General Meeting Presentation

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rod Stephens

To Normalize, or Not to Normalize, That is the Question

Rod Stephens

In this talk, C# and Visual Basic author Rod Stephens discusses some database design issues. In the first half of the talk, Rod will review database normalization. He’ll describe the first, second, and third normal forms. He’ll explain how they help make a database powerful and flexible while preventing potentially disastrous problems. He’ll also explain situations where you may prefer to live on the edge and partly denormalize a database. If time permits (and anyone is still awake), he’ll briefly describe elusive higher degrees of normalization.

After a break for cookies and caffeine, the second part of the talk will begin with a brief summary of three general approaches to database design: existing data centered, UI centered, and database centered. He’ll then lead the group in an attempt to design a database from scratch.

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 has been a Microsoft Visual Basic Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for more than 12 years and has taught introductory programming. He has written 28 books that have been translated into languages from all over the world, and more than 250 magazine articles mostly 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.