What I Wished I’d Known Sooner As A DBA
Mike Walsh has put together an excellent topic for discussion, and Iâ€™ve read several responses to this; all of them are great, but most them are a little optimistic for my experiences. I like to think that most of my friends and peers in the #sqlfamily are happy people, so itâ€™s understandable that their guidance is gentle and well-intentioned. Me? Iâ€™m happy. Iâ€™m also pretty suspicious of other people, so without further ado, the 4 dark truths I wished Iâ€™d known sooner.
- Some people are out to get you. Call it insecurity or good intentions gone bad, but some of your coworkers canâ€™t take responsibility for their own actions and look to blame others. If youâ€™re moderately successful at your job, thereâ€™s probably at least one person that is jealous of your success and is looking for ways to bring you down. Most people arenâ€™t like this, and the trick is learning whoâ€™s a friend and whoâ€™s not. Spend time with friends, and defend yourself against enemies.
- The best solution isnâ€™t always the best solution. Engineers love to SOLVE problems; we donâ€™t just like to get close to an answer. We want to beat it down. Unfortunately, in the real world, perfect is the enemy of the good; solutions that are exhaustive and comprehensive on paper are usually time-sucks to implement. Donâ€™t get so wed to a solution that you overlook the cost of implementation.
- At some point, someone will judge your work and it wonâ€™t pass the bar. Itâ€™s really easy to pick apart bad code from a vendor (or perhaps from your enemy from point 1 above); itâ€™s hard to make that some sort of critical judgment about your own code. However, if youâ€™re not making mistakes today, then youâ€™ve got nowhere to grow tomorrow. Take it easy on other people, point out the flaws in a constructive fashion, and hope that somebody does the same to you someday.
- The customer isnâ€™t always right, but they always think they are. Iâ€™ve had customers argue with me for days about something that I could demonstrate was 100% wrong; it doesnâ€™t matter, and at the end of the day the relationship with them as a customer was irreconcilable because of the argument rather than the initial facts. Iâ€™m not saying that you should capitulate to every whim of the customer; however, itâ€™s less important to be right than it is to build a relationship. Relationships are built on truth and giving a little. Compromise and move on (or decide that it is better to move apart).