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Re: standard and easy way to do schema design

From: Ed Prochak <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 18:24:52 -0000
Message-ID: <>

On Aug 15, 8:57 am, wrote:
> On Aug 15, 5:21 am, "David Cressey" <> wrote:
> > <> wrote in message
> >
> > > I wonder instead of just brainstorming, there probably is
> > > a very standard and a simple way to do database schema design.
> > > let's say we are doing a website. the user can go over
> > > and type in the movie name and zipcode, and the website
> > > will return all the theaters showing that movie and at what
> > > time, for theaters in THAT zipcode only (for simplicity).
> Nowadays when I go for interviews, many interviewers hope that
> I can produce a schema in just 2, 3 minutes...
> So I wonder for the example above, is there a 2 minute way of thinking
> to produce the solution?

yes I have asked (and been asked) to design a simple schema in a few minutes. There are a couple of things that come out in that kind of interview question:

Experience: if you have seen similar problems before, then you will come up with a solution fairly quickly. If you claim say " I have 5 years design experience", you should be able to outline a solution in a few minutes. (2minutes is only enough time to draw the solution).

Mental Agility: the question also is to test how you think under pressure with a deadline. Your ability to find any solution in a short time and possibly see the limits in your own design are indicators of your mental skills.

Communication skills: do you take the given question and just start writing your solution?
 or do you ask more questions about how the data will be used?

It's not necessarily a bad interview question.

To get better at answering such questions: PRACTICE.

   Ed Received on Wed Aug 15 2007 - 13:24:52 CDT

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