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Re: Database Design

From: Daniel Morgan <>
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2004 19:34:19 -0800
Message-ID: <1073532776.865085@yasure>

Galen Boyer wrote:

> On Wed, 07 Jan 2004, wrote:

>>But the point, hopefully, is made. 

> No, the point has been lost.

Apparently not on others.

   I don't see anybody talking about
> credentials and how judging and scoring is supposed to come
> about. And this is what struck me to even respond in the first
> place. There were a few people waxing on poetically (you being
> one) about how important our industry is while we have no
> credentials. Well, tell me how the flip anybody can devise a
> plan for credentials that you and most others won't immediately
> then turn around on and say, "Experience wins over accreditation
> ..." or other such slams.

Do you believe that about the practice of medicine? law? engineering? pharmacy? Do you believe a professional society examining and certifying its own members is impossible? I sure hope not.

Well given that others can do it why don't you think we can? Not enough IQ points? Not enough incentive? The fact that we are all geeks who spend our spare time playing video games and dreaming about some day being a scuba diver?

My university offers a degree in chemistry. Where do you think the criteria for graduation came from? How about the degree in physics? Or engineering? Or medicine?

Will some slam it? Of course. Some people would slam heaven if they got there for being boring and too white. What matter is not that some small group of naysayers is unhappy. What is important is that employers come to the conclusion that those with the certification are worth more than those without because the certification stands for proof of skills learned and the ability to apply them.

Anyone can learn to say methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, amyl, hexyl, heptyl, octyl, nonyl, etc. I learned this stuff over 35 years ago and still know it. But that doesn't make me qualified as an organic chemist. The current certifications too are rote memorizations. And are equally meaningless.

>>Some software such as a word processor or a graphics program
>>are not used to make life-or-death decisions: Databases
>>are. Every day in millions of locations.

> So? What would credentials do for these situations? Wouldn't
> these situations be much better served with a talented database
> professional, period? Since we could all agree on that, please
> tell me how credentials would help us get more talented database
> professionals?

Talented as described by who? By you? You think you are an expert. Joe Smith thinks you are a hack. What supports your contention of expertise? A resume you crafted in your spare time? A couple of friends of yours from your last place of employement that all say you're a great guy? Would you settle for this criteria if the database asset was yours and it was you, personally, that stood to lose millions on a screw-up? What if it was the surgeon performing a bypass operation?

I think your question "What would credentials do" is disingenuous because if you truly believe it you would make the same argument about other professions and I strongly suspect you wouldn't.

> The point would end up being, we want talented professionals
> working in our fields and the other point would be, we all feel
> we know how to find those professionals with or without any
> credentials.

What does the word talented mean? Jonathan Lewis, IIRC, thinks no-one that can't do a block dump should be a DBA. I think anyone that can't run DBMS_PROFILER can't do a competent job as either a DBA or developer. Then we get to versions are you talented in 8i? 9i? which patch level, with RMAN, with OEM, and many many thousands of other bits and pieces of the job.

Your word "talented" may work for artists, musicians, and scultors, but it doesn't cut it when it comes to building a Space Shuttle or building fail-over.

Daniel Morgan
(replace 'x' with a 'u' to reply)
Received on Wed Jan 07 2004 - 21:34:19 CST

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