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Most important DBA Skill? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:04 AM


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TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
umailedit (4/30/2013)
Let me take the contrary view here.

Hypothetical Question: You are about to have a brain aneurysm operated on. Who would you pick?
1) A brain surgeon with little less technical skills but who you can get along with nicely.
2) The brain surgeon who is a genius who has a 100% success rate and is the most arrogant prick you have ever met.

If the surgeon in point 2 was regularly pissing off the rest of the team, especially to the extent they weren't concentrating properly on their jobs, I'll take number one, please. As with most things, surgery involves teamwork, and teamwork involves people getting on together. Very few jobs exist that aren't a compromise of technical skill and people skills.


I have a sister that was a RN nurse so I can speak from her experience here. If they were operating on my shoulder I might agree with you, but one of the most important organs in my body!!!! I'm sorry, but I will take expertise here everytime. I don't want a real nice guy in that operating room bringing his B or C game game, I don't care how nice he is. I want the guy that knows what he is doing and bring his A+ game with all his knowledge, period. Most oparting room staff leave that personality crap at the oparting room door anyway, particularly when it involves someone's life and the hospital and them personally can be held liable. My sister you used to tell me all the time when I was younger when she would come home from work complaining about a certain doctor on her floor "But you know, that doctor is a prick, but if I was in this hospital I would want him taking care of me."


...except that the original question talked about someone with a little less technical skill. Let's not fall into the trap of polarising again.

My point is that if I'm being operated on, I don't want one brilliant person; I want the best team performance possible. If one person's performance, despite personality problems, is good enough to drag the team average upwards, I'm all for it. However, I don't care how good they are if their related faults bring the overall team capabilities down. We can argue around and around all we like, but eventually what I want is the best overall result, and that means not just focussing on one person.


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1448456
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:13 AM
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TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
umailedit (4/30/2013)
Let me take the contrary view here.

Hypothetical Question: You are about to have a brain aneurysm operated on. Who would you pick?
1) A brain surgeon with little less technical skills but who you can get along with nicely.
2) The brain surgeon who is a genius who has a 100% success rate and is the most arrogant prick you have ever met.

If the surgeon in point 2 was regularly pissing off the rest of the team, especially to the extent they weren't concentrating properly on their jobs, I'll take number one, please. As with most things, surgery involves teamwork, and teamwork involves people getting on together. Very few jobs exist that aren't a compromise of technical skill and people skills.


I have a sister that was a RN nurse so I can speak from her experience here. If they were operating on my shoulder I might (enphasizing the word MIGHT) agree with you, but one of the most important organs in my body!!!! I'm sorry, but I will take expertise (Point#2) here everytime. I don't want a real nice guy in that operating room bringing his B or C game. I don't care how nice he is. I want the guy that knows his stuff and what he is doing and bringing his A+ game with all his knowledge, period. Most operating room staff leave that personality crap at the operating room door anyway. Particularly, when it involves someone's life. The hospital and them can be held liable if they let stuff like that affect an patient outcome. My sister used to tell me all the time when I was younger when she would come home from work complaining about a certain doctor on her floor "But you know, although that doctor is a 14-carat gold prick, if I was in this hospital I would want him taking care of me.". That pretty much says it all...


I'd like to wholeheartedly agree on this one!

People skills ARE very important in the operating room. If the lead surgeon is not expecting exact pefection from everyone on his team, if he is not riding his team unflinchingly like the strictest marine drill instructor possible, if he does not absolutely and thunderously berate the perpetrator of even the most seemingly minor mistake possible, then he doesn't have the people skills needed for his job.

I would expect nothing less, HOWEVER once a surgeon is in a position to lead his team during some of the most intricate and demanding work there is, you can bet that he has the people skills required of him and this particular part of his skillset is probably receiving the LEAST of his attention during his workday, and the people that work with him will in all likelyhood not test his "people skills" in the slightest, because their work is truly life and death, and unlike some of the computer folk I have occasionally run into during my career, these are grownups who show up for work.

Now sure we may get accidental DBA's, folks thrown into database tasks relatively unprepared and subsequently end up here asking seemingly simple questions who we hopefully help out with grace and good humor, heck chances are, we even have DBAs who haven't even pulled down college degrees related to their work.

But lets get real here, a lead surgeon isn't a lead surgeon because he unexpectedly got handed some responsibilities he wasn't immediately prepared to do, a lead surgeon has done large amounts of coursework, internship, residency, specialization, and he probably doesn't have to worry that he is pissing anybody off, because at this level of endeavour, people who would somehow get pissed off at any perceived breach of manners during a life saving operation, probably ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO PARTICIPATE IN life saving operations.

Post #1448467
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:20 AM


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majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
[quote]TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
[quote]majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
[quote]umailedit (4/30/2013)
My point is that if I'm being operated on, I don't want one brilliant person; I want the best team performance possible. If one person's performance, despite personality problems, is good enough to drag the team average upwards, I'm all for it. However, I don't care how good they are if their related faults bring the overall team capabilities down. We can argue around and around all we like, but eventually what I want is the best overall result, and that means not just focussing on one person.


