Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

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#1 itsbird  Icon User is offline

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Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:55 PM

So my biggest question is trying to get some help for SQL in the form of videos or something like that. I'm a mixed learner (kinesthetic, auditory, and visual) with visual being my main focus as I tend to space out when I'm reading something (i.e., reading books, articles, watching movies, etc). Although when in class I really prefer kinesthetic learning. My memory is pretty bad too so that doesn't help. :/ My professor isn't doing a lot of hands-on activities (other than throwing us all into deep water and no floaties) in class and I'm completely lost. My dad can do SQL but he's looking for another job/busy with his stuff and I've also got VB class to worry about and Calc (ugh, math can go die). Business Law is thrown in there for good torture measure.

My prof can only meet Tuesdays and Thursdays right after class (other times are by appointment and since I can't drive, I really can't be asking my parents to drive me back to school after driving me home) and I go on both days to try to get extra instruction and he keeps telling me to look in the book. The book is crap. It's rather wordy and doesn't give me a good feel for things. It's on the conceptual end of things rather than the practical end of things. I appreciate the need to learn why we're doing it that way but I feel like I'm missing the how. I stare at the code for what feels like forever and get nothing done.

Although I'm not sure you guys have any videos laying around or anything, possibly. I'm game to read articles too and see if that helps click in my mind. I'm just struggling a lot with this class while fairly breezing through VB with a few minor hiccups here and there (that I can normally puzzle out for myself). I would love to be able to figure out SQL like that but it seems to be super finicky no matter what I do. Reminds me of when Brian Regan said "I before e except after c and when sounding like a as in neighbor and weigh, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May, and you'll always be wrong no matter what you say!" SQL reminds me of a temperamental old biddy.

As a side note, I don't live in the same city as my school and there are is no good bus transport to the city my school is in. And there aren't tutors for this class! I think I should get a good grip on SQL and apply to be a tutor for this class for people like me. Sheesh. Anyhow, any help would be absolutely wonderful! I've spent too many nights going way past my bedtime looking for something reliable to help me (and relatively inexpensive). If you know of any good books out there, let me know!

- Bird

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Replies To: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:08 PM

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o my biggest question is trying to get some help for SQL in the form of videos or something like that. I'm a mixed learner (kinesthetic, auditory, and visual) with visual being my main focus as I tend to space out when I'm reading something (i.e., reading books, articles, watching movies, etc). Although when in class I really prefer kinesthetic learning. My memory is pretty bad too so that doesn't help. :/ My professor isn't doing a lot of hands-on activities (other than throwing us all into deep water and no floaties) in class and I'm completely lost.
...
I don't live in the same city as my school and there are is no good bus transport to the city my school is in. And there aren't tutors for this class!


Perhaps you should change your mode of learning. Painting yourself into a corner of negatives, can'ts, won'ts, and don'ts seems counter productive. You can train yourself to learn differently. Yes, you can learn to learn.

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he keeps telling me to look in the book. The book is crap. It's rather wordy and doesn't give me a good feel for things.

You are saying it provides too much information?

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I stare at the code for what feels like forever and get nothing done.

Why not install MSSQL EXpress, MYSQL, etc and futz with it?
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#3 itsbird  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:28 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 September 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

Perhaps you should change your mode of learning. Painting yourself into a corner of negatives, can'ts, won'ts, and don'ts seems counter productive. You can train yourself to learn differently. Yes, you can learn to learn.


I'm just overly discouraged is all. I'm normally not so down on myself when it comes to school. Lately it's been all at once. One of those weeks. :(/> I'll work on that. I don't like being a negative Nancy!

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 September 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

You are saying it provides too much information?


The book doesn't have the right information. There are missing pieces and he's never actually coded before, I found out, he's just taught it and been taught it so there's no hands-on experience. I'm trying to fill in the gaps with things I find.

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 September 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

Why not install MSSQL EXpress, MYSQL, etc and futz with it?


I'll do that! That'll definitely help me remember these things. Do you recommend flash cards as well or just fiddling around with the codes themselves?

- Bird
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#4 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:35 PM

I find fiddling around with code works for me personally, but it may or may not work for you. Who knows before you try it right?

If you have memory problems then flash cards are ok I suppose. I find the process of writing down what you know onto the cards more helpful than using the actual cards afterwards (perhaps I like just cards), but again give them a go.

You say that you want some SQL videos or something to watch, yet afterwards say that you struggle to maintain attention when watching movies. In that case how are videos going to work? To be honest I am struggling to see how you learn. You say you don't like reading and videos zone you out. The only option then I suppose is doing and trying things out.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:39 PM

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. There are missing pieces and he's never actually coded before, I found out, he's just taught it and been taught it so there's no hands-on experience.

I honestly find this hard to believe.


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I'll do that! That'll definitely help me remember these things. Do you recommend flash cards as well or just fiddling around with the codes themselves?

