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Ethics and Leaders - Database Weekly (Apr 27, 2009)

By Steve Jones,

This past week I noticed a post from Kevin Kline talking about a DBA code of ethics. I've written about ethics in the past, as has Brad McGehee, at SQLServerCentral as well and I think it's a something that we could use. In discussions, it seems there are plenty of people that say we just know what should be done, but I'm not convinced that's the case.

I think those people are also those least likely to stray from proper behavior, so maybe they don't see the need.

This past week my wife had to go through HR ethics training for her company. It was delivered remotely on her computer, and I got to listen in since we share an office and she didn't have headphones handy. While most of the items discussed were obvious, and she answered them easily after half paying attention to the program, a few weren't. I don't want to disclose them since I don't know if I can do that, but I will say that a few things required her to go back and listen again.

Ethics are needed everywhere, especially in an area like data management that deals with information that is not necessarily public. Sometimes we need a list of ethics to remind us of how to handle situations, and sometimes we need them as a guide. But I do think that there's no harm in building such a list.

Especially with the lack of leadership in the world. This past week has seen a number of blogs posts from IT professionals (Denis Gobo, Aaron Alton, Chris Shaw, SQL Batman, a ) that  talk about who they saw as good leaders in their career. What's interesting is that in most of the posts I've read, people haven't talked about others in IT. They've talked about managers, often in other jobs, that were leaders for them.

I haven't been tagged (that I'm aware of), but I do think that I've had a few good leaders in IT. One was early in my career, and ex-Navy EOD man that drove me hard, demanded a lot, and was gruff, difficult, and not well liked, or possibly respected. However I learned a lot there. The other was soft-spoken, almost psychologist like, forcing me to learn, grow, and push through my own problems. But I greatly enjoyed working for him, and would do so again.

I think we lack leadership, precisely because so few of us have been trained to be leaders. Not everyone can do it, but I do think this is one area the military has greatly helped many cultures, by growing and building leaders. I think we need to find a new way to do this in the future.

Steve Jones

Steve's Pick of the Week

Big News : Lock Pages in Memory for Standard Edition - This was a big debate among MVPs, led by

Maciej Pilecki, and resulted in quite an argument with Microsoft. We didn't understand why this couldn't be moved to Standard Edition when it would help people and MS couldn't provide a good reason. Looks like they've finally agreed with us. Look for more information soon.


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Incompetech
Music presented by Incompetech and Kevin MacLeod

The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.podshow.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Incompetech. Kevin Macleod has some great compositions in all genres of music. Check him out at www.incompetech.com.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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