I'm not polarizing I'm simply bring up another viewpoint here. You point is taken, I want the best team in there too, but I am still concerned about the ONE brilliant (or not so brilliant) guy/gal in that room that has the scalpel in his hand sticking into my head! I'm not concerned about whether he/she is a nice person at that time of my life if you know what I mean.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448470
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:22 AM


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It's sometimes easy to forget that professionally speaking, people skills aren't about being "nice"; they're about influencing to get a result. Patrick's post is a rather good reminder of this, I think. Thanks, Patrick.

Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1448471
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:23 AM


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TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
[quote]TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
[quote]majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
[quote]umailedit (4/30/2013)
My point is that if I'm being operated on, I don't want one brilliant person; I want the best team performance possible. If one person's performance, despite personality problems, is good enough to drag the team average upwards, I'm all for it. However, I don't care how good they are if their related faults bring the overall team capabilities down. We can argue around and around all we like, but eventually what I want is the best overall result, and that means not just focussing on one person.


I'm not polarizing I'm simply bring up another viewpoint here. You point is taken, I want the best team in there too, but I am still concerned about the ONE brilliant (or not so brilliant) guy/gal in that room that has the scalpel in his hand sticking into my head! I'm not concerned about whether he/she is a nice person at that time of my life if you know what I mean.


Understood, and point taken.


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1448474
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:23 AM
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Jim Youmans-439383 (4/30/2013)
First of all, I love the discussion! And I agree with both sides.

If I need a miracle worker, someone who is a GOD at what he does to pull my hide out of the fire, then I don't care how nice he is (well, I do, but I over look it). As long as he can do what I need done, awesome. I will hide him in the back room away from the common folk, and let him work.

This is the exception, not the rule.

Part of the daily grind for a DBA, in my experience, is dealing with frustrated people. You have to have excellent technical skills to find and fix the issues and you have to deal with the users and clients having the issues. I have seen a client (who was paying us a lot of money to mind his data) almost pull the contract over the way a DBA treated one of his people. The client called the OnCall DBA at 2 am with a permission issue, he could not log in. Turns out he was trying to log into the wrong server, honest mistake but frustrating, but the DBA tore into him for 15 minutes on how his stupidity was unforgivable ending the call with a string of profanity.

That is why I think that people skills are very, very important. Each situation is different and there is a place for the Sheldon Coopers of the world, but it is not client facing.

Jim

Yikes. I don't think that is what this is referring to though. That is inappropriate behavior, and not relevant to people skills. An individual that loses control like that may very well have excellent people skills and just hit one too many straws that day. They also may have zero people skills. But a loss of control cannot be correlated to people skills.


Dave
Post #1448475
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:24 AM
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majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
TravisDBA (5/1/2013)
majorbloodnock (5/1/2013)
umailedit (4/30/2013)
Let me take the contrary view here.

Hypothetical Question: You are about to have a brain aneurysm operated on. Who would you pick?
1) A brain surgeon with little less technical skills but who you can get along with nicely.
2) The brain surgeon who is a genius who has a 100% success rate and is the most arrogant prick you have ever met.

If the surgeon in point 2 was regularly pissing off the rest of the team, especially to the extent they weren't concentrating properly on their jobs, I'll take number one, please. As with most things, surgery involves teamwork, and teamwork involves people getting on together. Very few jobs exist that aren't a compromise of technical skill and people skills.


I have a sister that was a RN nurse so I can speak from her experience here. If they were operating on my shoulder I might agree with you, but one of the most important organs in my body!!!! I'm sorry, but I will take expertise here everytime. I don't want a real nice guy in that operating room bringing his B or C game game, I don't care how nice he is. I want the guy that knows what he is doing and bring his A+ game with all his knowledge, period. Most oparting room staff leave that personality crap at the oparting room door anyway, particularly when it involves someone's life and the hospital and them personally can be held liable. My sister you used to tell me all the time when I was younger when she would come home from work complaining about a certain doctor on her floor "But you know, that doctor is a prick, but if I was in this hospital I would want him taking care of me."


...except that the original question talked about someone with a little less technical skill. Let's not fall into the trap of polarising again.

It wasn't really Travis who used the singularily and absolutely worst example to work with during this discussion. Maybe you didn't pick it either but in my opinion, your reply offers a viewpoint that I wouldn't share in a million years, especially if my life depended on it!
Post #1448476
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:25 AM


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Exactly djackson, they are two totally different things.

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448478
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:35 AM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (5/1/2013)

....

It wasn't really Travis who used the singularily and absolutely worst example to work with during this discussion.
No, you're right. He didn't. And it probably wasn't my best example of quoting either.

...in my opinion, your reply offers a viewpoint that I wouldn't share in a million years, especially if my life depended on it!

Fair enough. It's a good discussion, but not all discussions end in agreement.


Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat
Post #1448487
Posted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:38 AM
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umailedit (4/30/2013)
Let me take the contrary view here.

Hypothetical Question: You are about to have a brain aneurysm operated on. Who would you pick?
1) A brain surgeon with little less technical skills but who you can get along with nicely.
2) The brain surgeon who is a genius who has a 100% success rate and is the most arrogant prick you have ever met.


Ooh, ooh, can I answer that?

I want #2.

I want all those social niceties obsessing type people to get #1. They deserve the nicest brain surgeon they can get!


Dave
Post #1448490
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