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Developers vs. DBAs


Developers vs. DBAs

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andrew gothard
andrew gothard
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simon.crick (6/12/2014)
Tension arise when Developer and DBA roles/responsibilities are not properly separated.
It sounds simple because it is. Problems only arise when people forget the basic principles of software engineering, i.e. every component must have a well-defined interface, and users of a component must not bypass the interface or make any assumptions about how the component works internally.



You would think so. But when I've suggested this in interviews for some places in the past, it's been received slightly less well than if I'd something obscenely biological

I'm a DBA.
I'm not paid to solve problems. I'm paid to prevent them.
andrew gothard
andrew gothard
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Gary Varga (6/12/2014)
[quote]My point is that, bearing in mind the editorial, the whole way of thinking is as flawed as the value of the number of legs as described in Animal Farm (the George Orwell book for those who are aware of other less literary references that can be attributed to). And no I am not calling DBAs pigs ;-)



Personally I see myself more as Boxer

I'm a DBA.
I'm not paid to solve problems. I'm paid to prevent them.
Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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andrew gothard (6/23/2014)
Gary Varga (6/12/2014)
My point is that, bearing in mind the editorial, the whole way of thinking is as flawed as the value of the number of legs as described in Animal Farm (the George Orwell book for those who are aware of other less literary references that can be attributed to). And no I am not calling DBAs pigs ;-)



Personally I see myself more as Boxer


Generalising, most DBAs are. They do a lot of the heavy lifting and have zero interest in the politics.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
andrew gothard
andrew gothard
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thomashohner (6/13/2014)
Jeff you must have a crystal ball😁! You just described yesterday for me. I actually had to say this in a email to one of our administrator's, "My reports only show what is, not what you wish your staff had been entering for the last 6 month's".


I have a metaphorical wardrobe rammed with those t-shirts.
Do you get
<Whiny voice> "Well, the computer should just know"
"Well ... you must be able to get it from somewhere"

I'm a DBA.
I'm not paid to solve problems. I'm paid to prevent them.
thomashohner
thomashohner
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andrew gothard (6/25/2014)
thomashohner (6/13/2014)
Jeff you must have a crystal ball😁! You just described yesterday for me. I actually had to say this in a email to one of our administrator's, "My reports only show what is, not what you wish your staff had been entering for the last 6 month's".


I have a metaphorical wardrobe rammed with those t-shirts.
Do you get
<Whiny voice> "Well, the computer should just know"
"Well ... you must be able to get it from somewhere"


Good Lord, I hear those two quotes verbatim almost weekly. I always try to explain that computers/software are just tools. They do not do your work for you. However it always falls on deaf ears Crazy

***SQL born on date Spring 2013:-)
quackhandle1975
quackhandle1975
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Eirikur Eiriksson (6/12/2014)
Eric M Russell (6/12/2014)
Hollywood should make a film called "A Day Without a DBA" just to show the ignorant public (and cocky app developers) what a total global disaster it would be if we ever decided to step out for lunch and never came back. ;-)


Seen worse plots on the big screen!
Cool


I don't know I had the misfortune of watching a bit of 'Sharknado' the other night. w00t Crazy


I would say I have spent the last ten years as a Production/Operational DBA but as ever there's always that 10-15% of dev work that always happens. I used to try and get it done and over with but last year I took on a contract that was a pure SQL Dev role (i'd been studying for the 70-433 exam anyway) and it was nice to go and see "the other side" for once and whilst I may not have agreed with all their methods I met some very passionate and talented people who taught me a great many things. Also it has increased my knowledge of t-sql immeasurably.

In my mind it comes down to people, regardless of DBA/Dev/BI/whatever, treat people with the respect you think you would like/deserve and it's a great platform to start off on.

qh

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.
andrew gothard
andrew gothard
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thomashohner (6/25/2014)
andrew gothard (6/25/2014)
thomashohner (6/13/2014)
Jeff you must have a crystal ball😁! You just described yesterday for me. I actually had to say this in a email to one of our administrator's, "My reports only show what is, not what you wish your staff had been entering for the last 6 month's".


I have a metaphorical wardrobe rammed with those t-shirts.
Do you get
<Whiny voice> "Well, the computer should just know"
"Well ... you must be able to get it from somewhere"


Good Lord, I hear those two quotes verbatim almost weekly. I always try to explain that computers/software are just tools. They do not do your work for you. However it always falls on deaf ears Crazy



I have a little homily I sometimes use, roughly;
"Ok, can I just briefly explain what I do for a living, I teach sand to do tricks. That's all a computer is basically and that's what programmers do. Now <x problem> ... could you teach your dog a trick that will solve <x>, because I'm sure you'd agree that your dog's more intelligent than sand. If you can't teach your dog to do it, I have very little chance with some melted sand."
Cat doesn't work - well, you know what cats are like, so do cat owners. NEVER use staff, we all know the response "are your staff cleverer than sand" is likely to elicit 80% of the time.

It never seems to get the point across ... but it amuses me.

I'm a DBA.
I'm not paid to solve problems. I'm paid to prevent them.
Eirikur Eiriksson
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quackhandle1975 (7/17/2014)
I don't know I had the misfortune of watching a bit of 'Sharknado' the other night. w00t Crazy


"When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, nature's deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air as thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace."

Sounds like a normal business meeting
Cool
Neil Burton
Neil Burton
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I don't know I had the misfortune of watching a bit of 'Sharknado' the other night. w00t :Crazy:


I did the same, I thought it couldn't be that bad could it? How wrong I was.


On two occasions I have been asked, "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" ... I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
—Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

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xsevensinzx
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Late to the punch here, but I wanted to comment on the article and not just the mass discussions.

If this is true, then why aren’t the DBAs and the developers working in harmony? In my last few jobs, the developers live in one armed camp and the DBAs in another.


For me, it seems insanely hard to put everyone within reach of everyone they need. It's not just a DBA and developer issue, it's a global one across all roles whether you're a product developer, designer or a QA tester.

Having worked primarily in large-scale video game development of massively online games across multiple studios across the world, it's damn near impossible to construct a system where someone critical is siloed from view.

Is there a way to bridge the divide here and unite the two fractions?


The trick, as in most organizations, is how leadership pulls everything together and bridges the gap between really insanely pity issues like why John the developer has to even interact with Dave the DBA. Or better yet, why it's important to look at the project as a system with many components that depend on each other equally.

If that cannot happen. Then you have a lot of weak points regardless of job titles. Your team, or so-called team, is falling apart in terms of working together. The keyword here being, together.

Sure, that's easier said than done, but at the end of the day, it should be pretty simplistic. Being a DBA is a profession that requires a certain skillset. You cannot simply stay at a Holiday Inn and become a DBA the next day just as you can't do the same for a developer or any other role in the organization. What it comes down to is respect, being a team player and looking out for who? The business and hopefully if you're doing things right, your clients.

Soo to recap, I see the split a lot in my career. I despise them greatly and avoid them at all costs. As a database guy today, I do everything in my power to emphasize team work with those around me. It has served me well in all that I have worked with including developers. So to me, the answer is simple. I promote what I think is right (i.e.: teamwork) and the return is exactly what I expected -- teamwork.
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