the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Jonathan Lewis: Writing Optimal SQL

The office sprung for a bunch of us to attend Jonathan Lewis's "Writing Optimal SQL" seminar, put on by the nice folks at NEOOUG (that'd be the Northeast Ohio Oracle Users Group, for those playing acronym bingo at home), so I had a nice and brain-meltingly interesting Friday away from the office. Lewis really impressed me as a speaker, weaving deep and potentially lethally sleep-inducing concepts in with real-world horror stories, pithy remarks, good cheer, and a charming sense of humor that made eight hours of database guts and gore seem like a good time. Thankfully, we all received copies of the slides, so I will have something besides my half-dazed chicken-scratch notes to spur my memory. Lewis described many problem scenarios that were uncannily similar to design mistakes that we've made--some of mine in particular (I don't pretend to be a database guru, just a humble Python developer)--and I was quite excited to be turned on to so many new ideas for potential solutions to real problems that we've been wrestling with. There are a number of very useful gems, like how to coax Oracle into executing your subqueries first rather than last, as well as a number of undocumented hints that are very promising. I suspect I may have to start keeping tabs on his blog as well...

On the swag front, I scored a free copy of his book, Cost-Based Oracle Fundamentals (signed!), a T-shirt ("Save the Database, Save the World"), and a lovely rubber ball which strobes red and blue LEDs when bounced (ooo, shiny!). One of my co-workers won a chair.

The weather was fantastic, so once the event wrapped up, we had a nice walk through my old north-side CWRU stomping grounds and had a few rounds at the Barking Spider (which, oddly, I'd never actually visited while I was a student, being underage the entire time I lived on campus).

All in all, a great way to finish out the week. Hooray for boondoggles! :-)

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