Today's editorial was originally published on Sept 9, 2015. It is being re-run as Steve is on vacation.
Many DBAs have gotten the reputation of being difficult to work with. I think some of this is based on the impedance mismatch between developers and DBAs that seems to cause issues in many organizations. Many developers want their changes to be deployed quickly, while DBAs want extensive review and testing to be sure that no problems will occur. This prioritization of stability over enhancements by DBAs does make us seem difficult to managers, PMs, and no shortage of clients.
As the job of data professional has morphed and matured, many of us that might have been strictly DBAs or developers in the past now often need to work with many other people. We find all types and ranges of personalities that we must deal with, and I would guess many of us find other people difficult to deal with.
Learning to work with difficult people is a skill itself, and I ran across a piece that talks about a few ways that each of us might work with those we find difficult. Maybe more importantly, if we are perceived as difficult, perhaps we can learn a few things about ourselves and how we might adjust our own personality to work with others, or even perhaps we can give others ideas on how to best interact with us. The piece looks at emotional intelligence (EQ), which isn't necessarily correlated to any other sort of intelligence, so don't think a low EQ implies anyone is lacking technical talent.
Our interpersonal interactions are important. As important as our technical skills, if not more so. Learning more about ourselves and learning how to better work with others are important skills for us that can help ensure we have an enjoyable, as well as successful, career.