Should you learn to code?

These are dark times. Drastic measures must be taken. In this episode, we talk about–coding. *Queue scary music* Last year I bumped into Sean McCown and found out he had coded himself a GUI for his MinionWare product. This left me both impressed and stumped. We talk with Sean, Eugene, and Kevin about why they decided to learn a coding language and I give some of my hesitations for not picking up a coding book.

Episode Quotes

“I kept getting these problems from the devs, it’s SQL this, it’s SQL that, it’s SQL that, and so I started learning coding to be able to speak their language.”

“Any knowledge you have of another language, of coding in general, will help. I don’t know any Java whatsoever, but I know enough about coding that I can talk to a Java guy. If you just know the basics of it, you’ll be far better off than if you know nothing.”

“There are nice ways that you can extend your knowledge and become quite useful at solving problems using languages other than just T-SQL. But I go back to again, T-SQL is a programming language.”

“I’m learning coding by a project that appeals to me, so if there’s something that I can use for a personal project, I’m more motivated.”

Listen to Learn

00:38     Intro to the team
01:23     Compañero Shout-Outs
02:18     SQL Server in the News
03:41     Intro to the guest and topic
06:44     The biggest benefits to knowing how to code
11:07     It’s good to be able to know enough to call people on their BS
13:13     Do you have to code the app to get benefit from the knowledge?
15:06     Everybody’s personal coding experience
20:06     If you had to pick up a new language right now, which would it be and why?
24:08     Look at language classifications and choose one or two from each sort
27:42     How Carlos chooses which language to NOT learn and the pay-yourself-first theory
32:11     What if you learn something you don’t want to do in your job?
33:25     You could build yourself a tool to solve your specific problems
35:15     What has been solved in 2019 because they know how to code
37:15     If you want to put something on your resume, you can set expectations
37:59     The language you would chose to solve this specific problem
40:09     SQL Family Questions
42:33     Closing Thoughts


Music for SQL Server in the News by Mansardian

Our Guest

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Sean McCown

Sean McCown is a DBA, international speaker, and Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server with over 20 years of experience in high-end databases. He is also founder and co-owner of MinionWare LLC, creator and author of the wildly popular Minion Maintenance and Minion Enterprise tools.

SeanMcCown on Calendly and LinkedIn, @HeyMinionWare on Twitter.

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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