Sebastopol, CA--Can database design be likened to a military campaign? It can, contends author Stephane Faroult in his new book, "The Art of SQL" (O'Reilly, US $44.99), written with Peter Robson. "Teaching how to use a language is difficult enough; but how can one teach how to efficiently use a language?" asks Faroult. "I have a natural tendency to consider every new performance challenge as a battle to be fought against an army of rows, and I realized that the problem of teaching developers how to use databases efficiently was similar to the problem of teaching officers how to conduct a war."
How so? As Faroult points out, "You need knowledge, you need skills, and you need talent. Talent cannot be taught, but it can be nurtured. This is what most strategists, from Sun Tzu, who wrote his 'Art of War' twenty-five centuries ago, to modern-day generals, have believed." Just as generals try to pass on the experience they've acquired on the battlefield, so Faroult attempts to apply this method to more peaceful aims: specifically, writing good SQL code.
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