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Six Months

“Show up for work on time for six months and then we’ll talk. Until then, I have four words for you: shut the fuck up.” – Kitchen Confidential

I wish people showed up and heard this on their first day of work. Too many people I think have a very high opinion of their work, they think they know more than they do, and they don’t do a good job of fitting in.

Perhaps six months is too long for developers or DBAs, but they could certainly do well with 30 days of listening and learning instead of talking.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Gethyn Ellis on 30 April 2010

I think it takes at least a month for a DBA to settle into a new role, learning the infrastructure, the setup, what's going on the servers, the business people, the reason why something was setup in such a way... it takes time and listening, each company/business is different. However good you are,  going  in and shooting from the hip and trying to change things to how it was like in your last place is not going to win you any friends and severely hamper your ability to influence people...first impressions count for a lot and alienating people up front won't help you.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 April 2010

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Posted by Robert Pearl on 2 May 2010

Wow! Uncensored SQLServerCentral.

Steve, I know you have a point to make, but I thought we were a family - actually, now to think about that, I hear my relatives use it all the time!

If I heard this my first day, it would also be my last.  They could take the job and shove it!

Posted by Michael Irwin on 2 May 2010

Your feelings may b shared by many of us, but the attitude described is certainly not an acceptable on in a professional environment, and hardly needed here.

Posted by Steve Jones on 3 May 2010

Yeah, uncensored, and I apologize. I didn't want to change the quote, and I tend to like it. There are too many people that don't come in with a "I need to fit in, and learn how things work" attitude. I tend to agree that I wouldn't like that either, Robert, but I'm not sure I'd quit. I'm sure I have things to learn about the "why" behind an environment before I start effecting change.

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 3 May 2010

I agree with the learning how the environment works first.  Once you have a grasp of how things are setup and configured, then it would be good to start making suggestions.  Too many people get super protective if you make suggestions to change their comfort zone from day one - especially if you are the outsider.

Posted by David.Poole on 4 May 2010

I'm going to play devil's advocate and say that getting a new person's perceptions before they have their numbing is very useful.

Sometimes they ask "why do you do that" and there is no good answer, therefore you need to have some followup activity.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 May 2010

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