welfare bum

Successfully missing the point since 1977.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

the existential database debate

it wasn't until i started my new job that i realized how irritating it can be to ask questions of database and software developers. it seems to me that the vast majority of these types of people (particularly the DBAs) hold tightly onto the product for which they are responsible and do their best to guard the secrets held within. i myself was probably this type of person back when i had some degree of authority over my company, but this cannot be verified because the circumstances no longer exist that could prove the argument right or wrong.

here's an example of today's conversation:
me: is the production-backup database busted?
DBA: restoring
me: when is the restore generally scheduled for?
DBA: depends on our connection speed

to someone who didn't know any better, it would seem that our database server magically monitors the network bandwidth and decides when the best/worst times to perform maintenance would be.

BUT i know there is a schedule and unfortunately do not have access to find out what this schedule might be without someone else's aide. further questioning revealed first the estimated time of completion for today, the start time of the job, the fact that there are many steps involved before it is completed and FINALLY that it will be completed between noon and noon thirty.

it often amazes me how difficult it can be to get an answer to an easy question when it comes to the IT industry. I always do my best to form my questions so that they leave little to no room for interpretation but sometimes these roundabout answers cannot be prevented, like if you asked someone "what is a rainbow?" and they respond with anything from this list. we all know the answer is really just "those things that crawl up your leg and bite the inside of your ass ."



  • At Thu Sep 28, 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Martini said…

    One of my best friends is an IT fellow, and he gets very frustrated with people he works with and the vague and stupid questions they ask like "why can't you make the network go faster?"

    He especially dislikes the woman who calls him every single time her computer "won't turn on" when in reality, she has forgotten to turn her monitor on. Yeah, this happens all the time!

    Anyway, I believe he'd have some respect for you and anyone else who would ask precise and intelligent questions.


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