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which database?

Dumb question on the mysql mailing list but what database should I
learn, for education and interest? Free and with the possibility of
making me more employable would be my only criteria.

Douglas
Jul 19 '05 #1
4 1885

"Douglas" <mm***@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:4c*************************@posting.google.co m...
Dumb question on the mysql mailing list but what database should I
learn, for education and interest? Free and with the possibility of
making me more employable would be my only criteria.

Douglas


I'd expect alot of folk here will sell you the merits of mysql because its a
mysql newsgroup however I'm sure the question would be answered differently
in a postgres newsgroup.

I've been an HP Unix techie for a number of years and worked with Oracle
DBA's (DataBase Administrator) - The curiosity got to me and about five
months or so ago I picked up MySQL to extend my skillset further - I won't
be a train spotter and go so far by saying I've found it an exciting affair,
but I choose it because I can program in PHP, and it's builtin support for
MySQL made it a natural choice for me.

I would now describe myself at Junior DBA level and the journey wasn't too
difficult - but - I've just been reading the September 2002 copy of Linux
Format (I now live in Canada where our magazines are a month behind the
release date in the UK) and some reader complained that they (the magazine)
had unfairly given MySQL a 9/10 score in some previous review. The chap
listed several functions that are considered (in the readers opinion) common
place in other databases like Oracle - The magazine agreed with *some* of
the readers comments, but disagreed with the readers opinion that MySQL
should get a 3/10 - they said perhaps, in comparison with other databases,
7/10 would be fairer.

And my opinion? Well MySQL is getting to be used more and more in the market
place so you can't really go wrong by giving it a try. Commercial database
folk can tend to bitch a bit and say MySQL is not a real database either
because either 1)they know nothing about it or 2) because its in commercial
competition with them... or 3) both 1 + 2.

I have MySQL Server and Client installed on both my Linux server (128mb ram,
Pentium 400mhz) and my Windoze98 laptop (6 year old Pentium 266mhz 160mb
ram) - the latter proved very useful because I could teach myself more
during quiet times at work without having to connect my laptop to someone
elses server... Not many of the databases would allow you such
cross-platform support, for free - and if they do, its unlikely their will
not be as cost efficient as MySQL.

I suggest you buy a good book (I liked the writing of Leon Atkinson after
buying CorePHP (published by Prentice Hall) and I found the same author did
CoreMySQL which I liked far better than another book from New Riders). Try
the examples in the CoreMySQL verbatim... and you'll do fine... I found some
things a little difficult to digest but by leaving the book down for a day
or two and a fresh approach later gave me greater understanding of some of
the language since I didn't really understand tables, rows, columns and some
of the other lingo.

One last thing though - there are a huge number of other DBAs out there who
will say that they do not consider MySQL to be a real database - *It is* -
and in some circumstances, it can perform better than the commercial
competition. Its proven with independant research - However, a good database
is a bit like a good wife - You'll learn a lot and some of it will be
transferable to wife number two (if you decide to go that route) - No matter
how much you learn from the first wife, you'll still have things to learn
about wife number 2 ;-)

anyway... hope the above helps you decide...
Jul 19 '05 #2

"Douglas" <mm***@yahoo.co.uk> wrote in message
news:4c*************************@posting.google.co m...
Dumb question on the mysql mailing list but what database should I
learn, for education and interest? Free and with the possibility of
making me more employable would be my only criteria.

Douglas


I'd expect alot of folk here will sell you the merits of mysql because its a
mysql newsgroup however I'm sure the question would be answered differently
in a postgres newsgroup.

I've been an HP Unix techie for a number of years and worked with Oracle
DBA's (DataBase Administrator) - The curiosity got to me and about five
months or so ago I picked up MySQL to extend my skillset further - I won't
be a train spotter and go so far by saying I've found it an exciting affair,
but I choose it because I can program in PHP, and it's builtin support for
MySQL made it a natural choice for me.

I would now describe myself at Junior DBA level and the journey wasn't too
difficult - but - I've just been reading the September 2002 copy of Linux
Format (I now live in Canada where our magazines are a month behind the
release date in the UK) and some reader complained that they (the magazine)
had unfairly given MySQL a 9/10 score in some previous review. The chap
listed several functions that are considered (in the readers opinion) common
place in other databases like Oracle - The magazine agreed with *some* of
the readers comments, but disagreed with the readers opinion that MySQL
should get a 3/10 - they said perhaps, in comparison with other databases,
7/10 would be fairer.

And my opinion? Well MySQL is getting to be used more and more in the market
place so you can't really go wrong by giving it a try. Commercial database
folk can tend to bitch a bit and say MySQL is not a real database either
because either 1)they know nothing about it or 2) because its in commercial
competition with them... or 3) both 1 + 2.

I have MySQL Server and Client installed on both my Linux server (128mb ram,
Pentium 400mhz) and my Windoze98 laptop (6 year old Pentium 266mhz 160mb
ram) - the latter proved very useful because I could teach myself more
during quiet times at work without having to connect my laptop to someone
elses server... Not many of the databases would allow you such
cross-platform support, for free - and if they do, its unlikely their will
not be as cost efficient as MySQL.

I suggest you buy a good book (I liked the writing of Leon Atkinson after
buying CorePHP (published by Prentice Hall) and I found the same author did
CoreMySQL which I liked far better than another book from New Riders). Try
the examples in the CoreMySQL verbatim... and you'll do fine... I found some
things a little difficult to digest but by leaving the book down for a day
or two and a fresh approach later gave me greater understanding of some of
the language since I didn't really understand tables, rows, columns and some
of the other lingo.

One last thing though - there are a huge number of other DBAs out there who
will say that they do not consider MySQL to be a real database - *It is* -
and in some circumstances, it can perform better than the commercial
competition. Its proven with independant research - However, a good database
is a bit like a good wife - You'll learn a lot and some of it will be
transferable to wife number two (if you decide to go that route) - No matter
how much you learn from the first wife, you'll still have things to learn
about wife number 2 ;-)

anyway... hope the above helps you decide...
Jul 19 '05 #3
Douglas wrote:
Dumb question on the mysql mailing list but what database should I
learn, for education and interest? Free and with the possibility of
making me more employable would be my only criteria.


Learn both MySQL and Postgres. I suggest starting with MySQL because I
think it is easier to use and it is not as heavy as Postgres. I think
that after MySQL it isn't so hard to learn Postgres, or any other
database environment, but you will actually benefit if you try several
different environments.

Jul 19 '05 #4
Douglas wrote:
Dumb question on the mysql mailing list but what database should I
learn, for education and interest? Free and with the possibility of
making me more employable would be my only criteria.


Learn both MySQL and Postgres. I suggest starting with MySQL because I
think it is easier to use and it is not as heavy as Postgres. I think
that after MySQL it isn't so hard to learn Postgres, or any other
database environment, but you will actually benefit if you try several
different environments.

Jul 19 '05 #5

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