Friday, April 06, 2007

APEX Evangelist meets PL/SQL Evangelist

Yesterday evening I went to the Steven Feuerstein (aka PL/SQL Evangelist) event, organized by Ordina and Quest Software, in the Netherlands. It took me a while to get there (as I come from Belgium), but it was worth it!

I've already seen Steven presenting a few times and I always liked it soooo much! The energy, the flair, the jokes, the charisma, really nice!

I'll start with some feedback about the presentation itself, titled: "Best Practice PL/SQL - Ideas for writing the best PL/SQL code of your life".

Stevens 4 top tips for development:

  1. Drink lots of water
  2. Write tiny chunks of code
  3. Stop writing so much SQL
  4. Start testing your code - for real
As an "APEX Evangelist", I can agree with almost all of them! But I don't really agree with statement 3. If I can write something with SQL I'll do it, I don't use PL/SQL until I really need to... but I don't think that was really his point.

He gave some arguments to stop writing so much SQL, as he states: "SQL are always hard-codings", so he prefers table APIs.

After the presentation I had a quick chat about that with him, you'll see some more about that in the next weeks.

Another part of the presentation was about the Quest Code Tester for Oracle. I also find testing software really necessary (but also a pain in the a**) This tool should help you with it.

A last thing I wanted to say about the presentation, which he also mentioned a lot: "playing games improves your development skills"! Why didn't Steven tell this to my father when I was still studying?! ;-)

This event was also an opportunity to meet some of my Dutch colleagues. I not only met some nice Ordina NL people, but also some online (virtual) friends and bloggers.

I had my camera with me, so here are some pictures of the friends I met at the event.

On the picture you see Jornica (left), me (middle) and Patrick Barel (right). The right picture is of Alex Nuijten of AMIS and me. Nice to meet you guys! Thanks for the wonderful evening.


Patrick Wolf said...

Dressed like a manager ;-)

JochenVdV said...

Dimi, I'm beginning to wonder if you have more than one shirt :D
I dig SF's ideas, together with Tom Kyte, he really got me into Oracle. I downloaded the new Code Tester a while ago, but haven't gotten around to checking it out yet.

Dimitri Gielis said...

Sometimes I wear my "manager"-hat (oh and Jochen, yes that's my manager shirt ;-)),
sometimes I wear my "developer"-hat (some Oracle shirts and jeans),
sometimes I wear something else...

That's life for me, different situations, different "hats" ;-)

Steven Feuerstein said...

Hey Dmitri, Thanks for all your kind words. I had a very good time at the Ordina/Quest event and it was good to meet you again.

One comment I would like to make: I agree COMPLETELY that if you can satisfy your requirement with nothing more than SQL, you should NOT use PL/SQL.

I say "Don't write SQL" as a provocative way of saying: Be very cautious about where, when and how you write SQL statements in your code.

Every SQL statement really IS a hard coding: of your entities and relationships between them at that point in time. And they are the biggest cause of maintanence and performance headaches. So don't take them for granted and write them whenever and wherever!

Regards, Steven