Practical SQL is my humble attempt to bridge a gap that I see a lot of in the worlds of programming and computer science subjects: There seem to be no references of “adequate” length. Now I’m operating under a very carefully defined form of the term “adequate” but the basic concept here is that there is too often a massive divide between the level of completion and complexity of different sources.
In the world of SQL there are vast numbers of web-based tutorials which teach the absolute basics as well as scattered resources that answer very specific questions. Most of these resources are free and quick, but seldom provide any real depth of knowledge. Elsewhere one can find vast four-inch-thick tomes of almost painfully complete SQL knowledge but they’re bulky and expensive and you have to search through hundreds of pages of text to find anything at all – you’ll simply never use everything in the book. Nowhere, it seems, was there anything written by and for professionals who had a need to learn SQL in greater depth than the tutorials could provide but did not need to memorize a SQL Bible. The path to knowledge is too often an arduous route of trial-and-error: I wanted to provide a guide.
Practical SQL, therefore, represents the concepts that I’ve used the most as both a programmer and a beginning database administrator condensed into one short (but not too short) book. Fair warning: This book is written for highly technical people. I do briefly touch upon the bare basics, but if you have questions like “What is a database?” then you’ve got some Googling to do before you’re ready for this one!
Hacking Your Body – The Science of Weight Loss represents the knowledge gained through my lifelong struggle with weight. Obesity has been a problem for not only myself but most of my family for my entire life. I’ve been on nearly every diet out there, as have those closest to me, and only when I began applying science and engineering to the problem of weight loss did I truly understand why some diets worked and some didn’t. Not only did the application of good sound science and solid engineering practices clarify the common links between functional and non-functional diets, but the scientist in me found it much easier to follow a diet that I knew to be grounded in sound theory.
Now, I’m not a nutritionist or a dietitian, so this isn’t gospel and it’s not even close to medical advice – I even go so far as to say that this book has absolutely nothing to do with health, just weight. So if you’re curious about the science and math behind the beer gut, this book might just be for you.