Are You Illiterate?

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I know you can read, you’re here. But maybe you’re a functioning illiterate.

Here’s what I mean. You spend a lot of time in the database writing queries, analyzing data, doing important stuff.

Most of the time, things go great for you. You can answer questions for people. You make things happen. The wheels of the business bus go round-and-round.

But there’s one thing that really, really scares you.

Execution/Explain/Access Plans.

Those things that describe the steps the database optimizer takes to put together the data for your SQL queries.

illiterate blog execution plan

Do you know what this means?

This used to be me.
I spent years working in Oracle every day. How could I not know how to read a plan? Probably the same way kids graduate from high school, not being able to read a lick. You fake it.

They don’t teach this stuff.
Everyone starts on the same page here. They might teach SQL, they might teach set theory, or even relational algebra. But they don’t teach database optimizers generally in most programs (excluding graduate level and database vendor certification classes.)

Just start reading.

The next time you find a query that isn’t running as well as you want it to, get the plan. Try to read it. Not all at once. Break it up into parts. Circle the words you don’t recognize. Look them up on-line. Do a Google.

After awhile this stuff will start to make sense and it will ‘just click.’ This will open such a huge world for you. There’s nothing to fear here, jump on in!

Homework: Read This
Reading the Execution Plan

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