Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Whatever Tools for the Job

When I was a child, I was amazed at just how many tools were in my grandfather's workshop. I didn't even know what most of the tools did, let one why there would be so many.

My toolkit is virtual rather than physical. Like the craftsman, knowing which tool is right for the job and how to use it effectively is vital.

One recent task I had to do was to query our database and get some intelligible information from it. To do this, I used a combination of SQL Developer and Excel, taking advantage of features in both to perform the task. A DBA may have been able to solve it purely in SQL (just as I'd easily be able to solve it with a targeted Java function), but the combination of tools worked for me. I used SQL Developer and Excel for what each was good at doing.

Knowing multiple ways to solve a problem gives flexibility when issues arise. Sometimes a spreadsheet or even Notepad are the right tools for the job in the right circumstances.

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