Comment On Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

I'm on vacation this week and am a bit behind on all things TDWTF; so, here's Behavioral Deficiencies. It's a classic that was originally published on February 28, 2008. [expand full text]
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Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 14:08 • by Meep (unregistered)
379963 in reply to 379931
Cheong:
Sir Twist:
Steve The Cynic:
Noread:
DELETE FROM POSTS WHERE POST_TEXT == "Frist!"

FTFY.
No you didn't.
Msg 102, Level 15, State 1, Line 1

Incorrect syntax near '='.
Edit: bah, sniped already.

Notice the string is surrounded with " instead of '. I think it's reasonable enough to think it's neither MSSQL nor Oracle.


Transact-SQL will accept double-quotes to indicate string literals if certain kludgey settings are active. SQLite's dialect will accept ==.

But you obviously don't _really_ know SQL, in the biblical sense... POST_TEXT = "Frist!" means compare the field named POST_TEXT and the field named Frist!. According to the ANSI standard, double-quotes mark an identifier. Yeah, I know, SQL is TRWTF.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 14:35 • by Nagesh
DBA - Din Bhar Aaram. Loose translation in English mean - Whole Day Rest!

That is term we use for these good for nothings whose only job is to learn unix cp command and get in position of authority and make other beg for request to be honored.

Re: Just Post an Article, You Lazy B------

2012-04-26 15:11 • by Flashier (unregistered)
379965 in reply to 379955
Fed Up with Incompetence:
LAME!

FTFY

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 15:17 • by Zylon
379966 in reply to 379958
PotatoEngineer:
There is no "F" in "way".

You can't spell SLAUGHTER without LAUGHTER.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 16:30 • by The Great Lobachevsky
379967 in reply to 379875
I knew I was living in a Camus novel when I had to write a report on him in English class, and the only one of his books my high school library had was a copy of L’Étranger (in French!)

(sadly, I'm not kidding...)

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 16:44 • by aliquot
379969 in reply to 379914
Mr Glass:
Moral is, not having a DBA is just like dictatorship. If it's a good Saddam, it's super-efficient and awesome. If not, poverty hits 99% and you lose your arm if coughing after 8 PM.
Ha! Taking this for my .sig.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 17:15 • by Daniel (unregistered)
Shawn sounds like a crustacean, too old and bitter to be of any use at a modern software company. He should go support legacy Oracle installs elsewhere. Ideally somewhere that allows him to hide forever behind reams of time-wasting process and policy.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 17:22 • by AN AMAZING CODER (unregistered)
379972 in reply to 379942
LarryDavid:
Bob:

"Our policy is _______ " vs "My new policy is __________ ".


sorry, but they both sound like bollocks to me.

What's wrong with "THE new policy is".

Avoid any responsibility!

"Sorry, it's THE policy"



Agree.

But, I'm assuming a possesive though, as per the WTF where his use of "I" is the subject of the meeting.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-26 17:37 • by da Doctah
379973 in reply to 379865
frits:
Boss: "You broke the build, prepare to die!"
Employee: "We broke the build."


"We're a little hung over today. We think we're going to throw up."

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 01:51 • by Gibbon1 (unregistered)
379976 in reply to 379930
rosko:
A co-worker used to say it as "without M E, there is no team"


I have a friend with a jumper that has written on the back "There is no fuck you in team"

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 02:17 • by L. (unregistered)
379977 in reply to 379967
The Great Lobachevsky:
I knew I was living in a Camus novel when I had to write a report on him in English class, and the only one of his books my high school library had was a copy of L’Étranger (in French!)

(sadly, I'm not kidding...)


Dude, translating Camus would be a crime. I just started reading the Dune saga in english and I believe the french translation was a crime. traduttore tradittore, learn languages and fck translations.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 02:18 • by JV (unregistered)
379978 in reply to 379962
After 16 years in this career, wiped/corrupt data has only occurred two times (at different companies)

In both situations, the issues were caused by the actual DBA...

... ...

Drink that up for awhile, then come back and pretend your comment still has merit. I laughed.

Hint: if at all possible, don't hire idiots, in any role. It's sad that this is a luxury not many of us can control.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 02:19 • by L. (unregistered)
379979 in reply to 379971
Daniel:
Shawn sounds like a crustacean, too old and bitter to be of any use at a modern software company. He should go support legacy Oracle installs elsewhere. Ideally somewhere that allows him to hide forever behind reams of time-wasting process and policy.

