April 5th, 2010

Ivan St. Ivanov

This week I am one day late (again). The reason for that is that we are having the Easter holidays. So, Христос Воскресе as we say in my country (which literally means Christ has resurrected! and is a standard greeting during the Easter days in Bulgaria).

Today I’m trying to not only present you the interesting articles from last week, but also give you my personal opinion on the topics that they discuss. I hope you’ll give yours either in our forum or directly below the article that I comment.

The basics of SQL joins

This is a article that is for all the developers (no matter Java or not) that have finally hit the database. Databases are the preferred way to store data in next to simple applications. And if you application is even a little bit more complex and you are a good software designer, you will need to put your data in more than one table. Not only that, but some of the queries that you will make will retrieve data from more than one table at a time.

So, this is where the table joins come into play. If you are new to this area, then this is the article for you. I must confess that I don’t use joins too much in my development. Even before the days of JPA I used complex select statements (from more than one table). If you are like me, then probably the outer and self joins sections will be of interest to you 🙂

SQL phobia – fear of SQL

While we are still on the SQL wave, here is a very interesting article for other group of people like me – those who are going to the numerous frameworks like JPA, JDO, Hibernate, etc. that abstract writing SQL. These frameworks give you the opportunities to write XML, customize annotations and do whatever kind of magic to come over the impedance mismatch between relational databases and object oriented software. And thus escape from SQL.

The author speculates about the reasons why we started our irrational (according to him) hate to SQL. I agree with him that the hate to SQL is irrational – people should know SQL no matter of the frameworks that are created now and then. I am great fan of JPA, but I heavily use SQL in my test cases or for debug reasons. As the author mentions – SQL is not complex at all, so you should not be afraid of it.

The NoSQL “movement”, which is so popular these days, has nothing to do with SQL as a language, but rather with the relational databases. This is also mentioned by the author.

If you like to read a not so technical, but more philosophic point of view on the topic, then go on reading this blog post.

JAX-WS hello world

Here is a five minute tutorial on how to create a JAX-WS web service and a client for it. Of course as a five-minuter it is not a sophisticated CRM application for example, but rather a “Hello world” one. Anyway, it is a very good one for those of you who want to learn the basic web service interfaces and their usage in the JAX-WS flavor.

By the way, InfoQ, that has a great focus on both flavors – JAX-WS and JAX-RS, has a short blog on REST and SOAP: When Should I Use Each (or Both)?.

Soft skills article of the week

In this article you can find 9 reasons why [some of the] smart people are not able to find the greatest place to show their talents. I would encourage you to go and read the article by yourself. And then read the comments. And then possibly write a comment. But please do it only after you read my comment in the next paragraph.

In my opinion the best friend and enemy of a software developer (hopefully a smart one) is the humiliation. If you have it in a reasonable quantity, then it’s OK. What do I mean by reasonable quantity? Well, for example don’t expect that after you write your first ‘Hello world’ application in a fancy language or framework that your fellow colleagues haven’t heard about, you are the world’s expert in this matter. On the other side, don’t be too humiliated if you want to be successful. Feel free to express your opinion and be sure that by mentioning that it is your personal thought on the matter, you will not make anyone special confront with you. And even if there are people that can tell you that you are stupid, you must be sure that their statement was more stupid than you.

So, try to keep to the humiliation boundary, learn from the other people’s ideas and mistakes and you’ll be a smart guy with at least moderate success 🙂

April fools’ article of the week

This week we had the April fools’ day. And the most interesting article was that Apache Software Foundation has sold all its intellectual properties and assets to Oracle for 1.5 billion dollars in cache. Well, I hope this is really an April fools article, but who knows… 🙂

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