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January 28, 2014 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Gifs chronicling the highs and lows of a DBAs career

Seems to be largely from the point of view of a SQL Server admin, with brief forays into other DBMSes. Will make your laugh or cry, depending on how close to home it hits.
posted by jermsplan (57 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
When I look at these.
[GIF of a dog quizzically cocking his head to the side]
[GIF of Homer Simpson slowly backing into a hedge]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:33 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


This is my life, right here.
posted by capnsue at 12:38 PM on January 28


When we accidentally deployed a production MySQL table with MyISAM

*full body spasm*
posted by kmz at 12:42 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Wait, in what kind of mixed up universe does a developer ask for sysadmin privileges in production?

Tip for developers: don't have sysadmin privileges in production, unless you absolutely have to—for anything in production, not just databases. If you have sysadmin privileges in production, you are infinitely more likely to (a) inadvertently cause a problem on production and (b) get called in the middle of the night to fix something on production.

If someone asks you if you want sysadmin privileges on production, this is a trap. Say "no" and back away slowly.

If you already have sysadmin privileges on production, ask your organization to hire someone to relieve you of those responsibilities immediately (i.e., and let's be honest with ourselves, someone who knows wtf they're doing). Your life will be better for it.
posted by aparrish at 12:43 PM on January 28 [19 favorites]


Those are some fun gifs, it is true. Whatever a DBA is, it must have many problems.
posted by maryr at 12:44 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Who knew doing business as was so complicated.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:46 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


In twenty-odd years working in IT, I've never met a DBA, and have every reason to believe that they do not exist.
posted by pipeski at 12:47 PM on January 28 [11 favorites]


that's the way we want you
posted by LogicalDash at 12:48 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


Many people are DBAs and do not know it. A good test is if any of these GIFs made you cry.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:49 PM on January 28 [17 favorites]


The captions could be anything in which a person is unhappy and it would fit equally as well. Alternatively, the GIFs could be omitted and DBAs reading the captions could still say, "Me too!"
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:50 PM on January 28


Oh my god I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I have to stop reading this or I will laugh so hard I will physically stop breathing.
posted by Talez at 12:51 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Who knew doing business as was so complicated.

This guy.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:56 PM on January 28


I'm the support guy who gets called by DBAs when they're stressed. I'm proud of having no reactions whatsoever. You ask me what this tuple is the log is talking about? I have no reaction. None. What "no space left on device means"? Nothing. I'm cool. I'll answer your questions. You deleted the transaction log because it was taking a lot of space? No problem mate.

A site about how DBAs are exasperated by other people's errant behavior does leave me with a hint of a raised eyebrow, but you wouldn't notice, I promise.
posted by dhoe at 1:05 PM on January 28 [9 favorites]


When we accidentally deployed a production MySQL table with MyISAM

I know how to shorten that sentence by three words and make it funnier. A CHAR(48) will hold it.
posted by Nelson at 1:06 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


In twenty-odd years working in IT, I've never met a DBA, and have every reason to believe that they do not exist.

I really really really hope you've only been working in small shops all those years.

OK, just had a thought, dunno if it'll go anywhere but it ties the two biggest time sinkholes in my life, so: developers, DBAs, and sysadmins can be thought of as something like the MMO DPS/tank/healer trio. (Which is which I'll let y'all decide.) In easier zones (smaller companies), you might be able to have one person covering two or three of those roles, but as soon as you start having to manage bigger raids/companies, trying to wear multiple hats is going to get you/your company's data wiped.
posted by kmz at 1:08 PM on January 28 [7 favorites]


When the StackExchange moderators mark my question as a duplicate

I'm not a DBA, but as a dev seeing Alex P. Keaton's fresh face made me snorkle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:15 PM on January 28


developers, DBAs, and sysadmins can be thought of as something like the MMO DPS/tank/healer trio

Then you have consultants (obviously rogues) and management (I'm guessing bards).
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:24 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


When SQL Server Management Studio’s IntelliSense keeps autocompleting the wrong stuff

Oh my god that is perfect.

