What Counts for a DBA: Empathy

  • Louis Davidson (@drsql)

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1506

    Gary Varga (11/24/2014)


    Jeff Moden (11/24/2014)


    Gary Varga (11/24/2014)


    alicesql (11/24/2014)


    ...Also, there is a triumvirate of price, quality and speed. You can generally get 2 of these, but not all three. In other words, you can get good and fast, but it won't be cheap. Or you can get fast and cheap, but it won't be good. This generally applies to construction and I think it fits our business as well. There are always exceptions (ie a quick and dirty report that the end user loves).

    I have been thinking about this famous triangle for some time and the term "cheap" and even "price" has not sat well with me. I think that the reason is that, almost inevitably, cost comes back to haunt us. Maybe the triumvirate is partially deferred cost, quality and speed???

    This conversation has been argued many times on this site but I very much agree with what Tom Tompson said on one of them. If you always go for Quality, there's a really good chance that Speed and Price will fall inline, as well.

    Now that you mention it, I think that I too agreed with Tom's opinion on one of the reruns of that debate 😉

    It is my opinion that this applies not only to SQL (which I think is what both you and Tom think anyway but have added here for clarity).

    On this we have no disagreement. And yeah, cheap is not total cost of ownership for sure... Ask anyone who owned a Yugo 🙂

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 997104

    Louis Davidson (@drsql) (11/24/2014)


    And yeah, cheap is not total cost of ownership for sure... Ask anyone who owned a Yugo 🙂

    BWAAA-HAAA!!! Now THAT'S funny! 🙂

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Jeff Moden (11/24/2014)


    Louis Davidson (@drsql) (11/24/2014)


    And yeah, cheap is not total cost of ownership for sure... Ask anyone who owned a Yugo 🙂

    BWAAA-HAAA!!! Now THAT'S funny! 🙂

    I know someone that bought his kids a Yugo only three days before the only Yugo parts factory in the former country known as Yugoslavia was bombed.

    We did laugh. I don't feel guilty about laughing as within two years this local politician who was very arrogant, and also a pharmacist, got sent to prison for illegally supplying drugs to his mistress whose brother had a drug habit.

    ...as usual life is stranger than fiction!!!

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • David.Poole

    SSC Guru

    Points: 75393

    Oooo the illusions of power! As a manager who used to be a DBA I can tell you that life is not any greener on the other side.

    Our business colleagues generate far more ideas than IT is resourced to service but their reach exceeds their grasp. When it comes to a game of "my Dad's bigger than your Dad" IT always loses.

    The net result is that IT managers desperately juggle resources doing the impossible for the ungrateful with over committed staff and a woeful budget. Maybe a couple of project managers are playing swapsies. "I'll lend you my DBA this week if you can give me some dev resource the week after". Unfortunately this careful co-ordination is blown out of the water when something takes longer than anticipated so resource swapping can no-longer take place.

    I hate tech debt with a passion. It grows and grows like a benign tumour until it eventually metastasises into something that kills the system. Unfortunately I face the dreadful algebra of necessity. For every battle I win I'll probably lose more.

    As a manager I've come to realise that my role is not to chose the best option, it is to choose the least crap. Being British choosing the least crap is a way of life enshrined in our democratic system.

  • Marcia J

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5649

    David.Poole (11/25/2014)


    As a manager I've come to realise that my role is not to chose the best option, it is to choose the least crap. Being British choosing the least crap is a way of life enshrined in our democratic system.

    Unfortunately, I don't think that "choosing the least crap" is just a British thing.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    David.Poole (11/25/2014)


    ...I hate tech debt with a passion. It grows and grows like a benign tumour until it eventually metastasises into something that kills the system. Unfortunately I face the dreadful algebra of necessity. For every battle I win I'll probably lose more....

    Sums it up nicely. Better than most definitions of technical debt 😉

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    marcia.j.wilson (11/25/2014)


    David.Poole (11/25/2014)


    As a manager I've come to realise that my role is not to chose the best option, it is to choose the least crap. Being British choosing the least crap is a way of life enshrined in our democratic system.

    Unfortunately, I don't think that "choosing the least crap" is just a British thing.

    From a distant, some polictical representatives chosen are far from the "least crap".

    In the UK, just when we think we are breaking free from status quo (not the band) a "new" offering, whether liked or not, starts to develop into one of the existing status quo crap ones.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Stephanie J Brown

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3866

    What I find interesting in this conversation thread is that no one things the "manager" is part of the team. Where I work, they are considered part of the larger team - the COMPANY.

    Perhaps expanding one's view of what constitutes a team might change the discussion points somewhat. I'm actually in agreement with Louis that empathy can server you well.

    I'd also point out that "empathy" is very different from "giving in to any and all demands" (which is how Jeff seems to have interpreted the editorial). Empathy is the art of standing in the other persons shoes so you can see things from their viewpoint. Having that information (aka "data") can give you an advantage in the conversations that follow, whether you are "pushing back" on a perceived deadline or looking for ways to speed up a project or find an alternative path to success.

    I've been both successful and not successful on pushing back to managers on projects. What I can say is that having empathy for their position helps me phrase the conversation in a way that reduces personal conflict. IMHO, that is never a bad thing.

    Despite all of the above, any manager who actually does yell and scream (or stomp their feet, or throw a tantrum) on a regular basis is a bad manager and should be removed before they hurt themselves (or someone else). I have met very few of these in my career, and it has been my pleasure to work with Human Resources to resolve those issues. 🙂


    Here there be dragons...,

    Steph Brown

Viewing 8 posts - 16 through 23 (of 23 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply