I 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! 🙂