This is the fourteenth post in a weekly series of blog posts I will be writing to document my experience in CS327E, Elements of Databases, for the Elements of Computing Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Monday April 22nd

Today is our last day of new SQL topics, we covered Outer Joins.

An SQL query walked into a bar and asked to join a table…..

As I have quickly learned SQL is all about the joins. Doing them naturally, on specific columns, from the left, from the right, full joins. They go on and on, however it’s the fundamental power of SQL in my mind. The ability to build connections between data and then filter and run functions on that data. In other news the final project is due on Wednesday. Our group is meeting today and tomorrow to continue working. I’m working on editing the import and export functionality to match the new SQL schema that was chosen from the last project. I’m getting very frustrated as my SQL schema was very consistant with column names, and the chosen schema is not, making it hard to query data and get what you need from the database. I guess Professor Downing has made his point though, a database, no matter what data it contains is only as good as the schema it was built from. A bad schema really limits what you can do, and makes everything much more complicated than it has to be.

Wednesday April 24th

Today I gave a Tech Talk to class, which is a follow up to my initial Tech Talk during the Cohen New Works Festival entitled, “Tech Talk: A Workshop for Information Technology in the Arts“. This second talk is focusing primarily on my use of Databases during the Festival to manage and maintain large amounts of data that changed often and was pushed to lots of different platforms. The jist of the talk was basically me using RESTful APIs to import and export data into a centralized database which then fed updated information into our Online Ticketing System (TicketLeap), Mobile SmartPhone App (Shoutem) and Online Schedule (Sched).

Overall I think the talk gave the class a look into how what we are learning in class can be put into real world practice. Furthermore I think it gives them a glimpse into what their newly learned skills can allow them to do!

Friday, April 26th

Today was our group’s presentation for our final project. This week has been so busy working on this project with my group. I have probably spend at least 15 hours on it just this week alone. But we got it done (we are quite thankful for the day extension Professor Downing provided to the class). If there is one thing that I have learned from this project it is that I need to take the amount of time I think something is going to take to program, and double it for a more realistic estimate. I found a great article that talks about why humans are bad at estimating:

Our presentation went very well. Overall, I am very happy with how the project turned out, and I have learned so much and enjoyed writing code with my six other team members. It’s been quite an experience, and I’m looking forward to taking what I learned and putting it into real world practice! You can check out our Prezi Presentation below:

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