You do realize SQL rocks and is far too advanced and powerful a tool to handle to most devs right ? Increasingly so when your devs only do web or java.
Ok Oracle sucks, but don't put pgsql in the same basket, thx.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 02:28 • by Echber the Other (unregistered)
379980 in reply to 379907
AN AMAZING CODER:
I love these WTFs that arrogantly miss the point, always misconstruing bosses/managers as idiots and developers/dba's as hot shit. Have none of you been on the other side of that story before?


Are you for real? The DBA who wears robes, dims lights, and tosses out proposals for lack of whitespace or just for the hell of it? He's being painted as hot shit?

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 04:15 • by Denholm (unregistered)
Team! Team, team, team, team, team! I even love saying the word "team"!

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 04:17 • by Denholm, or not (unregistered)
379982 in reply to 379981
Denholm:
Team! Team, team, team, team, team! I even love saying the word "team"!

*slap* Someone beat me to it. This comes of not working as a team!

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 04:56 • by Severity One
I find that this story paints a rather stereotypical and unfair image of Oracle DBAs. Our DBAs are, without exception, friendly, approachable and most of all helpful people, and they've really made an effort to cut down on the human sacrifices.

Re: Just Post an Article, You Lazy B------

2012-04-27 05:34 • by TheJonB (unregistered)
379984 in reply to 379955
Fed Up with Incompetence:
LAME!

Please show some sensitivity, I had a son who was a DBA and let me assure you it's no laughing matter.

Re: Just Post an Article, You Lazy B------

2012-04-27 08:04 • by The Sound of One Toe Tapping (unregistered)
379985 in reply to 379965
Flashier:
Fed Up with Incompetence:
LAME!

FTFY


What I look forward to every morning is seeing an old article that never changes. Brought to me by the daily wtf.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 09:38 • by NerdF (unregistered)
Maybe someone has already posted this - but its not like I do care...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGFGD5pj03M

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-27 10:19 • by trtrwtf (unregistered)
380004 in reply to 379967
The Great Lobachevsky:
I knew I was living in a Camus novel when I had to write a report on him in English class, and the only one of his books my high school library had was a copy of L’Étranger (in French!)

(sadly, I'm not kidding...)


That sounds more like Kafka, frankly. Or Steve Meretzky, maybe.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-28 13:23 • by Emperor Norton (unregistered)
Small tweak in someone's behaviour who wasn't getting along with the team. Over time, this probably fixed at least some of the "who does he think he is, this new guy!" problem just by a small change in language.

And he did it without finger pointing.

I tip my bonnet to you, sir.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-04-30 04:19 • by Severity One
380071 in reply to 379981
Denholm:
Team! Team, team, team, team, team! We even love saying the word "team"!

FTFY

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-01 03:31 • by Gbuttius (unregistered)
380173 in reply to 379856
Julia:
“There's no 'I' in 'team'.


there is in tiiiiiiiiiiim

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-01 06:58 • by Batholomew Taps (unregistered)
380178 in reply to 380064
Do you honestly think using the word "I" instead of "we" was the underlying problem in this case?

Teams are made of individuals, like it or not. As soon as work is assigned to an individual, you now have individual responsibility. If any of those individuals were hired for their knowledge or skills, you have a reason to grant them some authority.

Where things break down is fuzzy or overlapping boundaries between authority and responsibility. The "we" thing is part of a wider move toward collectivising responsibility and centralising authority at the manager. This leaves the door open to shoddy work, and devalues the skills of everybody (except the manager).

It's nothing more than managerial sleight-of-hand. Where did the "individual fees pressured by responsbility" card go? Oh look, it vanished. Where did the "individual ego-trips on authority" card go? It vanished too! Wow, that's magic!

And yet software still remains buggy, and teams still fail, no matter how assiduously these practices are observed. The only difference is, now people remain smug for longer, right up until nearly the end of the team lifecycle, and the collapse of teams is accompanied by wide-eyed surprise. "I didn't do any work for the last six months but we were an amazing team" is something I have actually heard said.

Commenters who applaud the manager in this story have all missed the very last bit - where Shaun admits adding beaurocracy by refusing to expediate requests that he would have agreed to before. Does that make him an asshat? Nope, all that has happened is that moving from "I" to "we" has undermined his authority, whilst allowing him a chance to reduce his responsibility. He has made this trade-off - just like everybody does in that situation. The team appears more harmonious, and is a more pleasent place for insecure/incompetent members, but it is less effective now.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 06:08 • by Laura (unregistered)
380225 in reply to 379851
Kasper:


The entire wording of the emails may have a different impact than what the boss suggesting. Using we instead of I may give Shawn's emails more authority, at least in the developers' perception.

