What is an Acculturation Guide?
Visiting family in Copenhagen over the holidays at the end of 2019, we were surprised to find Danes carrying packages of fireworks in local trains, which we in the United States would not dream of. Starting around 8pm on New Years Eve, there was a steady and increasing popping of fireworks, and starbursts overhead, leading to a continuous crescendo around midnight. There were fireworks in streets with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and at one point orange volcano fireworks on the sidewalk across the street were so bright and fiery that they had us rushing to the window to investigate. Crowds gather at Rådhuspladsen, a big plaza outside the Town Hall, with the air thick with smoke. That is Danish culture. Other cultures may celebrate their new year by wearing traditional clothes.
So what is culture? According to Wikipedia, it “encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups.” Coming from cultures where you decline until you are pressed when your dinner host or hostess asks whether you want seconds, many an international guest at an American dinner has been dismayed to see dishes carried back to the kitchen!
Acculturation is a process in which an individual adopts, acquires and adjusts to a new cultural environment. As humans, we learn by doing, and immersion is the only road to acculturation.
What does Acculturation mean for software such as YottaDB? You can of course start with “Hello, world” examples that access the database, but what then? The function of a database is persistence: to store data entrusted to it, and provide the stored data when requested. You need to know how to install the software, configure databases to provide business continuity when systems fail or when an entire data center fails, and more.
To that end, we have created the YottaDB Acculturation Guide. It sits between the “Hello, world“ examples and the YottaDB Administration and Operations Guide, which is complete reference material that can appear overwhelming after “Hello, world”.
The one constant about culture is change! Culture is not static. The original Acculturation Guide (sometimes referred to as the Acculturation Workshop) is over ten years old, but has been significantly revamped to reflect YottaDB’s evolution as a language-agnostic NoSQL database, and simpler crash-recovery. As YottaDB gains new functionality and new operational capabilities, we will edit the Acculturation Guide from time to time, adding new material and updating existing content.
 The Gumpa dance is a special dance celebrated around the time of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Pictured here in Lachung monastery, North Sikkim, Sikkim, India. Photo by Nichalp downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.
Published on January 20, 2020