How to be a good DBA

  1. Love: A good DBA loves his data and DBMS.  And like any good relationship, they communicate with each other

SQL Server: “What a day! “

DBA: “What happened? “

SQL Server: “Some guy does a batch load and before I have time to update the stats, someone else decides to run the end of month report.  It hurt.  Can you run a "defrag” on me please?”

DBA: “Of course I can. Do you have the credentials of the user who ran the end of month report?

SQL Server: “Yeah, it’s in the trace table in the admin database.

DBA: “Don’t worry. It won’t happen again” [Picks up blunted butcher’ knife.......]

2.        Hair: A good DBA has hair on his face.  Beards are preferred, but goatees, moustaches etc will do just fine.  Hair serves 2 purposes

1.        Every visible grey hair represents just how much you care about your data (See Point 1)

2.        Something to fondle when contemplating the higher normal forms.

For the discerning lady DBA, glasses and jewelry make excellent substitutes.

3.        Attitude: A good DBA has attitude. 

“The sun DOES shine out of my arse, so step back and put some sunscreen on!”

4.        Theory:  A good DBA has a strong understanding of what a data model is and can describe the principles behind both the relational and hierarchy model.

5.        Addictions: A good DBA has chemical addictions.  Depending on your culture, select what is right for you.  Any (or all) of the following are popular:

Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, marijuana.

Stay away from the tranquilizer/anesthetics class of chemicals.  Any business related meeting is usually an excellent and cheap substitute.

6.        History:  A good DBA knows the history of the profession and the people who shaped it.

7.        Skeptical: A good DBA is extremely skeptical.  Having a firm belief in the “"Not Invented Here" ethos (unless the originator has impeccable credentials) is a good sign.

Print | posted on Friday, September 02, 2005 12:41 PM


# re: How to be a good DBA

left by robvolk at 9/2/2005 1:17 PM Gravatar
You've got the love, but you forgot the hate:

1a. Hate: A good DBA hates developers, and XML, and management, ESPECIALLY any combination thereof, and most especially one who encompasses all three in one package. Such things are akin to black holes swallowing an entire galaxy, and should be avoided or killed at all costs.

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by Adam Machanic at 9/3/2005 1:23 AM Gravatar
LOL! Very nice.

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by Jeff at 9/7/2005 4:37 AM Gravatar
very nice David ! I think I didn't get a job once because I had forgotten to grow a goatee first!!! Stupid, stupid ....

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by Yak at 11/5/2005 8:01 AM Gravatar
A good DBA can rest his Nutz On Your Chin.

If you get in his way, look out, cause a good DBA is not afraid of whipping out his nutz and resting them on your chin.

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by Nicole at 9/8/2007 7:24 AM Gravatar

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by a developer at 2/3/2008 8:42 AM Gravatar
A good dba is a dick. they always get in the way of progress and slow projects down.

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by John at 5/5/2009 12:58 AM Gravatar

A good DBA simply furthers their manager's agenda which is simply to obfuscate all processes, avoid responsibility with respect to the actual data, turn on remedial monitoring and ignore all requests that go beyond a frickin' ping count, close tickets without reading them, execute deployment scripts with no knowledge of their contents, complain if they have to do anything more than F5 a script, rave that a table needs an index even if it's never selected from, then finally, in a total blowhard way, limit anyone else from being able to do their job since they won't do it.

I've worked in half a dozen corporate environments and the DBAs are without question the biggest bunch of frickin' lazy ass bastards I've ever met.

# re: How to be a good DBA

left by another developer at 9/28/2009 9:48 PM Gravatar
I have to agree with John. DBA's are without a doubt the laziest, most reptilian tossers on the planet.

Simply asking them to run a script will have them slithering for cover (their beady little Machiavellian eyes glinting with indignation) behind a wall of Very Important Things To Do That Don't Include Work - Yours In Particular.
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