Oracle FAQ Your Portal to the Oracle Knowledge Grid

Home -> Community -> Usenet -> c.d.o.server -> Re: Database Design

Re: Database Design

From: Daniel Morgan <>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 05:58:34 -0800
Message-ID: <1073397431.585445@yasure>

Noons wrote:

> "Galen Boyer" <> wrote in message

>>It is clear that you, and others, think that our profession needs
>>to be elevated to the level on par with medicine.  That is a
>>thought that screams self-importance.  Our profession and work
>>isn't dealing with life-threatening issues.  I think those that
>>feel that way need to get a better perspective on what it is our
>>profession is.  We are IT professionals.  We strive to be
>>extremely talented at what we do.  We love the creativity,
>>challenge, ... of our professions.  But, in the "Grand scheme of
>>things" we provide very little societal benefit, very few of us
>>do anything remotely dealing with life issues (there are a small
>>few that deal with medical records that are used by the medical
>>profession) and our profession's output isn't important enough to
>>warrant a government or even industry sponsored credentials test.

> Hmmm I see your point. I also see another point: the databases
> I helped design in the last two years, which will track the
> training level and currency of FA-18 pilots. Dunno if many here
> want to be anywhere near if a fault in the design in one of those
> causes someone to fly into the side of a mountain (or worse)
> at Mach 1.5...
> We all can cite examples of worse or lesser responsibility.
> It all boils down IMHO to professionalism. If I don't feel up to
> the task for a given design exercise, then I'll be the first to bail
> out and make damagement aware of it being above my head. That is
> something you don't learn in ANY training, I'm afraid.
> And it also has a lot to do with different degrees of specialisation.
> The term DBA, IMHO has over the years been used and abused to cover
> what are in fact WIDELY DIFFERENT job requirements and specifications.
> I don't expect someone in charge of running a third-party app to have the
> SAME level of qualifications and professional expertise as someone who DESIGNED
> that app. Yet we routinely see no distinction whatsoever in that respect in
> job specifications, OCP certifications and a host of other "qualifications"!
> To me that is another symptom of a much wider problem which has nothing to
> do with the individual case of the Oracle DBA.
> Now, is it practical to solve it by creating a "doctor" or "lawyer" level
> certification or accreditation system? I don't think so. I don't see
> why a jail warden or a nurse have to be certified at that level.
> I'd rather see the term DBA given its proper attributes and SEPARATED
> from the host of others that have been attached to it.
> THEN and only then, would I consider it appropriate to attach government
> sponsored accreditation programs to any of the resulting classifications.
> But knowing how these things work (heck, my Dad used to run a Uni!),
> all we'll see if it ever comes to anything is another batch of tertiary
> education courses with no use whatsoever in the industry except for a
> few select job specifications...

Oh I am not in favor of government sponsored accreditation. In fact I consider that the worst possible solution. But the current Wild West mentality isn't doing us any good either.

Your reference to doctors and lawyers with respect to specialization however reminds me of the fact that these general categories are like DBA. You wouldn't go to your family physician to treat cancer ... you go to an oncologist. You don't go to a family practice attorney when charged with bank robbery ... you go to a specialist, a defense attorney, that specializes in criminal law.

Of course it also reminds me of a company that hired me as a "Senior Oracle DBA" to train their other DBAs and didn't mention what they wanted was someone to administer Oracle Financials. They didn't even mention Oracle apps during the interview: Not once. Just asked about "DBA" experience.

Daniel Morgan
(replace 'x' with a 'u' to reply)
Received on Tue Jan 06 2004 - 07:58:34 CST

Original text of this message