NO I DID NOT MEAN IDENTITY I MEANT ID. ID. ID. ID. ID
posted by odinsdream at 1:38 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


... so seriously, does anyone who works where there really should be a DBA actually have a DBA? Like, that person's sole job is DBA? Because, oh man how effective would that be?
posted by odinsdream at 1:43 PM on January 28


Yes. We have at least 3 of them.
posted by matildaben at 1:50 PM on January 28


Do not dismiss the captions, the appropriateness of gif choice, or the circumstances to which both are applied. These are funny even without all that context, but with it they jump into a whole other plane of funny.

Kudos to you gif picker/captioner. If you're ever in need of work, MeMail me.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 1:51 PM on January 28


This link saddens me deeply because I just realized I'm probably a DBA. Is there a support group?
posted by xmutex at 1:58 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


And I also just realized the DBA me hates the developer me who does nothing but make problems for the other me.

Fuck. I'm in trouble.
posted by xmutex at 2:01 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


Those are some fun gifs, it is true. Whatever a DBA is, it must have many problems.

There's a few other "gifs to describe my job" tumblrs out there.

One for stage managers.

One for people who work for a non-profit.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:01 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


my favorite is art history grad students
posted by The Whelk at 2:09 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


... so seriously, does anyone who works where there really should be a DBA actually have a DBA?

Do they have to actually know something about databases or just have "DBA" in their title? Because the latter happens...a lot.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:13 PM on January 28


Yes. We have at least 3 of them.

*swoon*
posted by odinsdream at 2:16 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Here's one for devops
posted by foxfirefey at 2:18 PM on January 28


A few of those are kind of dumb. They seem to be about some personal preference or some contextual issue (like how much RAM to allot a physical SQL box? The answer is "It fucking depends.").

But many of these are amusing. The Ken Jeong spitting milk GIF with the caption "When, in the year 2014, the manager says we don’t need backups because we have RAID and DR". YES. THIS. FUCKING RUN BACKUPS OR PAY THE PENALTY!
posted by grubi at 2:21 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


developers, DBAs, and sysadmins can be thought of as something like the MMO DPS/tank/healer trio

And higher-level support1 folks are your jacks-(or jills-)of-all-trades, like a captain in LOTRO. WE don't master any of the other roles, but we can do enough of each to help the others get it done.


1. I'm not talking the folks who help you set up a printer; I'm talking the support folks (like myself) who are called on by the DBAs and sysadmins when they don't fully understand the software that isn't their specific area of expertise (in my case, I support a specific document management suite). We're the support people your support people call.
posted by grubi at 2:27 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


management

I'm thinking management is actually like the adds you have to clear before you even get to the boss.

The Ken Jeong spitting milk GIF with the caption "When, in the year 2014, the manager says we don’t need backups because we have RAID and DR". YES. THIS. FUCKING RUN BACKUPS OR PAY THE PENALTY!

What do you mean? Redundancy is totes the same thing as backups.

Ah, shit, I can't even joke because that is literally what people believe.
posted by kmz at 2:31 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Best one: When I ‘retire’ the MS Access databases in favour of SQL Server.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:41 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


I've worked as a sysadmin, a developer, and mentor/supervise a team of about 8 sysadmins right now. I think I talked to a DBA once during my career, and in all cases the closest common manager between us was the CIO.

I get the impression that the only thing Oracle DBAs do is buy new versions of Oracle and upgrade it.
posted by pwnguin at 3:28 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


Here's one for devops
When asked to add a new feature to a 10 years old legacy project: THAT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM
Ten years? Can I... can I come and live in your fantasy land?
posted by indubitable at 3:42 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


If someone asks you if you want sysadmin privileges on production, this is a trap. Say "no" and back away slowly.

You misspelled "as fast as possible".
posted by spaceman_spiff at 3:52 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I loved the NoSQL gif. I fear I shall soon have to be one of the Amigos.
posted by viramamunivar at 3:53 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain the NoSQL gif? (I read about NoSQL, but have no idea what that kind of change implies.)
posted by sneebler at 4:21 PM on January 28


like how much RAM to allot a physical SQL box? The answer is "It fucking depends."

