Joan E. Casteel combines more than 12 years of hands-on experience in application development in various business environments with strong teaching skills to clarify important application and software concepts for today's readers. An award-winning instructor, Ms. Casteel has served as associate professor of information technology and business for more than eight years at Tidewater Community College where she has been an integral part of the Database Specialist curriculum. She has joined a newly formed team at the college with the charge of building the campus ID card program to encompass four campuses, using a recently deployed Oracle-based system. Ms. Casteel has been recognized by her colleagues for her professional accomplishments, including creating an Oracle virtual machine image for students and handling recruitment efforts for database specialist career studies. The author of two successful books on Oracle from Course Technology, part of Cengage Learning, Casteel was one of the principal investigators for the National Science Foundation grant for career pathways.