Hi Athina,

As far as building your knowledge base goes, I've personally found it most
useful to learn things as you need them because only those things that you
actively use will stick. Then look for commonalities with other things you
need and build on that.

I don't recommend learning any particular language or method before you
need it. No program (or computer for that matter) has ever done anything
other than take some input, change it in some way, and output it. Whatever
helps you is important, everything else is unimportant.

You find SQL useful, so continue to build on that. As you encounter
situations that doesn't seem helpful for, you can pick up other skills.
Keep an eye out for generic capabilities that you need such slicing and
dicing metadata, talking with machines, etc.

Also try to develop a sense for what different approaches offer because
that will help you identify which paths are likely to be easiest.
For example, SQL is a declarative language -- i.e. you describe what should
appear at the end rather than a procedure to follow (like you would in
perl, ruby, python, or php) to get that result. XSLT is another example of
a declarative language.

The reason I'm bringing up this specific example is that it's very
awkward/difficult to use a declarative language to do things that are best
suited for a procedural language and vice versa. When you have a hammer in
your hand, things tend to look like nails. You don't want to pound in
screws, so keep an eye out for situations where you need another generic

I'm glad you reached out -- I'm aware of a number of people in your same
boat who feel intimidated by the prospect of putting themselves out there..
No one is born knowing this stuff, so no need to suffer if you don't have


On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 10:31 AM Athina Livanos-Propst <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm new to the list serv and am trying to build up my knowledge base for
> learning more coding skills that I can apply to my library and my work. I'd
> love to hear your best recommendations for teaching myself new tech skills,
> where to learn said skills, and which skill sets you've found most useful.
> For reference, I have a cataloging background and am just dipping my toes
> into the wacky world of SQL queries, and I'm kinda loving it and want to
> play more.