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Let me drive

12 Mar

One odd quirk that I have noticed about myself as I have been building a reputation as an SQL guru at Grooveshark, and therefore being regularly pulled aside to look at queries, is that I have a hard time thinking about an SQL query when I’m just looking at it over someone’s shoulder. It’s even harder for me to think about how I would change the query.

For some reason, I need to be in the proverbial driver’s seat. Let me sit down in front of the screen, give me a gui text editor that I can use easily (vim does not qualify), and my brain is prepared to evaluate the problem. I may not even need to type anything out in the process of solving the problem, but the brain juice just won’t even start to flow if I don’t have that.

I seem to have that problem much less when looking at PHP (although I prefer to look at the code in my IDE of choice), and I’m not entirely sure why that is. The only thing I can think of is that maybe SQL requires a higher level of abstract thought than PHP does most of the time, so I am more dependent on having the right set up before I can get into the right mode?

Do any other coders out there have this problem?

‡ ‘an’ is the correct usage here because I expect you to read that as S Q L, not Sequel.

 
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  1. Skyler Slade

    March 12, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I’m glad you posted this, because the exact same thing afflicts me. I always blamed it on my ineptitude, but yes, I do find it difficult to just jump in and work on a query that I’m unfamiliar with. I think I can write a mean query, but I’m not so hot at on-the-spot troubleshooting without prior understanding.