Arien vs. The World

Archive for the ‘Learning’ Category

I just came back from assisting to a workshop organised by SeedRocket, I went there with some colleagues from work. The two speakers were from Friend2Friend, a website which I have to admit I didn’t know, but that looks pretty cool from what I’ve seen.

I’ve been interested in learning about the Facebook Developers platform for a while. I think I’m even signed up already and explored around a day or two, but since I didn’t have anything interesting to develop in there, didn’t really put any energy into it. I thought this workshop could be a great opportunity to dive into it and see if I could get at least a sparkle of interest out of myself for this system. And I think it worked. Now I just need a good idea to practice what I’ve learned!

The workshop was supposed to last one hour and half, but with our questions (specially from one of my colleagues, he didn’t shut up at all, haha) it was prolongued to two hours, although we could have gone on a bit longer even (we were politely told to stop). The contents of the workshop were very interesting. They showed us how Facebook Connect worked (I’m noting this down for my future non-FB projects) and the types of applications that could be built into FB. I didn’t know we could use iframes for apps, I thought everything worked with that FBML syntax they invented (FBML, FQL, FJS… seriously, who put these names?). Anyway, we also got to see what to expect when creating an application and saw some of that FB code, which didn’t look that horrible, hehe. Lots of questions, lots of answers and lots of conclusions made it a very nice presentation overall.

On the way back home I had some time to digest all this information. Sounds really good. But I suppose not everything is super fantastic in the Facebook world, because this precise morning I came across this blog post (coincidence or conspiracy?). The comments about it at HN weren’t exactly FB-friendly either. The speakers at the workshop didn’t put it as the promised land and admitted it had bugs (and some funny little things), but they said it wasn’t bad at all and the FB devs are cool peeps and do a good job with it. So my conclusion is that it’s probably like any other 3rd-party application. Awesome when it works because it saves you time, but awfully frustrating when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, because then you have to spend time digging in someone else’s code. And we know that’s the thing we developers like the least. Our code > everybody else’s! True story!

Ah well, besides all this, I had the chance to see a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years (old coworkers). Was actually surprising to see so many familiar faces, I’m not used to it as I don’t really socialise within the programming Barcelona world. I’m looking forward to assist to more of these workshops! Thanks to SeedRocket and F2F for this one! :)

As I commented earlier in the blog (time sure goes fast; was that really 4 months ago??), at work we have as objective for all us Web Developers to pass the MySQL 5.0 Certification this year. This certification consists of two exams: MySQL Developer and MySQL DBA. Both of them have two parts, so that’s actually 4 tests to take. But we are only required to take the MySQL Developer ones, not the DBA.

MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide

MySQL 5.0 Certification Study Guide

For this task, we were given this huge book to study, 650 pages long! Although, we “only” need the first 350 that are aimed at the MySQL Developer exam. The book comes with a CD with some sample questions, although we’ve been told that these are much easier than the ones in the real exams, so I’m glad we’re having some practicing sessions at work to test our knowledge and share results together.

For the record, one of us already took the exam and passed without too much trouble (so it can be done, ha!). But gah, I dislike multi choice exams with passion… I’ve always been clumsy with this kind of exams, forgetting a bit here and there and… bleh. I’m confident that I can pass it, but I really want to get a good grade and multi choice isn’t the best for it.

But whatever, I’m getting all the bad thoughts from my mind and I’m going to do my best on this. I started reading the book and so far it seems easy, mainly because I’m refreshing things I’ve been using for almost 10 years. Things will start getting nastier in the second part of the book, I bet. I have seen views, stored procedures and triggers in the manuals, but never actually had the chance to use them (well, I did use views once, but just for testing purposes). The examples in the book seem very clear, hopefully it won’t be too boring and I’ll get quickly through all of it :)

Good luck to myself (and my colleagues)!


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