Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caveat emptor!! (let the buyer beware), 11 Nov 2005
This review is from: Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 21 Days (Paperback)
First impressions from this book (as I'm currently only 2 days and a few chapters into it) are that it is good and does get across the SQL syntax etc.
However - BEWARE - it's absolutely riddled with typo's!! One classic example of this is a table you have to create with low and high temperature fields. This book often mixes the two up and transposes them.
Since programming languages are generally, by definition, VERY reliant upon correct syntax this can be frustrating if you blindly follow the book.
I have a number of other SAMS books and they usually offer on their website a page for typo's etc, as well as downloadable data for use with the book's exercises. Here that doesn't appear to be the case. I can't find a "known errors" page or a way of shortcutting the data entry. You'll probably soon get sick of labourious data entry at the command line.
However, I am learning SQL effectively in spite of these limitations. Just bear in mind that if you blindly follow the book's examples that you'll have more than the odd moment of "why is this not working?". It's most likely that you assumed all the tables were set up correctly in the book's examples and you copied them word for word. An assumption I would normally take for granted, but sadly not in this case.
A good teaching book, but whoever did the proofreading should be shot! Keep your wits about you and THINK as you go, don't just assume this book will teach you everything you need to know by following it parrot-fashion.
(but then again, who ever learnt anything by drifting along in autopilot anyway?)
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