Peter Avila

“My goal in class is to help students get what they came to get by providing them with an experience. When you have an experience, things stick with you, and you have something to draw on.”


Peter is a consultant specializing in the design and development of database systems using SQL Server and .Net technologies. Peter has operated a nation-wide consulting business since 1991. He was a course designer and instructor of database and software development technologies at Harvard University; UC Berkeley, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and he is author of “An Intuitive Approach to Database Design; An Introduction to Data Modeling.”

Peter uses an intuitive approach to learning that applies the way we all learn in the real world and gives students experiences on which to draw when they’re back on the job applying their new skills.

“People love to learn,” Peter says. “Learning is what we do. We’re good at it. It’s fun! Sometimes we learn by being told how something works, other times we observe others doing things; but learning is the most fun, satisfying, and enduring when we have our own empirical learning experiences—our own AHA! moment when we experience a discovery. The classroom offers a great opportunity to create those moments in a fun and focused environment. It is very rewarding to me when a student tells me afterward that the experience they had in the classroom is what allowed them to finally understand a topic and solve a tough problem at work.


Exploring Join Paths; The Key to Building Multiple-Table Joins

Posted May 30, 2014

As we see in the SQL 100 and SQL 250 courses, and as we further explore in this article, joins are used in queries that need to access data stored in more than one table (served up either by the … Continue Reading

How to Disable Intellisence in SSMS

Posted April 30, 2014

Though Intellisence is usually a very nice feature to have when working in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), it can sometimes get in the way. Here’s how you can disable it if you ever feel the need to: 1.   … Continue Reading

Referential Integrity Options (Cascade, Set Null and Set Default)

Posted April 11, 2014

Ever wonder why there are only two options under the INSERT and UPDATE Specification of a foreign key? Why is there no Insert Rule? And to which table in the relationship do these rules apply? Let’s start at the beginning. … Continue Reading