My first job since becoming a member of Stanford was to create the Public Affairs Data Journalism I, a required course for all college students within the graduate program. As public data and authorities workings deserve their very own class, I didn’t know for positive if it’d be value educating SQL to my college students, most of whom hadn’t gone past Excel.

But after working out of endurance with the finicky nature of spreadsheet GUIs, I made a decision to unload a bevy of SQL syntax on my students earlier this month. They picked it up so rapidly that final week, I based mostly their midterm nearly completely on evaluating their SQL prowess, and I can say with some admiration, they now have extra data of SQL than I did after a yr or so of self-learning…regardless that for a lot of of them, that is their first time studying a programming language within the context of journalism.

I’ve been creating tutorials for his or her comfort, and you should use them too. Because I’m coping with a wide range of working techniques, from Windows XP to OSX 10.6 to 10.9, I made a decision to provide them the choice of doing the teachings in MySQL or SQLite…and it wasn’t too irritating, although I spent extra time than I’d like creating multiplatform datasets and classes.

I’ll write extra about my ideas on educating SQL in an extended put up, however I can say that I’m most undoubtedly now a believer in shifting previous spreadsheets to SQL’s expressive method of information querying.



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