Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #5


bcuI had a day off work today so I could go over to Birmingham City University (BCU) and do a talk to the students.

Today’s session was more about giving them an idea of where databases fit into the big picture as far as data and data processing is concerned. I obviously come at this as a relational database guy, but the presentation also included NoSQL and Hadoop. I hope nobody is naive enough anymore to think relational databases are the correct solution for every use case, so it’s important to be objective about this stuff, rather than to push your own agenda.

Over recent weeks I’ve spent time trawling through material to get a feel for the subject matter, and it’s quite depressing to see the territorial pissing that goes on between all these camps. Each trying to convince you their solution is suitable for use cases where it clearly is not. To be fair, most of this is not coming from the experts themselves, but from the hangers on who can’t cope with the fact their favourite tech might not be perfect. We’ve all been there! 🙂

Over the weekend as I was putting the talk together and Mark Rittman tweeted a link to this article.

I could have kissed him. The article is really even-handed and certainly helped me to put some of what I wanted to say into context.

After the session I was invited to a staff meeting to discuss industry engagement. So that’s the second time today I had to discuss something I know nothing about. 🙂 It was actually really interesting though.

Presenting at conferences and writing on the internet makes you, to some extent, part of the education system. Getting involved in this stuff is quite an eye-opener and makes you think about how you approach things yourself. As I’ve said many times before, I do all this stuff on the internet for me, but if I can make a few adjustments to make what I do more useful and/or accessible to others, that is worth considering.

I got connected with BCU as part of the UKOUG NextGen event in 2014 and the relationship has grown from there. If you are interested in reaching out to some higher education (HE) establishments in the UK, you might want to contact UKOUG. You’re not going to get paid, but I think you will get more out of it personally than put put in! 🙂



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

6 thoughts on “Birmingham City University (BCU) Talk #5”

  1. Hi Tim/Master.
    It’s an interesting article that you shared. Thank you !!!
    Couple of times I thought to speak out my mind…I strongly feel the below two things would give you great fun and exploration, and beneficial to many learners too.

    1. You know this NSA Whistle in Germany. And I read many comments at that time and surprisingly none has said the foremost thing — SELinux was developed by NSA. And, another thing is when I googled I found many [Mid sized] companies do not run their Servers with SELinux Enabled. There might be reasons and I am not the right person to say something on this.
    What I mean is you had wrote one Article “Basic Oracle Security” and few more related to this topic. I think your involvement on this topic “Security of Systems “often will be superb !

    2. Developing an Open Source Database Engine. You might laugh on this, but I’m really speaking out that I feel. In fact I have a name for that. The “hallDB” Database Engine (SQL or NoSQL). One of the best thing you have is that you are just fantastic with everyone and anywhere.

    So, your involvement makes other work on this fantastic. Nevertheless you should be leading the Architect and Development Part. The most important things you can put here, like : Security, Automation etc. The development of this should target only Small and Mid-sized companies.


  2. Praveen:

    1) I know enough about security to know I don’t know enough. 🙂 I think I am OK, the I watch a talk by Pete Finnigan and realise I’m an amateur. I don’t think someone like me should be in charge of anything like that. 🙂

    2) At this point in time, I don’t see much point in writing yet another RDBMS. We have two very good OSS RDBMSs(PostgreSQL and MySQL). I don’t think we need another. Likewise for the NoSQL space. There are lots of good products out there already. Added to that, I’m not sure I’m good enough to do that type of development anymore. 🙂



  3. Good to know it went well.

    Just curious to know what is the target student audience like- computer science or different background. I think there are different challenges in presenting a software topic to both these groups.

    Will you be able to share the presentation?

  4. Mukundhan: The audience were 2nd year computer science students, who were in the process of doing a database module, so there was some relevance to their course. 🙂

    For someone from the database world, I think the article linked in the post is much more useful that slides containing bullet points. 🙂 The article says most of what I was talking about.



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