I have no idea what trips your trigger for learning. You sketched a whole mess of ways you cannot learn so.. I guess? If flash cards do it for you then go nuts. If actually making a table and shuffling data around in sets helps then do that.
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#6 DarenR  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:40 PM

why not grab a book do step 1--- mess with it screw it up on purpose to try to figure out what the parts do....

then go to step 2 and start all over untill you think you have a good handle of things.
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#7 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:48 PM

You could grab a copy of Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes which is quite good. I would recommend the 24 hours and 21 days versions as well but perhaps you want to build up to these. (O'Reilly have an SQL Pocket Guide but it's really for reference - I love these little books though.)

SQL fiddle is a useful link to keep, for quick tests. You will usually have to paste CREATE DATABASE/CREATE TABLE statements, or text or csv file-content, to kick-start it.
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#8 itsbird  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:53 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 September 2013 - 01:39 PM, said:

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. There are missing pieces and he's never actually coded before, I found out, he's just taught it and been taught it so there's no hands-on experience.

I honestly find t. s hard to believe.


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I'll do that! That'll definitely help me remember these things. Do you recommend flash cards as well or just fiddling around with the codes themselves?

I have no idea what trips your trigger for learning. You sketched a whole mess of ways you cannot learn so.. I guess? If flash cards do it for you then go nuts. If actually making a table and shuffling data around in sets helps then do that.


He literally told us he hasn't had hands-on experience in like a job where you're paid to code things. After he found out we had someone who had been coding for 10 years+ in the class he said that. His coding experience is limited to the classroom and his PhD program is what he said. I think I mistyped but I'm a mixed learner so I learn all three of the ways.

I'll do that tonight after I get home. I'm banking on doing really well in this class and learn to love SQL like I'm loving VB.
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#9 itsbird  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

View PostRyano121, on 12 September 2013 - 01:35 PM, said:

I find fiddling around with code works for me personally, but it may or may not work for you. Who knows before you try it right?

If you have memory problems then flash cards are ok I suppose. I find the process of writing down what you know onto the cards more helpful than using the actual cards afterwards (perhaps I like just cards), but again give them a go.

You say that you want some SQL videos or something to watch, yet afterwards say that you struggle to maintain attention when watching movies. In that case how are videos going to work? To be honest I am struggling to see how you learn. You say you don't like reading and videos zone you out. The only option then I suppose is doing and trying things out.


I think I should've been clearer.. I LOVE to read, the book he's assigned is just not working. Videos and I get along fairly well! I pause them and go try what they're doing (in the case of VB that's what I was doing all afternoon). Writing things down helps, I just need to find out whether its implementing code or writing it down that makes it stick.

I didn't realize I came off as dissing every learning style for myself. :/ Totally not my intention when I sat down to write this!
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#10 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 12 September 2013 - 02:05 PM

Ah well in that case you may as well get a different and better book as andrewsw said.

I should also be noted that there are tons and tons of resources online for learning SQL (its very popular). I wouldn't necessarily recommend it but there are a load of tutorials on YouTube about SQL that you could take a look at if you wanted to go down that route.

Or there are written tutorials as well. I believe w3schools.com is used a lot in colleges as an additional resource (although I can't vouch for it myself). You can uncover a load of alternatives out there with a simple search.
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#11 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:20 AM

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He literally told us he hasn't had hands-on experience in like a job where you're paid to code things. After he found out we had someone who had been coding for 10 years+ in the class he said that. His coding experience is limited to the classroom and his PhD program is what he said. I think I mistyped but I'm a mixed learner so I learn all three of the ways.


Head asplodes...
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:40 AM

View Postitsbird, on 12 September 2013 - 03:53 PM, said:

He literally told us he hasn't had hands-on experience in like a job where you're paid to code things. After he found out we had someone who had been coding for 10 years+ in the class he said that. His coding experience is limited to the classroom and his PhD program is what he said.


Just a word of warning before you get all dismissive of this teacher. Coding for academia work, research, and PHd programs *IS* coding, right? I mean - at some level the whiteboards get put aside to test out theories and get results for papers and such. Just because it's not for a business paycheck doesn't mean it is not experience lest any of the folks who are hobbyist programmers count for knowing a thing, or anyone in the university system.
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#13 DarenR  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:06 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 13 September 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

View Postitsbird, on 12 September 2013 - 03:53 PM, said:

He literally told us he hasn't had hands-on experience in like a job where you're paid to code things. After he found out we had someone who had been coding for 10 years+ in the class he said that. His coding experience is limited to the classroom and his PhD program is what he said.


Just a word of warning before you get all dismissive of this teacher. Coding for academia work, research, and PHd programs *IS* coding, right? I mean - at some level the whiteboards get put aside to test out theories and get results for papers and such. Just because it's not for a business paycheck doesn't mean it is not experience lest any of the folks who are hobbyist programmers count for knowing a thing, or anyone in the university system.




hmm do you think MIT students dismiss their professors? or CMU students-- you know 2 of the best programming colleges known to exist
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#14 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:10 AM

I think it is the arrogance, and ignorance, of most students to dismiss their teachers.
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#15 Golossos  Icon User is offline

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Re: Best self-help for SQL, prof is difficult

Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:47 PM

The best way to learn is just by doing. Look at some documentation, follow examples; there are plenty of videos you can follow.
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