Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Good start, becoming undecided
on 28 July 2011
I purchased this book to help me get to grips with the SQL syntax before starting a new job.
I have experience of working with databases and have found the book so far to be a good introduction to SQL - I don't think it would necessarily be a good introduction to databases, so if you're new to SQL and database administration, you may want to look elsewhere or purchase an introductory text to databases to complement this book.
To really get the most out of this book you need to use the online resources and complete the tests at the end of each chapter - which is where the book is let down. All the effort of making the text easy to read and follow is ruined by the mismatch between the examples in the book and the data supplied on the O'Reilly site.
There are positives and negatives to this - a huge negative is that for a while I thought I was getting things wrong, and repeatedly doubting myself and my ability to learn SQL. A positive on the other hand is that it makes you look at the database structure and raw data to see why you can't get the answer that the book suggests is possible. After much investigation, I discovered the data populated via the online SQL file doesn't match to the data being used by the author.
After a while this just becomes annoying, especially when you try to complete the tests and can't get the correct answers. You then have to either populate the data (good practice I suppose) or modify your query to get a different answer, using the same approach.
The book would get five stars if it wasn't for the problems mentioned above.
Delivery etc, excellent as always from Amazon.