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From: Kathryn L. Zimmerman <>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 13:05:57 -0400
Message-Id: <>

In answer to the original question, no, I would not give the developers passwords or alter privileges to the "real" databasel, development or production. You might give them their own little area of the development DB where they can create tables for development purposes. In that case, procedures must be in place to allow the DBA to review and control anything that's developed, in preparation for moving it in.

There are two sides to this, of course. :::: painfully straddling fence :::: You want to protect the database to ensure its integrity, but you also don't want to cripple the developers by forcing a bottleneck through a DBA every time they want a column added to a table in development. One reason why developers do really stupid stuff like disable constraints is that they can't get a response out of the DBA's even with a crowbar. On the other hand, the DBA must be given the authority and power to ensure that communication between developers is possible and required, and that procedures exist, such as database reviews, for ensuring the quality of what's happening to the database.

In terms of development/production databases, there is no excuse for forcing a developer to develop on a production db. You are asking for disaster in both development and production areas. A safe environment should be provided for the developers - it may be ok to give them limited privileges in that area. Or, if you have one or more teams of developers, have a designated drive - er - developer DBA who can channel all db changes and have the responsibility to work with the DBA. wrote:
> Actually at our site the developers are the first line of contact as
> well. They rarely have to call me. I used to be on a site that no
> matter what went wrong they always blamed the database. Sometimes
> they would not even be accessing the database and they would still
> blame it.

It works both ways. I've worked as a developer in arenas where any time there was a problem, the DBA's pointed fingers at the developers, and I invariably ended up with the hot potato of proving exactly why it was a database problem and usually how to fix it. How do you think I got my DBA knowledge? And the *bribes*! And personal friendships I've had to form with DBA's! (<<< tongue firmly planted in cheek here ;-D)

> That is the difference between working with well trained
> and experienced developers as opposed to those who are not so well
> trained.

Oy, this pushes some buttons! One of my long-term gripes about this business is that developers/programmers are not taught (a) how to make their code so that error detection is feasible, (b) that you change *nothing* without testing and integration testing (c) that you plan changes, and (d) how to test, including analysis of possible scenarios. In project development, there are test plans at all levels, but even the youngest, greenest programmers are thrown into the project neck-deep with no guidance on testing their stuff. Peer reviews are a good step in the right direction, but it still doesn't teach programmers how to test.

Call me a pessimist, but I tend to program with the view that the minute you say "Oh that can't happen", it will. Many programmers simply don't know how to test or find problems. I've made a career out of coming in after the first wave of Brilliant Minds, and cleaning up/correcting/performance tuning etc. their stuff, including making it possible to find problems. The problem got even worse with PL/SQL procedures. Programmers who have written structured, documented, modular code for decades suddenly write spaghetti code, with no way of determining which of the 25 ORACLE calls in a procedure triggered an error.

There's a fine old tradition of sending the heir to a title/fortune to sea to serve "six months before the mast as a common sailor", to learn humility and a bit of the realities of life. I think that all programmer should have to spend several years as a maintenance programmer. I guarantee it would change their programming habits.

> I have run into a *couple* that might be called "slumlords",
> just as we have all run into some/many/all developers who are horrible
> "tenants".

"Slum lord" DBA's? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

:::: warbling "I've looked at life from both sides now..." :::: Received on Mon Jul 31 2000 - 12:05:57 CDT

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