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Music for DBAs

By Tony Davis,

When one ventures into the lair of the developer, it is common to find many of them "hiding behind their cans". In other words, they are wearing a large pair of headphones, and staring at their computer screen with a look of rapt concentration that seeks to defy any attempt at interruption. One the odd occasion when I've been brave enough to try, I've often been assaulted, as the headphones slipped from their ears, by a wave of ghastly "techno" music.

My theory is that, for developers, what's needed is music that, almost as a survival instinct, the brain would shy away from processing. The music therefore, serves the dual purpose of not distracting the brain from the singular task of solving the coding problem at hand, while at the same time blocking out more familiar sounds that the brain would instinctively process.

This theory does not seem to hold, though, when it comes to DBAs. Whichever part of the DBA brain is engaged by the execution of complex database processes, it seems to be one that one that works in harmony with the section of the brain that digests good, honest sing-a-long Rock music, with maybe a bit of Blues thrown in.

DBAs can be found tracking down critical database performance issues while singling happily, although tunelessly, along to "Dirty reads done dirt cheap", by AC/DC, or emphasizing quietly with "Man of constraint sorrow" as they sort out a data integrity problem.

Am I right? If so, what else is on the DBA playlist? Here are my suggestions for some tunes that no self-respecting DBA should be without. Please feel free to submit your own!

  • Firehose about to rock (AC/DC)
  • Datetime is the right time (Ray Charles)
  • Don't bring DB down (ELO)
  • Deadlock holiday (10CC)
  • Sweetest Table (Sade)
  • Torn the Page (Metallica)
  • EAV of Destruction (Johnny Thunders, a favourite of Joe Celko)
  • Father Trigger (George Michael)
  • Materialised View to a Kill (Duran Duran)
  • Backup for good (Take that)
  • CodeMonkey Man (The Spatials)
  • SQL Agent Man (Johnny Rivers)
  • Powershell to the people (John Lennon)
  • Swallowed in the DBCC (Coldplay)
  • Configure it out (Lil Chris)


Tony (Guest Editor)

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