

    I understand that we need the paper books to ease the learning curve, but the more you know the harder it is to find a valuable book. Again I used word harder - not impossible. I just noticed that my bookshelf is getting lighter and lighter. It is much easier to find what you want on the internet nowadays.

    I use the forums on this website as my primary learning source. There is always something new you can learn. I started with SQL Server when it was version 4.2 (anyone remember that one?) but never had a chance to work with large databases so never faced the performance issues people have dealing with millions or billions of records.

    And the best value comes from the fact that in many cases there is a variety of different approaches to a single problem. Most books present only one way of doing things and in some cases not the best one. People here come from different backgrounds and their experiences differ so each solution has it's value.

    I hope when Jeff writes his book he will provide multiple methods for solving the problems with explanations why some solutions are better then other.

    ---------------------------------------------
    [font="Verdana"]Nothing is impossible.
    It is just a matter of time and money.[/font]

  • ...the bleeding from one of Tony's editing sessions only lasts for three or four days, so don't worry.

    Don't worry, Jeff. I'll offer you as much help as I can, but there will be no bleeding ;-).

  • I don't think books are horrible I just think better selection of writers and much better technical editing, a T-SQL book needs to be referenced to the T-SQL reference on MSDN on that version of SQL Server. A .NET exam book needs to be referenced with the .NET docs and the docs for that exam. This is not Microsoft press problem this is technical books problem. I once saw Osborne press SQL Server DBA book with wrong DRI(declarative referential integrity) definition, then I ask who issued the contract?

    There are baseline things I expect from technical book writer for subjects that interest me, if you don't know these facts I will not recommend your book because I will not buy it.

    Why did Wrox fail? Wrox failed because it was publishing books with too many writers without hiring technical editors who will create coherence for these generally crappy books.

    Kind regards,
    Gift Peddie

  • The last books I bought were Klaus Aschenbrenner's Pro SQL Server 2005 Service Broker and the MCTIP training courses for SQL2008.

    The problem is that books are relatively expensive door stops and sometimes the very subject you bought the book for is the one subject that they skip over.

    I've been desperately trying to find something good on SSIS logging but the Wrox Press books are pretty useless.

    The problem is that those who know enough to write a book couldn't write one to save their lives and those who can write books struggle to apply their content to the real world.

  • Tony Davis (3/30/2009)


    ...the bleeding from one of Tony's editing sessions only lasts for three or four days, so don't worry.

    Don't worry, Jeff. I'll offer you as much help as I can, but there will be no bleeding ;-).

    BWAA-HAA!!! Shoot... where's the fun in that?

    Just kidding... I'm both excited and scared to death at the same time.

    --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

  • Grant Fritchey (3/30/2009)


    Jeff Moden (3/29/2009)


    Heh... it's all your fault, ya know? Our conversations about 3 months ago are what started it all.

    Thanks for the feedback, Grant.

    Excellent. I'll take full credit for your success then.

    Kidding. Put the pork chop down.

    You'll be fine. And the bleeding from one of Tony's editing sessions only lasts for three or four days, so don't worry.

    A good Scotch fixes all of that... might not stop the bleeding, but it sterilizes the wound. If you do it right, it'll do it from the inside out. 😛

    --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

  • JacekO (3/30/2009)


    I hope when Jeff writes his book he will provide multiple methods for solving the problems with explanations why some solutions are better then other.

    You've just gotta know that you're reading my mind. 🙂

    --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

  • Tony Davis (3/30/2009)


    ...the bleeding from one of Tony's editing sessions only lasts for three or four days, so don't worry.

    Don't worry, Jeff. I'll offer you as much help as I can, but there will be no bleeding ;-).

    Hear, Hear! Quick, merciful kills are the only humane way. 😀

    [font="Times New Roman"]-- RBarryYoung[/font], [font="Times New Roman"] (302)375-0451[/font] blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung[font="Arial Black"]
    Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
    [/font]
    [font="Verdana"] "Performance is our middle name."[/font]

  • Based solely upon this post - I'm ready to preorder the book. When can we sign up?

  • OK, I have a little time right now, so:

    [h4]Technical Books on the Bookshelf I happen to be looking at right now (plus my capsule reviews)[/h4]

    Numerical Recipies in C: excellent! teaches concepts & code!

    Symbolic Logic (Copi): Excellent! A little know classic,

    The Art of Computer Programming (Knuth): Awesome. The standard against which all others are measured

    The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis (Jain): Excellent, more about testing methodology than you ever knew existed.

    CRC, Standard Mathematical Tables, 21st Edition every year was a classic.

    The Guru's Guide to SQL Server Architecture & Internals (Henderson): Very good. The only SQL Server specific book that that can hang with these other volumes.

    Design Patterns (GoF): Enh. Good to mediocre. A "classic" only for those who do not know the real classics.

    Hmm, well I guess it is one of my better bookshelves... 🙂

    [font="Times New Roman"]-- RBarryYoung[/font], [font="Times New Roman"] (302)375-0451[/font] blog: MovingSQL.com, Twitter: @RBarryYoung[font="Arial Black"]
    Proactive Performance Solutions, Inc.
    [/font]
    [font="Verdana"] "Performance is our middle name."[/font]

  • maurine (4/2/2009)


    Based solely upon this post - I'm ready to preorder the book. When can we sign up?

    Heh... you just made a bad day great. Thanks for the awesome compliment and the vote of confidence.

    --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

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