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MOUG17 Keynote: Coding Therapy for Database Developers

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Midwest Oracle Users Group Training Day 2017 Presentation by Steven Feuerstein, Oracle Corporation Architect and Author.

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MOUG17 Keynote: Coding Therapy for Database Developers

  1. 1. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Coding Therapy for Database Developers "How does this code make you feel?" Steven Feuerstein Oracle Developer Advocate for PL/SQL Oracle Corpora;on steven.feuerstein@oracle.com @sfonplsql stevenfeuersteinonplsql.blogspot.com PracLcally Perfect PL/SQL (YouTube) 1
  2. 2. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | No One Is Making Fun of Therapy, Here! And I am most definitely not a licensed therapist! • Therapy can be a very important and meaningful process for healing pain and distress. • I am not mocking real therapy nor do I suggest that my session today can subsLtute for a session with a real therapist. • But perhaps I can help you with a few code-related issues....
  3. 3. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Why Might Therapy Be of Use to Developers?
  4. 4. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Soware Comes from the Brain and Body How’s your brain and body? • Lots of soware conLnues to be wri^en directly by human beings. – Though more and more will be generated/AI-built over Lme. • Soware construcLon is a rather brainy endeavor. – But the brain sLll needs the body. • Consequently, human physiology and psychology play an enormous role in how soware is wri^en – and mis-wri^en. • Check out Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.
  5. 5. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Game Therapy All work and no play makes it harder for me to work each day. Let the games begin!
  6. 6. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Games Entertain and Strengthen the Brain Work, work, work all day long leads to poor results. • Games can be quite helpful in the learning process. – We like to compete (even if only against ourselves), have fun, win prizes. • Mastermind – Classic of deducLve logic that improves your debugging skills! – h^p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind • Set - www.setgame.com – Pa^ern analysis and resoluLon improves everything you do. • Oracle Dev Gym – devgym.oracle.com – Best of both worlds: quizzes, workouts, classes on SQL, PL/SQL and more
  7. 7. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Confessional Therapy The militant agnostic: I don't know and you don't either.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | - peteducation.com "Predators look for signs of illness or weakness when choosing their prey, so a prey animal needs to appear healthy, or it will be a sure target. By the Lme they are showing signs of disease, in many instances, the birds have become too weak to be able to disguise it." I hope this doesn't remind you of anyone – predator or prey – on your team!
  9. 9. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | When everyone expects you to know everything.... In a world of know-it-alls, no one knows it all. • Our evolved survival insLnct urges us to hide weakness. • On top of that, we soware developers are supposed to be really smart. – We are the wizards of modern society. • Unfortunately, ignorance leads directly to bugs and sub-opLmal code.
  10. 10. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | It's OK to say "I don't know. Help me!" It may not even ma^er who you ask for help • Just thinking about asking for help will oen do the trick. – We are "wired" to be hyper-aware of peer judgments. • Most people like to be asked to help. – It makes them feel valued & strengthens the team as a whole. • If there are no programmers handy, ask your spouse or parent or child to be a sounding board. – Or write an email. By the Lme you finish wriLng it, you will likely have found the answer to your problem. – Or use a Rubber Ducky h^ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_duck_debugging – The important thing is to get the issue out of your head.
  11. 11. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Follow the Thirty (or is it Five?) Minute Rule Do not bang your head against the wall. • We are usually too deeply inside (and part of) the problem to step back and take a fresh look. • For a "trivial" bug (eg, PLS-306 wrong number or type of arguments), ask for help aer 5 minutes. • For algorithmic puzzles, give yourself 30 minutes, ask for help. • Senior developers and managers take the lead. – Ask more junior members for help. Show that you are fallible, that you can learn from anyone and everyone.
  12. 12. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Couples Therapy You and Your Unconscious Database Developers and UI Developers Developers and DBAs Developers and Their Managers
  13. 13. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | What do these have in common?
  14. 14. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Our u^er lack of understanding of them And our dismissive aptude towards them • Oh and also that we were completely wrong. • That DNA? It's not junk. It's incredibly important. • Dark ma^er? You can call it whatever you want, but if it's not accounted for in your theories and it makes up most of the universe, your theory's kind of sucky. • The rest of our mind is inaccessible to us, so it is "un", "sub", lower. It does the automaLc, unthinking stuff, while we do the real brain work. • Uh, actually, no.
  15. 15. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Couples Therapy: You and Your Unconscious Life in the conscious lane • Want someone you meet to think you are warm and cuddly? – Hand them a cup of warm – not iced! – coffee (or tea). • Want to get paroled from prison? – Get a hearing right aer lunch. • Want to make your views more conservaLve? – Stand next to hand saniLzer. • Want to get more donaLons for coffee in your "honest box"? – Put a coconut "with eyes" on a shelf above the coffee urn. • And then there are dreams.
