This week we worked on the exam. One of the interesting things about the exam is that despite it being open book, it is still a challenge. I’ve been very careful to craft each query and double check against each data point to make sure I am getting the answer I believe it best fits the question, but some of the queries are very complex and make me second guess myself.
We have also been working on the OLAP part of the project. I have to say that I had never enjoyed database work until now. Before, most of my queries were just basic selects, and getting data was more of a chore. Having practice more both with the designed, and how data is composed, I have started to enjoy writing queries that extract data. Where JOINS were a total mystery for me before, they are now almost second nature. I have been doing a lot of playing around with JOINS, GROUP BY, subqueries of virtual tables, and other fun features of myself.
The OLAP assignment has been a great opportunity to also start shifting my thinking into what data should be collected and processed. I realized because this is all fake data, our questions are probably naive. However, I have a good opportunity to compare it against the questions that my coworkers ask, or the assumptions they make when they request new features. Looking at how I would organize the data, and trying to understand what of my data is valuable is a very important step.
I guess I can only compare it to how people say that half of being good at a job such as programing, is knowing how to google. In this case, I’m getting much better at knowing what questions need to be asked, and how my data can either answer it, or what would need to change to make sure it can answer those questions.
Overall, I can honestly say I came to the class expecting it to be one of the classes that you dread to take, and push through, to being one of the classes I’ve most enjoyed.