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Guest Editorial: Do DBAs Need a Code of Ethics?

By Brad McGehee,

Physicians, attorneys, accountants, engineers, realtors, and many other professionals have written guidelines designed to discourage misconduct and illegal behavior, and to promote the ethical conduct of its members.  In addition, according to the Sarbanes-Oxley act, all public companies in the United States are required to create and follow their own code of ethics.

However, despite the fact that DBAs are essentially protectors of an organization’s knowledge, and privy to much confidential information, there is no clearly defined set of rules, values, standards, and guidelines to help govern and guide their ethical behavior.

This strikes me as an anomaly. The subject has been discussed from time-to-time over recent years, for example:

However, nothing much has been said on the topic for a while, and certainly we are no closer to having a code of ethics for DBAs. Why is this? I can't believe that DBAs don't see the need for it, and so can only assume it's because no organization has been willing or able to make the commitment in time and effort to create and enforce such a code.

Nevertheless, I feel it's time for some action on this issue. Who do you think should establish and maintain this code of ethics? PASS, as an organization, would seem ideally placed to take up the banner. Alternatively, perhaps Microsoft could include a code of ethics as a part of their DBA certifications? Or maybe it really is down to SQLServerCentral.Com to take the lead, and create a code of ethics using the input of the largest DBA community on Earth.

Are we up to the challenge? The articles above provide a good start on some potential ideas, so take a look at them and share what you think. I will compile your feedback into a short, 1-page code of ethics for DBAs that we will post on the site or make available to PASS or Microsoft, if the community feels they are the appropriate channels.

Brad M McGehee
Director of DBA Education
Red Gate Software

Total article views: 427 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
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