This is a very good article indeed. Something every new DBA or would-be DBA should read and take to heart.
The only thing that doesn't come across clearly is just how difficult it can sometimes be to follow those tips.
It really can be very difficult to do even one of deliver CIA, avoid being a hero, and set definable expectations (let alone do all three). This is especially true if being DBA is something you do in your (non-existent) spare time from your "real" job, more so if the head of development doesn't see why developers should pay any attention to a DBA, more so again if the CEO firmly believes that there's no real need for a DBA (and anyway even if he wanted a DBA he couldn't hire one because the company is a start-up and the burn rate is already far too high), and yet more so still if the CEO believes that he (despite never having used a database or written a line of code) is better at estimating the time and effort needed to do something technical than anyone with any technical knowledge could possibly be -all situations that many in this forum will have come across (although they'd have to be really unlucky to come across all those problems at the same time).
(edit to sort out some typos)
All great points, Tom.
I think it fits nicely into the "we've all done things wer're not proud of" category where the fight for survival trumps the higher level functions.
I often think of of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs
and the capability maturity model in these situations.
Levels of the Capability Maturity Model
1. Initial (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) - the starting point for use of a new process.
2. Managed - the process is managed according to the metrics described in the Defined stage.
3. Defined - the process is defined/confirmed as a standard business process, and decomposed to levels 0, 1 and 2 (the latter being Work Instructions).
4. Quantitatively managed
5. Optimized - process management includes deliberate process optimization/improvemen
Really, organizational maturity is not a tough sell to anyone who doesn't require a rectal craniotomy.
But we've all worked for that
guy and had to do things that we really weren't proud of...
Here again, good communication and unwaivering belief that you're doing the right things can maybe set things moving in the right direction. One thing is for certain, organizations CAN and DO remain chaotic and ad-hoc under bad management.
Tips for new DBAs: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Career/64632
My other articles: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Authors/Articles/Craig_Outcalt/560258