My Journey Begins

By Kevin Reardon -- Published 2016-08-02

I began an educational journey, with only a vague idea of my destination, and no road map to lead me where I wanted to go. My “journey” involves learning how to design and manage relational databases. Unfortunately, taking college level courses about database design only scratched the surface. I’ve heard the phrase, education can seem “a mile wide and an inch deep.” This statement reflects my experience in the majority of my classes. The depth of knowledge was simply not provided by most of my instructors. Time after time, I experienced a lack of responsiveness from my instructors. They either had good technological skills or good people skills, but rarely did they have both. They and the course material did not prepare me for working in the real world.

I have discovered database design is challenging and rewarding work. It is worth all the effort it takes to succeed. I realized the best way for me to succeed was to find a person working in database design who appreciates hard work and good questions. My challenge was to find that special person and create a relationship.

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PostgreSQL vs. MySQL: Why we use PostgreSQL

By Ryan Lambert -- Published 2016-08-01

I fully believe that PostgreSQL is the best choice for a reliable and high performance database. This post was inspired after reading a post on Udemy concluding with MySQL being better than PostgreSQL. There are a number of points I disagree with in that post so I decided to make my case of why I think PostgreSQL is a better choice in most situations. In this post I start by countering a few statements from the Udemy post, providing examples from my experience and other resources. Towards the end I go over a few of the PostgreSQL features that I believe makes it truly stand out.

If all you need is to support 3rd party software that supports MySQL (and not PostgreSQL), then you obviously don't have a choice and this discussion is irrelevant. On the other hand, if you're looking for a powerful, reliable, and open source relational database platform:

PostgreSQL is my recommendation.

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Testing PostgreSQL Unlogged Tables for Performance

By Ryan Lambert -- Published 2016-07-31

PostgreSQL has a feature called UNLOGGED tables. I became intrigued by UNLOGGED tables after reading this post. According to the docs:

"Data written to unlogged tables is not written to the write-ahead log (see Chapter 29), which makes them considerably faster than ordinary tables. However, they are not crash-safe: an unlogged table is automatically truncated after a crash or unclean shutdown."

It's important to note that unlogged tables shouldn't be used for storing critical data. My use case for them is to quickly load data to staging tables before cleaning and reorganizing. I end up importing large amounts of data on a regular basis, so this is of interest to me. I decided to test regular tables vs unlogged tables by importing 6 months of NOAA's hourly weather data. You can read about my previous tests with this data here.

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Revisting my Tool Set

By Ryan Lambert -- Published 2016-05-03

It's been over two years since I first wrote about the tools I use regularly as a programmer. Some things have changed, others have persisted. In this post I go through my current tool set with some explanations of why things have either changed or stayed they same.

Some tools haven't changed a bit. Git, SourceTree, VirtualBox and Jenkins are four tools that I still can't live without. Also, my MacBook is now even older, but with a new SSD it seems to have new life.

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Small Community, Big Changes -- The Impact of a Mapping Party

By Ryan Lambert -- Published 2016-04-16

RustProof Labs just completed another Maptastic mapping party! The event was held on April 9, 2016 in Golden, Colorado. Our home base for the event was with the fantastic folks at Pangea Coffee Roasters. Matt, Amanda, and the rest of their friendly staff couldn't have been better hosts for this event! We had 14 total volunteers with 5 of them being "mini-mappers" under the age of 15. My favorite part of the event was seeing the sheer excitement, thrill and enthusiasm of our mini-mappers (and adults) who participated.

Our Volunteers and Pangea Coffee Roasters all deserve a huge Thank You! Without you, events like this are not possible.

The main goal of this post is to visualize the incredible impact our team of volunteers had on the data for our local community. I also want to discuss a few reasons why I think OpenStreetMap is such a valuable project. Before I go on, check out the first time lapse showing how the data in Golden has improved. Feel free to take your time and really watch how the map has improved in various areas.

All data used throughout this post is © OpenStreetMap Contributors.

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