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Don't Explain Too Much

By Steve Jones,

I was reading a note recently from a DBA working at a software company. Their management wanted to ensure clients had a simple backup solution and were leaning towards Windows OS backup instead of SQL Server backups. They were planning on running databases in simple mode instead of taking transaction log backups, which were seen as too complex. While this can work, I'm not sure this is the type of discussion that should even come up.

Management should be concerned with the higher level goals. Clients need a simple scripted backup. Period. The implementation of that isn't something that management should be discussing with developers. This is the perfect example of where the software development goes off the track with micro management. Managers becoming deeply involved in technical decisions and implementations is a sure way to ensure that less than optimal decisions are being made. 

What should happen? Technical developers should get the goals of management (a simple backup process for clients, every day). They should then recommend a solution, but with a minimal of technical details. Managers should have no idea that transaction log backups are being made or a part of the process. Developers should write scripts, tools, or processes that allow an administrator to accomplish a goal in an easy to execute fashion, but shouldn't need to explain how every detail works to the end user.

Keep it simple and effective. That's a mantra that's worked well for me throughout my career.

Steve Jones


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