Who is an Invalid DBA ?

As read originally on Coskan’s Blog
When i got errors from database and complaining about “what happened again” my colleagues start joking and saying “Coskan got Invalid DBA exception” :) .
I googled internet and found no entry about term “Invalid DBA” so I want to explain what it is.
Lets look at who can be called Invalid DBA in my point of view;

  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t like to read Concepts guide of the RDBMS they work on. (DBA job Kick off must be always concepts guide because it is the big picture. Without seeing the whole you can’t focus on parts)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t have a good understanding on importance of Backup/Recovery. (If you don’t backup you can’t recover this is as simple as this)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t have test databases. (the ones who try on production server first.) Once one of Oracle Educators told us a story about a DBA who tried block corruption examples of training material on production database ….
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who say “I know OS , I can watch monitors of EM or QUEST and I can write shell scripts I dont need deep knowledge about SQL”. Without SQL knowledge you are system admin, not database admin please do not call yourself a DBA. Tuning SQL starts with writing SQL.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who advice buying cpu instead of investigating bottlenecks.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who are still using ratio-based methodology instead of oracle wait interface for performance optimization. (Oracle special, invalid dba exception)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who say “I am behind the firewall i do not need to focus on security”. (Firewalls are good but history of world is full with conquered iron castles)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t have a maintenance routine for their databases. (If you take you car to service after some miles then you have to do the same for your database too. This is a must)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t care, about business needs or what is the business of the company. I don’t mean know it as much as the core developers know, but knowing the big picture takes you one step further for the bottlenecks.
  • Invalid DBA’s don’t like asking questions to their senior DBA’s. (Don’t forget there is always possibility of a shortest path. If there is a senior DBA in your organization feel free to consult him. This can avoid reinventing the wheel.)
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who always ask everything instead of reading. Is this a confliction with the above one ? No :) First you must RTFM then metalink/msdn then google and then ask.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t try what he learns. Guru’s can write something but it doesn’t mean it is true even the guru’s name is Thomas Kyte or Jonathan Lewis. Don’t forget! every book has an errata and every release can behave different.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who put commit before running the command. Think about the wrong or forgotten where clause.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who are not nerveless. Don’t forget, In a crisis environment the only thing you can lose is your job and you can always find another one, so you don’t have to worry as much as you managers. They are worried because they can’t find a new position as high as recent one after an inconsistent recovery which caused loss of millions. Stay calm.
  • Invalid DBA’s are the ones who refuse to read new features guide. Time changes and developers try to work for the better. Keep yourself up-to-date for saving time.
  • Special Invalid DBA award comes for the ones who does not read installation guides before installing. (My early career is full with this award :) )

I can not cover all but Mr Chris Foot (Oracle ACE ) has a good series about The Non-Technical Art of Being a Successful DBA . I suggest you to take a look at what he says, maybe the opposite of his thoughts can lead you about how can an Invalid DBA be :) .

Category: Database

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Article by: Shadab Mohammad