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Programming for databases

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Okay, if I get a computer science degree and good stuff like that and somehow I end up programming database stuff for a bank, what exactly do I do? Through a series of unfortunate events, I know a guy that used to work at a bank programming databases, but I cant speak to him anymore, and I was thinking that maybe it would be something I''d like to do. The question is: what exactly does a programmer do with a database (like Access) that he has to be there 40-50 hours a week? Looking up things and adding entries and whatnot doesnt seem like something a programmer would do... what kind of functionality does a programmer give a database application that it doesnt already have? Or am I completely off base? Also, I dont know if this is the right forum... if it isnt, I appologize. Thanks.

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Well... what I do for 40-50 hours a week is I program applications which manipulate our data in ways that Microsoft Access won't let us or is too inefficient at. For instance, we needed a way to edit a single item very quickly and format all copy about an item in a certain way, so I programmed an application to do that. Then we needed a program to iterate through item data and spit out HTML pages accordingly. But that's not the whole story, I also manage the entire item base and handle adding new items and deleting discontinued ones.

edit: spelling

James Simmons
MindEngine Development
http://medev.sourceforge.net

[edited by - neurokaotix on November 28, 2003 4:03:05 PM]

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Just to expand on that a little...the database, such as Oracle, SQL Server, etc. provides the bare framework to store your data. There is a great deal of work involved in designing your table structures, your indexes (or indices depending on how anal you are about latin plurals), relational integrity rules, triggers, stored procedures, and so forth--and your database won''t do any of that for you.

Another area you can expect to spend a lot of time on is reporting. This can be fairly easy or completely hellish depending on what the report is, and how well you have designed your table structure. Bear in mind that every member of middle management automatically has the psychic ability to request the most meaningless, and yet hardest to produce report for a given database.

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