While you're technically correct, the core that a lot of these hit on has mostly to do with SQL Server on Windows, which, for all kinds of muddled reasons, allows you to kinda-sorta get away with all kinds of really terrible decisions (ASK ME HOW I KNOW) until the shit really, really, really hits the fan.
posted by odinsdream at 4:23 PM on January 28


I am insufficiently geeky... to me DBA stands for "Doing Business As", the designation in those newspaper "Fictitious Business Statement" ads...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:31 PM on January 28


like how much RAM to allot a physical SQL box? The answer is "It fucking depends."

In the post he makes it clear it's about "how much RAM makes sense when my choices are a $14k piece of software, and a $55k piece of software"? You wouldn't be saving much money, in terms of the total cost of the server, by cheaping out and getting 16 GB of RAM.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:47 PM on January 28


Can someone please explain the NoSQL gif? (I read about NoSQL, but have no idea what that kind of change implies.)

Grossly oversimplifying but it's basically a Fisher Price style of "database".
posted by Talez at 5:13 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


"NoSQL" is lots of technologies that are sometimes good for things. If you don't get more specific, then you don't have anything to add... which doesn't stop some people.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:24 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Can someone please explain the NoSQL gif? (I read about NoSQL, but have no idea what that kind of change implies.)

NoSQL is a very powerful tool in certain cases. Some people think it applies all the time. Those people are idiots.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:26 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


Sadly, other than a certain Tunisian who once told me, "No. Is okay. I kick out all the users before I put the database into ar-sheave (i.e., archive) mode." at two o'clock in the afternoon on a workday three days after go-live, I've never worked with a DBA who could be trusted to create stored procedures and the like.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:31 PM on January 28


Even though most of us were Oracle certified at my first job I still loved the fact that we had a DBA. She could model data like nobody's business, every query, proc and prepared statement was peer reviewed by her, our indexes were smokin', our triggers were fully exploited, we never had to worry about performance or updates and we never had more than read access on production, ever.

Then at the bank we had a half dozen DBAs and that's when I realized I didn't want to live my life in a database of numbers.
posted by furtive at 5:55 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Can someone please explain the NoSQL gif? (I read about NoSQL, but have no idea what that kind of change implies.)

There's a lot of inside baseball on this one, but I'll take a swing (yes, I work for a NoSQL vendor).

1) NoSQL means something that stores data in a form other than the tables seen in relational databases.

2) The gif is commenting on a relational DBA's typical perspective on what consultants from a NoSQL vendor are saying to them, and how they say it.

Entrenched relational DBAs have a vested interest not understanding what NoSQL products bring to the party. Every major web property started on some form of conventional relational DB using conventional RDBMS practices before running into scaling issues (think early myspace, or friendster, or livejournal pre-memcached). The solution to those scaling issues almost always goes through some combination of using relational DBs in very odd ways (reddit), hacking at the relational DB's code (facebook and salesforce), writing your own DB or layer to avoid the DB (google), or nifty hardware tricks (stackoverflow on all ssd, for example) - or some combination of all of the above.

NoSQL represents an effort to make datastore scalability more accessible. All NoSQL projects make tradeoffs to get there - and some of what's given up gets the whole sector labeled with phrases like "Fisher Price" by people accustomed to what they usually get (and go without) in conventional RDBMS.

The fact of the matter is large swaths of the world you touch are already running on NoSQL or conventional RDBMS abused to look like NoSQL. It's only a new or funny thing to people who think their jobs are threatened by its adoption.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 5:59 PM on January 28 [11 favorites]


Since when is buying fast drives a 'trick?'

We're moving into de-rail territory here, but thanks for providing the perfect example of my so many people think NoSQL is a joke. To say you've oversold them and their importance would be a understatement.
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:31 PM on January 28


On second thought, "joke" is a poor choice of words. NoSQL isn't a joke, and I apologize for that.

But it's ain't the 2nd coming, either.
posted by Frayed Knot at 6:31 PM on January 28


I get the impression that the only thing Oracle DBAs do is buy new versions of Oracle and upgrade it.

I'm a part time Oracle "DBA"* and that describes 90% of what I do. But for the next couple months I'll be nose deep in documentation about Data Guard and all of it's glory. Trying my best to not break our database while I make it more resilient.

