As I finish up the plans for Monday’s database design precon, I am getting pretty excited for the day. This is the third time I have done this precon, and where the base slides are very similar, I have a few new twists in mind. One of my big ideas for my Database Design Workshop precon has always been to give people to do some design. So I am even now trying to go through and whittle down the slides and make sure that we have the time for design.
If you are attending, be prepared to be a team player. I have 3 team exercise that you will do in teams. When we reach the first exercise, we will break up into 8 individual teams. Don’t try to figure out who to sit by, because I am going to randomly choose how to split up into teams when I see how the tables are (and I know that there will be at least one person there that I would want on my team :). The teams will be slightly important because the most enthusiastic teams will get the first crack at the pile of swag, of which I have a lot. I have 20 physical and 15 ebooks of my new database design book, 15 8GB SD cards with the PowerPoint and code on them, 3 Joe Celko books, the Apress Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals book and a very nice Lego set and if this blog entices more people to show up than I have giveaways, well, then I will pick up some gift cards to even out the swag.
While the lecture will take up a lot of time, the exercises will be most fun part of the day. The exercises I have planned are of the following genre:
1. Modeling from requirements: Taking a set of written requirements and producing the initial database design (20 minutes)
2. Normalizing a set: Taking a flat file and normalizing it into a set (~20 minutes)
3. Applying what we have discussed: Taking a set of requirements and producing a normalized database design (45 minutes)
The first two exercises, every team will have the same requirements, but the third will see me having 4 separate designs. So we will have 4 different designs to to discuss and review. I am bringing my camera along to use to display to the team’s work on the screen. After I print the requirement packs for the teams, I plan to go through and do my own design for comparison. It will be interesting to see how different each team’s design is, and to see what I might miss when I do the design. I am going to encourage people to go beyond the specific requirements and build the system they think will be awesome while meeting the requirements.
If all works out, my hope is to do a series of blogs next year using the requirements and designs that we produce as a result. I also (finally remembered to) put a request on the slide that students could do one of a couple of design ideas and I would review them (yes, with plans to turn that into a blog someday too.)
So hope to see you Monday… And if I don’t see you in the class Monday, see you Tuesday night when we do our annual Quiz Bowl. Tim has come up with a slew of interesting questions including another round of Before and After questions to blow the mind of several SQL Server professionals…