SQL isn’t a procedural language or object-oriented language. It’s a natural language that is used to extract, modify, define, and control data inside of a database. Whether you are a technical person or not, chances are pretty good that you are using SQL in your job. You just might not see it. Every time you filter and sort data through a web page, look up and airline flight, or access one of over 75 million web sites running WordPress, there is some SQL going on behind the scenes managing the data sitting in a database somewhere. Here is a re-cap of what we went through in class this week on the beginnings of SQL. It was a review for some and brand-new for others. We now live in a data-driven economy and having the skills to retrieve that data row-by-row or in aggregate has become increasingly important in our ability to make decisions. We can make sense of it by transforming that data into usable information. Even if you don’t end up writing SQL all day at a desk, drag-and-drop applications are all running SQL in the background. Knowing the language can be used not only to extract the information, but in theory, can help us frame our questions appropriately for those who are churning out queries left and right.
I’ve used this hard drive simulator in class countless times. It’s a great demonstration of how a typical magnetic hard drive operates and how they can fail. It’s such a mystery to most of us who don’t have old hard drives laying around the house to crack into to view the guts. Drive Savers has a hard drive simulator on their main web page. I discovered today that they provide the code to embed in your own site. So, what the heck, here you go.