* I used that term loosely, as I only know enough to be dangerous. And even then it's limited in scope to what I need to know to support the vendor app we're running.
posted by sbutler at 6:51 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I'm a Sysadmin. I am glad that we have people who's Entire Job is "Dealing with Oracle" or "Dealing with SQL Server". I piddle with MySQL and Postgres and such when playing with web-junk backends on my own time, but for heavy duty things I leave that to people who get paid to do so. I provide the system(s) they ask for and provide certain tuning and such, they do everything else.

Sure, I have the requisite working knowledge of Oracle and SQL Server needed in my day to day job, but nobody wakes me up at 3am with Oracle or SQL Server Problems. That I'm grateful for.
posted by mrbill at 7:40 PM on January 28


I have not met a dedicated DBA in the last six years. I think a lot of this can be applied to ops in general, though – any guy that has to maintain stuff for developers, really.

Also, I've been enjoying the Node.js Reactions Tumblr. I guess there's one for every kind of tech thing!
posted by ignignokt at 9:02 PM on January 28


I guess there's one for every kind of tech thing!

Correct.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:12 AM on January 29


I got a few laughs from this website, even though I know very little about DBA-ing. But I'm a storage guy, and as such, DBAs are probably my main "customer". The place I work now has just one DBA (we're a new team, insourcing a whole IT infrastructure that was outsourced years ago). That's the least DBAs I've ever worked with - everywhere else has had at least 4. The most was about 20 (Oracle, MS-SQL, mainframe IMS and CICS and DB/2, some crazy AS/400 stuff, various other oddities).

I for one welcome my DBAs. Even though it took them quite a few years to understand shared storage, and that the 5 year old Oracle whitepapers about direct attached SCSI were not really relevant anymore, they got there eventually, and they serve as a handy buffer between me and the developers. (Sorry developers, I don't hate you - we just speak totally different languages and I'm sorry, but I can't give you enough disk for 12 dev/test databases at no cost).

I like to keep my DBAs happy. I'm the guy who yells over the partition "OK, another 500GB coming right up - gimme 2 minutes!", and everyone's happy.
posted by Diag at 2:20 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Entrenched relational DBA

Hello new business card title!
posted by odinsdream at 8:56 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


I'm a SQL Server and Oracle DBA, though I'm the most junior of our crew. There are three (including me), adding a forth full-timer in the next month I hope, Oracle DBA's with three Oracle contractors and a SQL Server contract DBA as well.
What does a DBA do, you ask? A little bit of everything. Daily stuff: user maintenance, daily performance monitoring, and code promotions are the most common. Less common are sql tuning, code reviews, performance tuning, technical project planning and . My current project work is getting our monitoring software configured correctly, rebuilding our code promotion tool, and adding XA transactional capability to SQL Server. I also check backups, manage file space issues, yell at/praise coders, explain to management and business users why their ideas about how to implement functionality are a good or bad idea, and do my damnedest to learn the different technologies my job uses on a daily basis, including but not limited to: Solaris, RHEL, Windows, java, perl, pl/sql, tsql, powershell, Ant, Maven, Jenkins, apache2, Subversion, TOAD, Oracle 10g/11g/12c, SQL Server 2008 R2/2000, WebLogic, Fusion, Siebel CRM, Oracle EBS 11i and R12, and Windows 7 (there more but that's what I've worked on today).
We touch basically everything in the company because the database is the center of every interconnected part. I have to be part-developer, part-sysadmin, part-storage-admin, part-BA (for finance, legal, HR, engineering, the warehouses, supply-chain, delivery, customer service, and manufacturing), and part manager.
Really good DBA's (which I'm not, yet) get paid a lot of money because they know a lot about a lot and not just within the confines of their particular RDBMS.
Weirdly, I tweeted the .GIFY's to DBAReactions yesterday and then this FPP showed up. I must be metafiltering correctly.
posted by mfu at 10:29 AM on January 30


We've been made.
posted by matildaben at 5:00 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


If someone asks you if you want sysadmin privileges on production, this is a trap. Say "no" and back away slowly.

where I work the various "can modify production systems" abilities aren't "privileges", they're explicitly called "responsibilities".
posted by russm at 4:23 AM on January 31 [1 favorite]


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