Re: Question about time accounting at your work

From: Kellyn Pedersen <>
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 17:15:55 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

I am in complete agreement!  After reading my own post, I had to admit, it was much more complete in my head than it ended up in my email! :)  I complete weekly status reports, even when they aren't expected by a manager.  You are correct when stating that they show the true value of a DBA vs. time tracking programs that rarely if ever are able to.

I should have elaborated on the fact that the location where I recommended time tracking was the same place where situations were created to prove value.  The benefit of the time tracking was to show the amount of time that my DBA staff had to allocate towards fixing the bugs that Superman couldn't get to, (an attempt to change the culture so we could progress towars a more stable environment...)

I have since worked for exceptional managers who have recognized the value of a good DBA.  It is nice to be appreciated and not have to prove one's worth, that's for sure!

--- On Sat, 9/19/09, Mathias Magnusson <> wrote:

From: Mathias Magnusson <> Subject: Re: Question about time accounting at your work To:
Cc: "" <>, Date: Saturday, September 19, 2009, 12:52 AM

I really don't think time accounting is a solution to this problem. It tells someone how you split your time and if the right problems got the priority it deserves. Rarely does it tell a non technical manager how well you solved the problem and how much better somthing actually works after you implemented a change.

To show you manager and other what you do, I would start writing a status report. Yes it is a pain and yes it is boring, but it gives you and them a record to look at when the question of value is raised. I would follow it up with asking for a weekly halfhour to hour meting with your manager where he gets to ask questions and you go through the status report and discuss the important things verbally.

Learning how to write a status report to show your value to your manager or to your client is a skill I consider to be almost essential today when we have increase scrutiny of the value we provide. The key problem is that we often help non managers solve problems and few managers are ever informed of the quality of the solution. We are partly to blame since a lot of us cannot be bothered to explain what we do and why it is a good solution to non technical people. Actually explaining it in terms the receiver understands is hard, but it is also one of the best investments one can make for themselves.


On Sat, Sep 19, 2009 at 2:15 AM, Kellyn Pedersen <> wrote:

Although I don't have to do this in my current position, I've actually recommended time tracking for DBA's as a lead.  The reason was simple and one you mentioned below-  rarely do anyone other than DBA's know what the value of a DBA is! We are commonly the first group to be shaved off from during budget cuts and the first position to be opened up again when the cycle of value realization rears it's ugly head... :) I also think it's incredibly important to show the value of your work and how much a DBA can provide in long-term saving to a company.  Primarily my skills keep my employers/companies from making unnecessary hardware purchases, pre-mature upgrades to systems, experiencing outages that could have been pro-actively stopped and ensuring that development to production is done right and not twice.  I have worked with DBA's and developers that thought the only way to show they were an asset meant they should create situations that required their intervention so that they could prove that they were necessary to the busines. In my eyes, that kind of "superman" behavior only makes them into a liability, not an asset.

Kellyn Pedersen
Multi-Platform DBA

  • On Fri, 9/18/09, Taylor, Chris David <> wrote:

From: Taylor, Chris David <>

Subject: Question about time accounting at your work To: "''" <> Date: Friday, September 18, 2009, 2:28 PM

Ok fellow full-time employee DBAs I have a question. (Not for contractors :)

How many of you use project accounting at your place of work.  Where every hour has to be accounted for against projects, or maintenance or some other code?

I was basically told I'm not "visible enough" --- this is 1 year after receiving a ton of awards and accolades for solving a problem at one of our sister companies.  Now it "appears" that my value to the company is being questioned.  I imagine questions like "What does he do all day?" are being asked.

Usually I lump database support into 1 group, and patches/maintenance into another group and performance tuning into a 3rd group.  Now, I'm goign to have to start micromanaging my hours.  I work for an internal IT department at a large corporation.  I think we bill the other departments for services, but not sure.

Anyone else have to deal with this?

Chris Taylor
Sr. Oracle DBA
Ingram Barge Company
Nashville, TN 37205
Office: 615-517-3355
Cell: 615-354-4799

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Received on Sat Sep 19 2009 - 19:15:55 CDT

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