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Re: Rant-Rant

From: Robert Monical <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 09:23:28 -0800
Message-ID: <>

I have been reading this list for the past several months as I prepare to move my universe of databases from 7.3 to 9 (probably 9) and I have a rant of my own.

It seems that the implicit expectation is that every DBA should be or should aspire to be a Master Technical DBA. I have a slightly different take on the situation. It is a little convoluted but I believe that the DBA world needs some additional job classifications. In a decent sized organization, the day to day management functions should be accomplished by an Admin DBA who might be someone who was perfectly happy spending his/her working career operating a precision milling machine at Boeing. Since the machinist jobs are going away, I see no reason why a competent machinist could not become a competent admin DBA. Such a person is not suited by aptitude or disposition to become a Master Technical DBA, but would do a great job at the admin level.

I'll extend the analogy a little more: the manufacturing organization does not expect the machinist to program the machine. They either have on staff or bring in a numerical control programming specialist. Similarly, the Admin DBA should know which tasks he/she can perform and which tasks should be kicked up or out to the next level.

So maybe some of the energy spent on this list about relevance of the OCP and discussing qualifications of DBAs (against an unspecified standard) could be spent defining organizational strategies for getting the best use out of human capital represented by "Admin DBAs" and pricing the skill set appropriately. The worst possible thing is to get an Admin DBA into a Technical DBA position.

I think the key breakthrough is the notion that there is a DBA track that does not inevitably lead to Master Technical DBA. That is why I use the machinist analogy: somebody who is satisfied with a career spending 25 years doing essentially the same thing. If you are into Myers-Briggs type indicator, I think the personality dimension is SJ and roughly 25% of the population fits this profile.

I believe that if we think about these things in a way that we ask ourselves how can I maximize the potential of this person in our organization, pay him/her a fair wage for what they can do, and free up my time to address the really gnarly stuff we can help our entire society better transition to the information era and not marginalize a bunch of great people in the process. (Sez the man operating a three person software company).

Re: Hotbackups.
In the last three months I have adapted the scripts from the Kevin Loney book for 4 separate databases.
I have inspected them very carefully to make sure all of the files are the there.
I think that I understand the what, how and why of hot backups. And I still had to go look to see that it was an alter tablespace rather than an alter database command to backup the tablespace.

re Politics:
Given the rather idealistic tone of this missive, I guess I should add that I am down the middle Libertarian who tends to vote Republican because I'm most concerned about taxes.

At 06:58 AM 7/22/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>Ok, I need to vent a little.
>Last week, I was asked to do some tech interviews over
>the phones for a mid level DBA position. Someone with
>about 2-3 years experience.
>I don't consider myself a real smart DBA, nor do I
>think that I ask particularly tough questions. The
>questions that I ask potential candidates are soley
>based on what is on the resume. So I figure if
>someone has, say, hot backups or SQL tuning on their
>resumes, I'd expect them to be able to hold a fairly
>intelligent conversation about these topics. No such

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Author: Robert Monical

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Received on Mon Jul 22 2002 - 12:23:28 CDT

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