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When Times are Tough, Do You Rise to the Occasion? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 8:57 PM
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For me, as I always practiced and believed, we DBAs must stand firm in protecting the integrity of the data and a proper change management process must be practiced accordingly - no matter who the requester is and no matter how small or temporary the request might be.

It is not just about the job or being employed. It is all about integrity. Same goes when you are asked to recommend certain product while you favors a different one. Would you stick with your choice or the one that is recommended to you?

Well, back to the scenarios:

A) The DBA, may need to work extra hours to identify the problem and tune the database performance as necessary. But, make sure the boss aware of this effort officially so that the DBA will (hopefully) be rewarded accordingly for the efforts.

B) The DBA should make as many ppl aware of the man power issue to ease up the pressure. And, if he/she is up for it, take all the responsibilities up and do a good job at it, and ask for rewards (big bonus/promotion). If no reward is given what so ever, it shows that the company is lacking in staff recognition. Hence, if the workload pressure is too much and no one is taking care of the DBA, then IMHO he/she better seek for a new job.

One thing that many employers failed to do is to recognize the the importance of DBAs. Most of the time, unfortunately, DBAs are viewed as staffs with less importance with small and redundant job scope since the company already have maintenance contract with the 3rd party vendors.

I used to be treated as such but now not anymore. But one thing that is not changed is the pressure and the reponsibilities. No matter where I go, the pressure of being the DBA is mainly the same. But, I love my job and I accepted the risks that comes with my job. :)
Post #1005970
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 9:27 PM


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As has been said many times, 'Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.'

Not being born wise, I've hopefully learnt enough by experience to 'know the difference'.

Scenario A would likely require some research why the application is performing poorly on SQL Server, followed by a discussion with the vendor to review the research and consider possible remedies. At no time should the discussion take on an adversarial tone. The goal is to find mutually-acceptable solutions. Even if none is found, others will note the effort was made.

Scenario B seems all too common in this era of fiscal constraints. Each individual's personal circumstances are different, and the additional demands placed by an employer on one's time and energies may be acceptable to one person, but not to another.

My own philosophy is that an employer's demands must not cross certain 'red lines':

* They must not adversely affect my health, both physical and emotional.

* They must not adversely affect my ability to be an attentive, caring spouse and parent.

* They must not present a long-term impediment to my career growth and goals.

If any demands prove to cross these lines, it's time to find a new job. No-one should be asked to give of one's self to the point of surrender.
Post #1005971
Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 10:44 PM


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The answer is the same answer as to anything else... "It Depends".

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Post #1005990
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 4:20 AM
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Jeff Moden (10/17/2010)
The answer is the same answer as to anything else... "It Depends".


sadly it is......

at my previous place, I was on good terms with my management, so would happily laugh at them when they did not listen to me and had things go wrong.

Current place I would not do it in the same manner.

one of my other previous places had similar happen, I spoke to management who said nothing they can do, I have to live with it. My response was to resign... They were not interested in me, job satisfaction, quality of life, they just wanted to save money. So I happily walked.
Post #1006083
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 5:02 AM


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This situation is already reality for 2 years and counting

other options are:
- cope with it
- wait for an occasion
- accept you can only do as much as you can. (that is actually a benefit for yourself as for your company)


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Post #1006112
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 6:28 AM
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You forgot all except unethical and look for a new job.

Keep it quiet until you can't hold it in.... start whining and complaining. Try to convince management the error of their ways. Consult others ..."Realize the problem isn't as big as it seems"...Accept it for what it is work on it/move on.

If you don't have the time fix a 3rd party application you can at least spend a little bit of time looking at it to see if you can make some improvement. The fix might not be perfect but people will appreciate the effort.

We'll never get everything we want. So you just have to do the best you can with what you have.

Note: Consultants telling management that you can virtualize your enterprise SQL servers on the same hardware you're running 100s of utility boxes on doesn't help provisioning new hardware.
Post #1006165
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 7:49 AM
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Scenario OneWhat an opportunity to be a hero!!! Contact the vendor; tell them that their application is performing slowly. Ask them what can be done to improve performance. Also, tell them to email you the architecture and server specs. Once you have that information and have thoroughly analyzed it, call a meeting with your manager and possibly the business unit. In the meeting, review the problem they are experiencing and state the solution you have worked out with the vendor. They will think you are invaluable for fixing their problem and the vendor will be happy because they kept a client. This is a win-win situation!!!!

Scenario TwoWhat an opportunity to prove your value and do things your way!!! Review the job responsibilities of the other DBA that was laid off. See if there are unnecessary thing they were doing that can be eliminated. See if there are some things that can be automated. See if there are some things that can be merged with what you are currently doing. Setup a meeting with your manager and give him / her the good news of the improvements you have made.

So, they cut your budget and you’re not going to get a new server. What an opportunity to prove your value by optimizing the server!!! See if there is a different disk configuration or you can more databases to different drives. See if your company has a SAN you can leverage off of. See if you can save space by deleting old files. See if there is a little money in the budget to add more memory or get more drive space. Demonstrate to your manager that new hardware would cost $$$ much, but you could really save the company money by investing only this $$ much. It could be that your manager has a budget this year, but it is just smaller than last year and they need ideas of how to improve things without spending a lot of money.
Post #1006218
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 8:43 AM


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I tend to agree with Bill in that you rise to the occasion and look to improve things. Try to find the best in the situation and improve things.

However, I don't like to be abused, and I have seen places that just look to abuse people. And people that put up with it, often because they are afraid of losing their jobs. I won't do anything unethical, and while I'll work the extra hours in the short term, a week or two, I won't do it permanently or for months. That's not worth it.







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Post #1006283
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 11:37 AM


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These scenarios don't sound like disasters to me. They sound like challenges that would be fun at best and interesting at worst.

Games have a goal (or multiple goals), barriers, freedoms, a playing field, and players. Work is a game. If you aren't enjoying it, re-evaluate the game, and stop playing if you find you really don't like it. No reason to get overwhelmed by chess. If you feel like you're losing, study the rules and options and see if you can play better. If you really can't, then play a different game. Maybe water polo is more your thing than chess. Or maybe you need a new stadium or new city to play in/for. Same for work.

The one time I was asked to do something unethical for a company, I resigned immediately and walked right on out the door. If you don't have your sense of personal honor, you have nothing, regardless of whether you have money or not.


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Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 11:44 AM


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GSquared (10/18/2010)
These scenarios don't sound like disasters to me. They sound like challenges that would be fun at best and interesting at worst.

Games have a goal (or multiple goals), barriers, freedoms, a playing field, and players. Work is a game. If you aren't enjoying it, re-evaluate the game, and stop playing if you find you really don't like it. No reason to get overwhelmed by chess. If you feel like you're losing, study the rules and options and see if you can play better. If you really can't, then play a different game. Maybe water polo is more your thing than chess. Or maybe you need a new stadium or new city to play in/for. Same for work.

The one time I was asked to do something unethical for a company, I resigned immediately and walked right on out the door. If you don't have your sense of personal honor, you have nothing, regardless of whether you have money or not.


What did they want you to do?
Post #1006458
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