Friday, October 29, 2010

The Seven Deadly Habits of an Oracle DBA

Seriously, it doesn't say "Oracle" in the title of this article, and the points it makes apply to a lot of non-Oracle shops including some using SQL Anywhere:

The Seven Deadly Habits of a DBA
But... the writer IS talking about Oracle, and Habit #5 does apply to every single large Oracle (and IBM) shop I've ever dealt with.

Habit #5. THE BLAME GAME: "Don't look at me, it's the developer's fault that SQL is in production"

Some DBAs have a real "us versus them" mentality when it comes to developers in their organization. They see themselves not as facilitators helping the developers develop quality code from a database standpoint, but rather as guardians who prevent poor-quality code from making it into production. This might seem like semantics, but a confrontational relationship between developers and DBAs results in a lack of developer initiative and significant slowdowns in release cycles.

  • Select DBAs who understand it's their responsibility to work as an integrated team with the developers they support.

  • Cultivate a team attitude by structuring continuous DBA involvement in every project rather than at review milestones.

  • Consider assigning an individual DBA in a developer support role. If it's clearly in the job description, there's more motivation to do it well.

The "Blame Game" title is lame, the important point is the us-versus-them mentality that destroys creativity and productivity.

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