Investigating research needs for database development

All database and app design starts with knowing what they are about. What is the purpose, who are the users, which features are needed? In research, the answers are quite specifically shaped by, well, the research and its context. In this post, I will introduce three techniques to answer these questions, and point out why with me you are in good hands.

A design outline for a Sea Turtle Research Database

urtles and their nests is about ten years old or limited in their possibilities. I am considering developing new database software. In this text, I am calling for input from sea turtle NGOs and individual experts about their work practices and for feedback on the outline that comprises the bulk of this text

Variables in research databases need support

Variety in data-editors During my work on the SWINNO project and its database I noticed how the assistants who did the data work, I call them data editors, have different strategies of entering data. Also, they know the rules that govern the entry of the variables in various degrees, they have different ways of dealing... Continue Reading →

Weeks of coding can save hours of reading

I ran into the pun 'Weeks of coding can save hours of planning' somewhere on the FileMaker community forum (now the Claris community forum). Found it hilarious! Today, I realized that I have been way too eager to come up with smart solutions for programming problems and started working before searching. It is a type... Continue Reading →

Good variable names

In both research and programming, variables need a name and contrary to what one might think, this is not a trivial thing. The only documentation is the name and perhaps some settings or formatting. I can come up with a minimal set of criteria for the naming of a variable.

Book review: Michael J. Hernandez, ‘Database design for mere mortals’

Book review: Michael J. Hernandez, 'Database design for mere mortals'. Many software manuals and help-functions are written in the format 'If you want to do X, you need to click this button. If you want to do Y, you need to select option this-or-that'. This is why software manuals can be useless to beginners: they don't explain why you would want to do X or Y. This book tells you all about that. It teaches you how to design a relational database, rather than how some database software package works.

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