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Great DBA’s in History Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:07 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Great DBA’s in History

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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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Post #802515
Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009 11:12 PM
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Thats an interesting question.

Im not sure the qualities of any great figure in history, let alone Generals would be ideal for a DBA, those people tend to be tremendously ambitious a quality which would see a DBA aiming at CIO or setting up their own company.

My nomination is Charles Darwin.
Post #802516
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:09 AM


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mtucker-732014 (10/13/2009)
Thats an interesting question.

Im not sure the qualities of any great figure in history, let alone Generals would be ideal for a DBA, those people tend to be tremendously ambitious a quality which would see a DBA aiming at CIO or setting up their own company.

My nomination is Charles Darwin.


You're probably right about most generals, especially the big names in history. However, it is just a mind exercise. BTW, why Darwin? Remember, flipping the bit, saying yes or no, is not enough. You need to justify the answer to show your thought processes.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
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SQL Server Execution Plans

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Post #802609
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:06 AM


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My answer would be Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Before becoming a Civil War hero and great man (and later President of Bowdoin college in Maine), Chamberlain became a hero on Little Roundtop at the battle of Gettysburg by understanding the very basics of SQL Server - Rows and Columns.

Chamberlain's forces were almost gone, indeed presumed wiped-out by his commanders when Chamberlain conjured up a simple move by taking the 20th of Maine into a few rows and columns and turning them down on the Tennessee volunteers who greatly outnumbered him. Under attack from their flank and unaware of the true numbers against them, the Tennessee volunteers dropped their weapons and surrendered, and Little Round Top remained in Union hands. Had it not, many historians agree that the South may well have won that battle.

As best I can measure, this was the first time in American history that understanding the basics of rows and columns had one man administer a crucial victory. What more could be asked from any DBA?


There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
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Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 6:23 AM
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I would have to go with well known law enforcement types, such as J. Edgar Hoover. He had them create a centralized fingerprint database, was constantly gathering information from different sources, etc. So he had an eye for detail and was used to invesgating things. If he decided to apply it to performance issues in a database rather than finding criminals, I would think he'd be an excellent DBA.
Post #802664
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 9:41 AM


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The primary requisites, in my opinion, of a good DBA, are reasonable intelligence, a reasonable level of dedication, a high level of integrity, and an amazing tollerance for boredom.

Alexander the Great would have been a horrible DBA, simply due to the lack of tollerance for boredom, if nothing else.

Machiavelli would probably have been bad at it too, though more through a rejection of the necessity for integrity.

Archimedes might have made a good DBA, but he'd have to have been on the cutting edge of some challenging technology to keep him interested. The "please don't disturb my circles" thing shows a good ability to keep cool while under pressure, but also a tendency to mis-assign priorities in an emergency.

Sun Tzu would more likely take Codd's place than be a simple DBA. Same might be said for Archimedes, of course.

Pythagoras would be a bit too eccentric to get through most job interviews, but if he couldn't find an employer, he'd have created his own database engine and might be a mover-and-shaker in the open source scene.

Nobody would understand Nikolai Tesla's database designs, but they would totally rock. That might work out, might not. (Generations after he died, mere geniuses would be saying things like, "Oh! I finally understand why he built that index that way!")

Albert Einstein would know more about relational theory and the internal workings of the engine than anyone, but would forget to set up maintenance plans and verify backups. The next generation of databases would benefit tremendously from his theories.

Robert Oppenheimer would build gargantuan databases with unbelievable performance, but would lose his access to them through political manipulation.

Yeah, this is kind of fun.


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Post #802868
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 9:48 AM


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Excellent. Now tell me what color your parachute is and you're hired.

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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
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SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #802877
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 10:01 AM


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Grant Fritchey (10/14/2009)
Excellent. Now tell me what color your parachute is and you're hired.


In my case, it's probably gotta have that "mood ring" thing where it changes color depending on skin temperature.


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Post #802894
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 2:43 PM
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GSquared, thanks for starting my day off with a laugh!

Cheers!


Nicole Bowman

Nothing is forever.
Post #803108
Posted Wednesday, October 14, 2009 3:58 PM
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My justification for Charles Darwin:

Like any good naturalist he had an eye for detail, was very persistent and patient. I think he would have liked the idea of vast searchable databases.

He was also a man of integrity, was intelligent, and had the ability to see the big picture as well as the small.

He also had a great beard.
Post #803153
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