Embrace Fear

I used to be scared of databases.

They’re the closest thing to a black box that I deal with on a daily basis.

Cryptic messags point to mal-formed queries; Debugging consists of <pre>PRINT</pre> statements; and learning the inner workings is akin to learning another computer architecture.

Databases were foreign animals to me. I open up a box to another world; another construct; and quite like the Matrix: I have no idea how it works.

There was my problem. Right there. In bold, even.

I wasn’t particularly proud of this fact.

If you’re a professional software developr, you’re probably on the wrong end of the database-skill curve; I know I [still] am.

For developers, SQL and Databases are a tool. We’d use XML and XSLT if it were more performant.  There’s an entire industry that uses Object Relational Mapping to get around SQL and Databases. But the problem isn’t with ORMs, it’s when we use them because we fear the unknown.

Verily I say unto you:

Embrace this fear. Let it work for you.

Without it, we’d blindly write queries; we may not parameterize variable input; and we might do something stupid, like mis-sizing a database field.

When you aren’t afraid of the unknown anymore, it’s time to question why. That fear is healthy; ignoring it isn’t.

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