  16. 16. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | The Rest of Our Minds Make Most of the Decisions Consciousness raLonalizes decisions already made • We (the conscious parts of people - CPP) think we're deciding things. • But cleverly-designed studies reveal that CPPs mostly come up with stories to explain what the ROOM already decided. – Mostly to make us look be^er with our peers. • The ROOM is great at pa^ern analysis (thank you, millions of years of evoluLon!). • So use your ROOM, don't fight it, don't beli^le it, don't ignore it.
  17. 17. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Dream Therapy for Developers • The worst way to deal with a problem is to worry at it (for hours or days). – SomeLmes conscious a^enLon only makes it harder to find the soluLon. • Maybe you should sleep on it, instead. – There's a good chance that when you wake up the answer will be waiLng in your conscious "in box." Snooze and you lose? Not at all!
  18. 18. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Change the Body, Change the Mind Change what your body does, and you change how your mind works. • If you can't go to bed and you're stuck on a problem, then... – Take a walk, run around the block, do some stretching or sit-ups, anything but screen-stare. • Best of all: leave the sterile environment of computers and get out into the world. – We spend almost all of our Lme completely, physically disconnected from our own planet. – Pick an invasive species and join the ba^le!
  19. 19. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Couples Therapy: DB Developers and UI Developers We all want the same thing, right? A successful app! • It's not the 1990s anymore. • So much has changed in the world of soware – and how we deliver it. – Consumers are now User #1. Drives all other changes. – Apps delivered on Lny screens with YUGE resoluLon. – Users get to choose their apps. – Training? Fuggedaboudit! – If it's not free, I'm not paying for it. – Eventually is good enough for me. • User interfaces are now Led directly to culture. OMG.
  20. 20. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | We've Got It (RelaLvely) Easy There's a reason for the Framework Insanity of JavaScript • Lots and lots of code (compared to, say, APEX) • Microservices, bots, containers, asynchronous communicaLon.... • Endless demand for changes to UIs, since we need to hide all that ever-increasing complexity
  21. 21. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | So do we mock, disdain, criLcize? Or do we help? It's not like UI developers are really any different from us. • Wow, do I sound old. And whiny. • And seriously: FIVE YEARS from now? • I expect to rebuild my app with a new framework in one year. • And SQL? It's just weird. • And PL/SQL? It's so procedural. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I've seen firsthand the consequences of your ignorance and impaLence. Five years from now, your life is going to be pure agony as you wrestle with data integrity and consistency issues.”
  22. 22. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Change the Message to: How can I help? What do you have to lose? J • Don't be opposiLonal. • Don't be so eager to point out where others are wrong. – You could even admit you are wrong. • Find developer pain points. These come to mind: – Performance of DB access – Headaches wrestling with SQL – Needs JSON-based APIs • Then offer soluLons, of which you have lots.
  23. 23. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | We can help UI developers – a LOT. And 12.2 makes it easier than ever before. • You want APIs? We've got the best data APIs! – PL/SQL is the best performing, most secure and producLve language for creaLng APIs to the database, through packages. • You want JSON? – Oracle Database offers naLve JSON support via SQL and PL/SQL. • You will only talk REST? – No problem. – Easy, secure REST APIs (oen generated) through Oracle REST Data Services
  24. 24. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Couples Therapy: Developers and DBAs Can’t we all just get along? • Apparently not.... – Developer: "Why can't I just [ add that column | drop that table | mess things up ] whenever I want?" – DBA: "Add an index? Ha! First, tune your code." • Stay on good terms with your DBA. – Let's face it; a DBA has lots more responsibility and privileges (which translate to "power" in a database). – You can't win a ba^le with a DBA. • Database programming needs to be a collabora8ve process.
  25. 25. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Close CollaboraLons Yield Best Apps Talk to, work with your DBA (and vice versa) • As you change the way you write your code, you should noLfy your DBA. – Start to work with collecLons? NoLfy! – Using FORALL and BULK COLLECT? NoLfy! – Discovered Oracle11g funcLon result cache? NoLfy! • Ask (negoLate) for the resources you need to analyze code impact yourself. – For example, with access to just a handful of V$ views, you can monitor PGA memory uLlizaLon of your PL/SQL code.
  26. 26. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Couples Therapy: Developers and Managers SaLsfied with how your manager communicates with you? • Which of these quesLons does your manager ask you? When will you be done? How thoroughly have you tested your code? How maintainable is your code? Can you make it go faster? How can I help you get your job done? Did you follow the coding standards?
  27. 27. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Developers and Managers: Pretense is CriLcal Some managers need to be really clear about who is “in charge” • Avoid direct challenges to authority. Instead: • Ask frequently for help, advice and direcLon. – "How can I improve my tesLng?" • Ask for standards and mechanisms to verify that you are following them. – Standards improve your quality of programming life. • Buy your manager Peopleware as a thank you gi. – A classic text for building development teams
  28. 28. Copyright © 2014 Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Coding Therapy: Conclusions We are going to need many lengthy sessions on the couch. • You can't escape your own brain and you can't escape your body. • Don't fight your unconscious; instead, understand it, accept it, adapt to it. • CollaboraLon is key. – It's not – or it should not be - a zero-sum game. – Find a way to help/work with your UI developers. – Make your DBA a part of the development process. – View/use your manager as an asset.
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