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Joe Celko

The Practical Problems of Determining Equality and Equivalence in SQL

In theory, it is easy to determine whether data is equal to, greater than or lesser than a value. Real-world data types can be surprisingly tricky, even for gauging data equivalence. Because SQL cannot remain aloof from any application's data types, you need to be aware of the ways and pitfalls of individual datatypes and how you can test for equality, equivalence, similarity, identity and all that jazz Read more...

Simple Talk

The 2015/2016 Simple-Talk Awards: Winners Announced

Over the past two weeks your votes have flooded in, and we can now announce the winners of the Simple-Talk Awards 2015/16. Read more...

Hugh Bin-Haad

Relational Algebra and its implications for NoSQL databases

With the rise of NoSQL databases that are exploiting aspects of SQL for querying, and are embracing full transactionality, is there a danger of the data-document model's hierarchical nature causing a fundamental conflict with relational theory? We asked our relational expert, Hugh Bin-Haad to expound a difficult area for database theorists. Read more...

Simple Talk

The 2015/2016 Simple-Talk Awards

Once more it is time for our readers to vote on the top nominations for the Simple Talk Awards. Here we list the top nominations and the dazzling award badges. Every vote makes our awards more valuable for the recipients! Read more...

Richard Morris

Clive Sinclair: Geek of the Week

Although most of the geeks of the IT industry are famous for their software, it was the geeky entrepreneurs that changed society by bringing cheap microcomputers to the market. Sir Clive Sinclair is most famous for applying his background in electronic engineering to provide a whole generation, both in America and Europe, with their first taste of programming. Read more...

Olaf Lewitz

Continuous Delivery: Building a Culture of Trust

Effective team-based software development has more to do with the organisation than the technology. Teams that must cooperate are most productive when there are high levels of trust between teams and within teams. To grow a culture of trust, the participants must take conscious steps to set boundaries, agree on protocols and models, and let a shared purpose emerge. Read more...

Simple Talk

The Boardgame of Office Politics

Sometimes the stress of interdepartmental friction within organisations can get on top of you, especially between the business and IT when the going gets tough. Simple-Talk's answer is a board game to put it all into perspective. Instead of getting carried away, play the board game instead and reach catharsis. Read more...

Richard Morris

Chet Ramey: Geek of the Week

The BASH shell is the most popular UNIX command-line scriptable shell. It became the inspiration for PowerShell. As with so many standard components of the Open Source movement, there is a hard-working and dedicated individual who quietly supports the tool over many years. Chet Ramey maintains and extends BASH by himself, and we all give thanks to him for his dedication. Read more...

Richard Morris

Philip Greenspun: Geek of the Week

Philip Greenspun is probably best known to other geeks for his Tenth Rule of Programming: "Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp." Amongst the general public, he is most famous for founding ArsDigita and suffering the subsequent miseries that came from accepting venture capital. Read more...

Joe Celko

SQL Style Habits: Attack of the Skeuomorphs

Although we like to think that our programming techniques are progressive and in tune with the bleeding edge of software development practices, too often they are directly influenced by restrictions faced in the post-war decades when computers first became mainstream. As these restrictions no longer apply, is it time to relinquish such things as cursors, 'tibbling', storing display formats, using short names for symbols and primary keys? Read more...

Devyani Borade

Think You Can Be a Software Tester?

We all use software, and we all find it alarmingly easy to find bugs in it. Does that mean that we have a natural talent for testing software? Devyani suggests that there are some qualities that characterise software testers who are very good at their job. No matter whether you were born like that, or if you've worked upon, practised, developed and acquired them over time, they make all the difference. Read more...

Adam Bertram

Questions About Devops that IT Pros are Too Shy to Ask

DevOps isn't a particular technology, nor a job role. It is more of a software development method, initiating originally from system administrators, that promotes ways of enhancing collaboration and communication between development, QA, and IT operations throughout the entire software delivery pipeline with the aim of faster software delivery. Adam Bertrand answers the four most common questions that IT Pro's wonder about, but seldom ask publicly. Read more...

