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Database administration culture

"Culture", according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture, has one definition as

"the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization".

I am not sure how many CIOs or senior managers, who are responsible for a DBA team, have considered to build a healthy database administration culture (DAC hereafter) customized to fit their own institution or organization.

DAC itself is very abstract. It is similar to any cultures, like "American Culture" or "Chinese Culture". However, just as "American Culture" or "Chinese Culture" is composed of the elements from art, society, politics, religion and etc, DAC can be characterized by the following:

1. database administration daily operational practice
2. database administration disaster recovery policy and practice
3. database administration auditing / security policy and practice
4. database administration documentation policy and practice
5. database administration best practice research / implementation
6. database administration team collaboration and knowledge-sharing policy and practice
7. database administration quality and performance assurance practice / framework
8. database administration achievement celebration, recognition and reward policy and practice
(Of course, these items may have overlap and there are many others we can add to the list, )

There are two reasons that I see a healthy DAC can be an invaluable asset to a company

1. A healthy culture is a system-wide insurance to the quality of database administration work. (so the investment cost to build DAC can be considered as a premium [:D])

2. Culture can be inherited, so long as there is one person who is fully cultivated in this DAC, even with all other peoples leaving the company, the person left can be a "culture seed" for new hires (of course, if everyone leaves, that is called culture extinction [:(])

These days with "data" as a critical asset to almost any company for the normal business operation, building up and promoting a healthy DAC should be a priority for the management in the corporation world. As for how to implement a healthy and characteristic DAC, that's a topic as big as how to cultivate a good corporate culture. But one thing is for sure, to cultivate an internal culture, it should be an intended action from top to bottom instead of a grassroots spontaneous  one.



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