Oracle FAQ Your Portal to the Oracle Knowledge Grid

Home -> Community -> Mailing Lists -> Oracle-L -> RE: OT: Technician having to play politics

RE: OT: Technician having to play politics

From: Boivin, Patrice J <>
Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 11:09:26 -0800
Message-ID: <>

It helps sort out the people to work with as opposed to the ones who just fill the org chart and create work for everyone else... but that is a tad cynical I suppose.

I liked the book, it helps you spot possible problem areas in organizations, esp. when going to job interviews.

If your org chart is gradually exclusively filling up with technocrats, perhaps it's time to jump ship. You need a mix for an organization to stay afloat. Unless you are in government I suppose. But even then there are limits.

There is a balance to be struck of course, sometimes it's good to have an "integrator" around, as long as they aren't driving the organization toward navel-gazing and tracking exercises that lead to oblivion. They tend to say "no" because this or that policy doesn't allow it, or we don't have an agreement for this or that, and won't budge. Then the whole organization locks up, it's the equivalent of a work-to-rule campaign.

Some industry sectors are highly regulated, e.g. for ISO 9000 or pharmaceutical GLP it probably makes sense to document policies and procedures.

The be all and end all isn't to track processes though, there has to be an end product in mind -- that must always remain the real focus.

Where do DBAs fall -- depends on your personality I suppose -- I am sure there are technocratic DBAs out there who do a good job of establishing SOPs and testing stuff before implementing changes, etc. Again perhaps this is best in larger corporate environments. Craftspeople types will be more hands-on, will have a lot of on-the-job know-how, and will take a less theoretical approach to things: If it doesn't work, don't use it and don't keep trying to use it just because on paper the vendor says it should work
(script people fall in here perhaps?).

The artistic ones will want to be on the bleeding edge, work like crazy to make new products "work".

I think I fall more on the craftsmen / artist side, e.g. I spent days trying to make OCS work on my WinXP Pro PC at home -- well guess what it isn't certified for that platform, but I decided that it SHOULD. So I didn't give up, just because I am really keen on using OCS for e-mail.

A technocrat would have double / triple-checked the certification matrix, hardware and OS requirements, would have written them down etc. More than likely to just back down and wait until other people confirm whether the new product works for them (or not). If it doesn't, they are quite happy to say they saved time by not trying anything new.

A craftsman would have run the Installer after quickly running through the readme and installation notes. Once they are finished though the product runs and is stable, no worries. They are not likely to document what they do though.

The artistic type would have read through the matrix and the notes
(probably, er perhaps) but then would have decided: "OK the vendor says
this won't work. That's not acceptable to me; I'll be damned if I am just going to give up just like that -- I'm going to do my best to MAKE it work. Because I want to use this new feature, we can really do something with that if we can make it work." These are the people who build proofs of concept for the technocrats, with help from the craftsmen (who perhaps shake their heads a lot or shrug their shoulders). Without artists no one would ever move forward with new ideas. never mind about documenting; they may keep notes but these will be all over the place.

You see the difference.

Each has strengths and weaknesses: technocrats are always last to upgrade; they only do it when the vendor says they will drop technical support. Craftspeople will upgrade when they deem the new release is stable enough, then they will move to the new version asap. The artists will keep pushing to upgrade to the new versions, because of all the great new things you can do on the new version.

This is probably too simplistic...

Patrice Boivin

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2003 2:44 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L


   So do you see a DBA as being more of a visionary or a technocrat?    This book sounds similar to what a close friend experienced. He got pushed out of his own company by managers the investors hired. Bill "Shrek" Thater has proposed the only "solution" to this type of situation. Is there something in this book that will encourage us in our daily quest to get along with coworkers?

Dennis Williams
DBA, 40%OCP, 100% DBA
Lifetouch, Inc.

Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:
Author: Boivin, Patrice J

Fat City Network Services    -- 858-538-5051
San Diego, California        -- Mailing list and web hosting services
To REMOVE yourself from this mailing list, send an E-Mail message
to: (note EXACT spelling of 'ListGuru') and in
the message BODY, include a line containing: UNSUB ORACLE-L

(or the name of mailing list you want to be removed from). You may
also send the HELP command for other information (like subscribing).
Received on Mon Apr 07 2003 - 14:09:26 CDT

Original text of this message