Dwain Camps

Software Engineering: Just How Immature is it?

"Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering” by Robert L. Glass has become a classic of Software Engineering as cherished as 'The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering' by Frederick P. Brooks. They seem as radical today as when first written, mainly because the software industry repeatedly fails to learn from its mistakes. Dwain Camps reviews the book. Read more...

Mike Fal

DevOps and the DBA

Michael Fal is a huge advocate of automation and many ways it can improve the lives of developers and DBAs alike, but you can’t just automate all your problems away. The real challenge is breaking down barriers and having developers and DBAs functioning smoothly together. You may have heard of DevOps, and so Mike explores what the buzz might mean for database administrators. Read more...

Devyani Borade

Developer-Tester Relationships

In a development team, there are times when the relationships between developers and testers can become strained. How can you turn this potential conflict into something more positive? Is it part of the skill of team-working to find ways of avoiding friction, or should one blame a system that relies on good social skills to work well? Read more...

Richard Morris

Alan Cooper: Geek of the Week

Alan Cooper helped to debug the most widely-used PC language of the late seventies and early eighties, BASIC-E, and, with Keith Parsons, developed C-BASIC. He then went on to create Tripod, which morphed eventually into Visual Basic in 1991. Alan remains enthusiastic and interested in development with strong views on Agile and Pair Programming. Read more...

Richard Morris

Swizec Teller : Geek of the Week

Why do programmers work best at night? Is this related to the idea that drinking alcohol improves cognitive ability? Is programming a young person's game? How do you tackle spaghetti code and avoid job-burnout? Swizek Teller has achieved fame in providing a wry commentary on these questions, and the way that computers have come to dominate our lives. Read more...

Patrick Roach

Meet the Faces of Software Release - Full House

Patrick Roach has already introduced us to the first set of software engineering Greats features in the Release! card game, and they already make up a strong hand. Now that the team at Inedo have interviewed everyone who's lending their face and support, Patrick introduces the rest of the roster, covering everyone from Kathy Sierra to Gene Kim, and points out just how they've contributed to our field. Read more...

Patrick Roach

Meet the Faces of Software Release

Around the middle of last year, Alex Papadimoulis introduced us to Release!, the game about building software. With their wildly successful kickstarter, and enthusiastic support from many pillars of modern software development, the team have create a fun game with a strong pedigree. Patrick Roach is the lead game designer for Release!, and who better to introduce us to the software engineering Greats who have contributed their support and their faces to the game. Read more...

Richard Morris

Conrad Wolfram: Geek of the Week

Conrad Wolfram is the 'younger Wolfram' of Wolfram Research, the company behind Wolfram|Alpha and Mathematica. He wants to transform the way in which we engage with mathematics. In particular, he would like to reform mathematics education to make greater use of information technology, and he is also leading the way with interactive publishing technology. Read more...

Tony Davis

Tony Davis is an Editor with Red Gate Software, based in Cambridge (UK), specializing in databases, and especially SQL Server. He edits articles and writes editorials for both the Simple-talk.com and SQLServerCentral.com websites and newsletters, with a combined audience of over 1.5 million subscribers. You can sample his short-form writing at either his Simple-Talk.com blog or his SQLServerCentral.com author page.

As the editor behind most of the SQL Server books published by Red Gate, he spends much of his time helping others express what they know about SQL Server. He is also the lead author of the book, SQL Server Transaction Log Management.

In his spare time, he enjoys running, football, contemporary fiction and real ale.


Phil Factor

Phil Factor (real name withheld to protect the guilty), aka Database Mole, has 30 years of experience with database-intensive applications. Despite having once been shouted at by a furious Bill Gates at an exhibition in the early 1980s, he has remained resolutely anonymous throughout his career. See also :

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Damon Armstrong

Damon Armstrong is a Senior Engineering Team Lead with GimmalSoft in Dallas, Texas, and author of Pro ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming. He specializes in Microsoft technologies with a focus on SharePoint and ASP.NET. When not staying up all night coding, he can be found playing disc golf, softball, working on something for Carrollton Young Life, or recovering from staying up all night coding.


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