Re: consolidation of multiple rows

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2008 20:58:15 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Alex Kuznetsov wrote:

> Strange. In our trade most great people are largely self taught in the
> areas they are great in - the industry is new, and people are coming
> up with innovations all the time.

Innovations all the time ... yes. Innovations all the time in medicine too.

But "new"? I would disagree.

Alan Turing, widely considered the father of computer science, died in 1954. In 1969 I was writing Fortran on IBM mainframes and we aren't talking bread-boards by any stretch of the imagination.

So unless you are well into your 70s or above computers have been widely available (not PCs I'll grant) your entire lifetime.

> Linus Torvalds came up with lots of really cool stuff when he wasn't
> even a Master. Sergey Brin and Larry Page do have PhDs, and they came
> up themselves with what makes them great.

Not to take anything away from Linus as I am a proud user of Linux but I think you exaggerate just a bit. By that standard we would have to credit Bill Gates for his great work with Basic. And the google crowd ... I don't want to start an off-topic flame war here but like Gates I am more impressed with their ability to market than code.

> Returning to normalization, it is not a very complex theory. When I
> was getting my education, it did not exist yet, but if it did, it
> would be taught in my first year, and it would be an easy course. In a
> top notch university you have to learn a lot of more advanced math to
> get your Master's degree. More to the point, for me as a development
> lead, as well as for many DBAs, normalization is just one of many
> challenges, and a relatively easy one to put it mildly.
> Memorizing last names has nothing to do with the ability to administer
> databases. Names of inventors are forgotten and or omitted all the
> time. This is especially true for foreign names. Consider periodic
> table of the chemical elements - it is being taught in American
> schools, but the Russian name of its inventor is rarely mentioned.
> Similarly, names of inventors on Normal Forms may be omitted of
> forgotten, especially in other countries, and that is OK just as well.

Teaching at university I hear this argument all the time ... from those who haven't a degree. I'll grant you don't seem to be part of that crowd ... but I'll still respectfully disagree.

I've no doubt someone could, in theory, be a physics genius without knowing the names Newton and Einstein. But I suspect you will agree that the chances are about the same as winning the lottery.

I am not impressed by arguments that go "well it is true for everyone else but it doesn't relate to us."

Daniel A. Morgan
Oracle Ace Director & Instructor
University of Washington (replace x with u to respond)
Puget Sound Oracle Users Group
Received on Sun Mar 09 2008 - 22:58:15 CDT

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