Today, I am exceptionally pleased with myself. (I'll pause a moment while you make your "Just today?" joke.) Today I passed the second of two certification exams to become a MySQL Certified Developer, and those tests ain't easy.
Since very few people actually know, or care, about what a MySQL Certified Developer is or does, I'll explain. Computers keep data in an organized fashion so as to facilitate retrieving the data in a reasonable and reliable way. The usual tool for doing this is a Database Management System (DBMS). The DBMS is software that handles your data for you and responds to simple requests. For example, when you want to look at an article on the LibertyBob site, the web program asks the DBMS to retrieve the article based on an ID number.
One of the more popular DBMSs in the world is called MySQL. It is an open source project that was owned by a Swedish company called by the same name. Recently Sun Microsystems purchased MySQL. Sun is the same people who make the programming language Java that you may have heard about. Other popular DBMSs include Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server.
Anyway, a database developer tends to do two things: design how the data will be stored in the DBMS and write the statements that insert, change, or retrieve the data. This is a big deal because a well designed database runs smoothly, efficiently, and with no errors. A poorly designed database will take too long to retrieve data and may not return the correct data. I won't go into to any details because I'm a database geek and could easily go on for hours about Normalization, Functional Dependencies, and Minimal Covers.
You may have noticed that many of the names of the DBMSs have the letters "SQL" in them. This is actually a reference to the language often used to work with modern databases. Structured Query Language is a computer language in a particular structure used to query (ask for something from) a DBMS. It is usually abbreviated "SQL" and is pronounced either as the three letters or like the word "sequel". Both are considered correct and usually fall to personal preference.
Anyway, after many years of working in databases, after passing all my database courses with grades of "A", and graduating Summa Cum Laude with my Computer Science Degree, I finally have a document that says I may know something about the basics of one type of database management system. I am so proud.
You gotta pick the right guy to do the job.
Go out now and vote for LibertyBob.