General Meeting Presentation

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rod Stephens

Design or Die! or Design in Haste, Repent at Leisure

Rod Stephens

In this talk, C# and Visual Basic author Rod Stephens discusses database design. Rod will begin by discussing semantic and entity-relationship object models that you can use to study the objects in an application and the relationships among those objects. He’ll then explain how you can convert those models into relational models and normalize the result to provide maximum flexibility while ensuring data integrity. The talk will finish with a description of several useful database design patterns and pitfalls, and a fairly complete example.

During the talk, Rod will tackle such controversial issues as hyper-normalization, the opposite issue of data de-normalization, and the fact that there’s no such thing as 2. Cookies will be served.

Specific topics will include:

  • Semantic data models
  • Entity-relationship (ER) models
  • Converting semantic and ER models into relational models
  • Implementing business rules
  • Normalization and de-normalization
  • Designing a database to support programming
  • Common database design patterns
  • Common database design pitfalls
Rod Stephens started out as a mathematician, but while studying at MIT, discovered how much fun programming is and has been programming professionally ever since. During his career, he has worked on an eclectic assortment of applications in such fields as telephone switching, billing, repair dispatching, tax processing, wastewater treatment, concert ticket sales, cartography, and training for professional football players.

Rod is a Microsoft Visual Basic Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and has taught introductory programming at ITT Technical Institute. He has written more than two dozen books that have been translated into languages from all over the world, and more than 250 magazine articles covering Visual Basic, C#, Visual Basic for Applications, Delphi, and Java.

Rod’s popular VB Helper web site ( receives several million hits per month and contains thousands of pages of tips, tricks, and example programs for Visual Basic programmers, as well as example code for this book. His C# Helper web site ( contains similar material for C# programmers.

You can contact Rod at Rod Stephens at C# Helper or Rod Stephens at VB Helper.