Sweat Files and Practice Projects

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Sweat Files and Practice Projects

  • I think it's a great idea.

    I am a newbie and I would definitely use it.

  • Steve Stedman's database corruption challenge is an example of what can be done. I've participated in only one of the challenges (when I have time, I want to try them all) and I learned a lot from the solution posted by Brent Ozar. http://stevestedman.com/server-health/database-corruption-challenge/[/url]

  • We (developers) already have the equivalent of sweat files and projects in many places like Project Euler, Koans and sites of that ilk.

    The absolute best place for data/database projects, (outside of an actual project at work), is the ginormous amount of Open Data available on the Internet. There's census data, sports statistics, weather records, economic data, satellite images, and so-on. You can find a page full of monthly rainfall totals that go back years, megabytes on radio stations or gigabytes of demographics. You could test your enterprise document storage with terabytes of NOAA and NASA images.

  • I wish we had more sweat files in the form of learning projects. A place where you could download a document describing the problem, scripts to set up any needed tables (or more), data, files, etc. A forum for clarifying questions about the requirement, another for “I’m stuck” questions, and maybe a gallery of examples of how people solved it.

    OK, it would be a great tool for teaching the technical side of database development, but if the requirements are well thought out and static, and there is no deadline for the deliverable, and the trainee can turn to a forum for answers, then it wouldn't simulate the real world.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • In the real world, IT development isn't like a gourmet chef following a tried and true recipe; many times it more resembles a police detective investigating a twisted crime where the district attorney is gradually revealed as the actual culprit.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric M Russell (6/18/2015)


    I wish we had more sweat files in the form of learning projects. A place where you could download a document describing the problem, scripts to set up any needed tables (or more), data, files, etc. A forum for clarifying questions about the requirement, another for “I’m stuck” questions, and maybe a gallery of examples of how people solved it.

    OK, it would be a great tool for teaching the technical side of database development, but if the requirements are well thought out and static, and there is no deadline for the deliverable, and the trainee can turn to a forum for answers, then it wouldn't simulate the real world.

    It might not simulate the real world but at the same time it could be a valuable learning exercise. Don't forget that airline pilots train on systems where there is no danger of plummeting to the ground and killing hundreds of people. When the excrement hits the ventilator having some 'not real world' experience of a similar situation could be job saving.


    On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
    —Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

    How to post a question to get the most help http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537

  • It's a good idea, but we have too many real problems that need to be handled.

  • I really appreciate what you wrote here, Andy. I'm a developer first and a DBA second. Some years ago I needed to learn how to write ASP.NET Web Forms apps in a more structured way. I always learn better if I have a project to practice on. I have a fairly large video collection, and so I designed a database and then started writing the ASP.NET Web Forms app to run against it. We've used it at home for years, seeing how long ago we watched a particular movie we own, what are the latest films we've watched, etc. And I've used this over and over again. I wanted to learn Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) so I took the same database and did it again in WPF. And more recently I've been working on learning ASP.NET MVC, so I've started the project over again a third time. Very much like your CD example.

    The bottom line is that this has proven to me to be literally invaluable. So I think having something like this for the DBA to learn new topics would be great! I could use learning how to do SSIS, since in my new job I have to maintain them. But I hate to make any major changes for fear of screwing up production. It would be fantastic to have a test database where I could experiment to my heart's content learning SSIS. Would I use it? Yes.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • I use lottery data to try and "predict" the next winning numbers. 😀

    The Western Canada Lottery Corp has files for every draw since day one. Its in PDF format so you have to do some work to get it into the db. Perhaps your lottery corps have the same type of data.

    http://www.wclc.com/for-players/publications-and-forms.htm

    Then I've added things like phases of the moon, zodiac cycles, my wife's menstrual cycles (j/k :)), etc to bring in more dimensions, and from there I've created a model to look for patterns.

    I believe it will pay off eventually. Ya never know !!

  • Love this.

    It explains why so many times when I dig through all the google search returns and then try to actually apply the answer to my project I find that it does not work.

  • I'm a little surprised. There are great resources for directed learning, websites like coursera.org, Pluralsight, even Khan Academy. And if you want tough and interesting projects check out Kaggle Projects. There are some big ones over there.

  • I learned a lot using the developer's version on my PC. Backups, restores, point in time restores. I also learned a lot of BI. Since Excel can function as a front end, no front end development was required. Created a data warehouse using my daughter's Girl Scout cookie sales. A few formulas were almost as complex as any I've since developed for business systems.

  • John Hanrahan (6/18/2015)


    I'm a little surprised. There are great resources for directed learning, websites like coursera.org, Pluralsight, even Khan Academy. And if you want tough and interesting projects check out Kaggle Projects. There are some big ones over there.

    I didn't know about coursera.org or Kaggle. Thanks!

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • Sounds good in theory. But management just hired someone. They want that person producing as quick as possible. They don't expect us to then have to train them. We should have hired someone already trained.

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