On a winter day in Boston, I sat through a two hour lecture on B-Trees. There was snow outside and we all sat spell bound as Greg Basset, our instructor taught us how Digital’s RMS-11K (the record management system) worked. The concept of incremental loading, fill factors, splitting data and index buckets and compression of duplicate keys, is still fresh in my memory. I gave that talk several times later in my life when I was teaching the subject. In each repetition, I learned a little bit more, answering questions. A few years later, I had the chance to use many of the ideas when we built C-Trieve and Objectrieve, two record management systems on top of which we built an SQL relational database. That was more than a couple of decades ago.
Looking at the Programmers Competency Matrix brought back lots of those memories. I think I am going to make a custom version of this matrix, make a poster and put it up on the wall of my class. A lot of these topics are not needed for the application programming today. But for a few of those intensely curious students, this is a kind of road map.
Reddit is a great source of interesting posts, especially for programmers. I should thank the kind soul who posted this link.