keep it dark (snidegrrl) wrote,
keep it dark

[geek] gripe otd

Every single book on SQL I have (total of 4) has been largely useless in either of these two situations:

1. Someone put a [x function] in this query. I wonder what it does?
2. I need a function that does [y thing]. I bet it exists, let's see if I can find it.

Every single time, a quick IM to a friend is what's more likely to get me an answer, and failing that, using the internet. Recent example: Our DBA wrote up a quick script for me to use against some obscure table she created. It contained isnull(revenuefield, 0.0). Being a n00b, I didn't know this meant "when the field contains NULL, instead return 0.0". Half the books didn't even list this function. The other half said it did something totally unrelated and was in a context completely seperate from the one I'm looking at. Typically, I annoy Jack and interrupt him doing his job to help him do mine, but since he's not so familiar with MSSQL this didn't help. It was the intarnet that finally helped me figure out what the heck was going on.

Stupid expensive tech texts die die die! Who writes these things! Why don't they make any sense!

And I have a sinking feeling someone's going to pop up and say "this is all because of Microsoft, you tool/fool."
Tags: work
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