DBMS 110 - Getting Started

DBMS110 Getting Started

Preparing for the F2F Database Course
drm: updated 2019-10-24


If you want to fail the class, it's easy - do the following:
  • For the face-to-face (F2F) course, don't come to class; students that miss more than 3 or 4 classes (in an 8-week course) almost always fail
  • Spend a lot of class time on your phone
  • Complain about group work and don't show up to help your team
  • Don't put any effort into your work - yeah, I can tell...
  • Wait until the end and then try to turn in all the assignments

Supplies (F2F Course)

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring a USB drive to class. We will be coding almost every meeting and you will want to save your scripts so you can reuse them. The network is not always reliable in the labs, meaning you may not be able to save to a cloud drive or using email. I can't recover something you save on the local machine if it gets deleted - the lab machines may get wiped and reset ANY time.


Students are encouraged to bring a laptop. If you plan to use a laptop (and Windows), you will want to download Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS - free). This is the current linkfor SSMS: SSMS 17

If you are using a MAC, you are welcome to use SSMS, but it requires special configuration and other software.
Instead, you may want to download HeidiSQL (free) and plan to use that instead of SSMS. I will try to accomodate people in class that are using Heidi, since we will all hopefully use it later in the semester of MySQL. HeidiSQL can be downloaded here

It will NOT be necessary to download the full SQL Server software (you may if you wish). Everyone will have access to one or more cloud servers that you can use from class and home

All the lab machines have SSMS and HeidiSQL on them. We will also use Microsoft Word, Excel and Visio during the course. All of these are available to you free from Ivy Tech (google Ivy Tech Imagine).

How the Course Works and How I Run Class

We will have our hands on the keyboard almost every class. Things sometimes move quickly, so I encourage you to learn and practice keyboard shortcuts, so you don't spend a lot of time trying to work with the mouse. We will review and practice these the first week. There is also a quiz on them!

The classes will normally go the full 2.75 hours the first 3-4 weeks. Be prepared for it. What you learn the first several weeks we will use every week after that.

I will ask everyone to select a 3-character set of initials on week 1 and then use those for any files submitted. All files will need to follow the same naming scheme: initials_module_assignment, such as drm_m01_assn1 (my initials are DRM). I will not grade files that are named differently!

We will not follow the standard Ivy Tech stateside syllabus for this course. There is no book. We will utilize online resources and depend heavily on lectures.

General Expectations

As college students, I expect a level of maturity and professionalism from all my students. That means being able to communicate effectively, to try to write well, and most of all - to put strong effort into their endeavors.

  • I normally do not track attendance. Assignments are often required and submitted during class, and that counts for more than attendance.
  • I expect students to conduct themselves as adults. That means respecting others, being respectful in terms of using cell phones, email, Internet access, etc.
  • Students should feel free to get up, move around, get a snack, etc. Please keep cell phones on vibrate. But if you need to take or make a call, go into the hallway and do so.
  • I strongly encourage students to interact and help each other. Except for quizzes and exams, working together is a good thing. Please talk to each other in class; talk through your assignments and coding. Talk to yourself (I do).
  • In some cases, I arrange group work so that students learn to work as part of a team. >PLEASE don't waste my time complaining about group work. If it is required, it is required. Deal with it. It is part of the learning experience and part of being a professional.
  • Don't complain about what others are doing or not doing - in group work or otherwise. Your grade is rarely dependent on what someone else is doing or not doing. If a team is weak in certain areas, HELP - don't complain about it. Complaints will almost always fall on deaf ears (my deaf ears), and in fact will draw more scrutiny to your work and team involvement.
  • Please DO take time to help your fellow students. Not completing your own work on time because you helped someone else will earn you positive points.
  • Students do not need to explain why they were absent. It will not make late work acceptable, etc. In most cases, I am relatively lenient for late assignments. I do expect students to complete reading on time and complete quizzes. Exams normally must be completed on time.
  • If you need help with class work - ASK. I am there to help. If you cannot make it to class and need information to complete the assignments, etc. - ASK. If you would like help completing an assignment, would like assistance with code or a code review - ASK.
  • I hope (but cannot expect) that students will enjoy the classes and learn from them. I try to make the course work enjoyable. I encourage students to personalize things when possible, focus projects and assignments on hobbies or interests, etc.


  • I expect assignments to be submitted as required, including presentation information (title, name, date)
  • I expect all documents to be named using the student initials as a prefix, such as drm_m01_assn1.
  • Assignments will NOT BE GRADED if they are mis-named, do not include presentation information, etc. Students often forget to include a date in their documents; please always include name, date and a title.
  • If students are unable to complete the assignment as expected, I expect comments to explain that - in the document or assignment submission. My ESP fails me as the years go by, so I can't possible read your mind about problems, etc.
  • Most important: put effort into your work. Strong effort, even if you make mistakes, will win points.