When Shawn wrote things like I have decided, the developers may very well have been thinking "why does this new guy think he is in a position to make decisions?"


Actually that's true.
When you say "I" in a message to a group, that's exactly the first reaction, especially when you are talking about rules, regulations and standards that were decided upon as a group.

Take a random rule, say "use a DB broker instead of direct statements". Sure, it was decided by the DBA as a one-man team, but the whole company agreed that the DBA makes the rules regarding the DB. Sure, everyone is free to challenge a rule, but not on a case-by-case basis and a rule must be respected for as long as it's in place, with all the advantages and disadvantages.

So the attitude at the end of the post is the correct one. "We" agreed on the current chain of responsibility, therefore "we" must follow the rules.

"We" also implies a mutual validation that gives the authority that "I" simply does not have.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:11 • by appellatio (unregistered)
I don't understand why Shawn was described as positive character here, when he was clearly one of those narrow-minded DBA dicks described just right in the first paragraph of that same story. Seriously...

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:12 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380232 in reply to 380231
appellatio:
I don't understand why Shawn was described as positive character here, when he was clearly one of those narrow-minded DBA dicks described just right in the first paragraph of that same story. Seriously...



correction: first 2 paragraphs; before "A New Opportunity"

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:21 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380233 in reply to 379868
EmperorOfCanada:
Oracle DBAs like this douche are why WE went with MongoDB. Development with Mongo trusts the developers to not be jackasses; trust being the operative word. If you can't trust a developer then get a new developer. Not trusting them results in scaring the good ones away.


When will DBAs (generally) grasp that databases are nothing more than data-fucking-stores, one of many various available, needless to say, and that pretty much every developer can complete the job (generally) literally without a DB expert in the house.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:21 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380234 in reply to 379870
JV:
This is why WE do not have a DBA on our team. We're smart enough to be developers AND handle the database as well.


Are you hiring?

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:27 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380235 in reply to 379872
An Oracle DBA:
As an Oracle DBA, this has laughing my as off. I've seen so many systems where developers have free rein, and then we have to fix the issues that are caused by this.

Woops! Sorry! We dropped the production table. It's not our fault that we have privileges!

Being a complete twit like Shawn doesn't help either. You have to have the right balance of restraints and availability in order to allow your developers to continue doing their job.

My dev team (at my work place, a dba will be in charge of project) cried when they couldn't run explain plan. 5 minutes later, it was fixed. No paperwork, no nothing. Just a quick mail.


You exaggerated a little bit: nobody sane develops on production database to even be in situation to accidentally drop a table. While accidentally deleting db objects is certainly possible and perhaps even not seldom, DBAs should not restrict databases in DEV environment so much that developing and fixing accidental errors is impossible without them. I often make SQL changes on my own instance, which I then pass to DBA for review and application to dev db, mostly to avoid this DBA crap.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:32 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380236 in reply to 379886
Jay:
tharpa:
One thing that's unusual is that Shawn O, who appears to be the submitter, is the problem. WTF?


Because arrogant people rarely recognize that the problem is that they are arrogant. Rather, they always see the problem as being that the peasants refuse to submit to their obviously superior wisdom.

Just minutes ago I came across the following quote in a magazine: "The proud man thinks he is humble. The humble man thinks he is proud."


I read that phrase 3 times, and I can't understand it. I think that the usage of word "proud" is wrong here. There's got to be a better word, e.g. "asshole".

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:37 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380237 in reply to 379887
galgorah:
EmperorOfCanada:
Oracle DBAs like this douche are why WE went with MongoDB. Development with Mongo trusts the developers to not be jackasses; trust being the operative word. If you can't trust a developer then get a new developer. Not trusting them results in scaring the good ones away.
As a SQL Server DBA, I'm expected to be working closely with developers. Customer service is a big part of being a DBA. I don't do "pitchfork parades" or wear a robe. I try to help and provide guidance and mentoring on writing better tsql code. I'm not going to chastise you for running that horrible resource intensive code, I'm going to sit down with you one on one and work to optimize the query and help you learn from the experience. I may even suggest other ways of doing something you hadn't thought of.

That being said, I have to take security and the integrity of production data into account. This is even more important based on the nature of our data. I'm not going to give you sysadmin privileges on servers or db_owner on a database, but I will work with you to figure out what access you actually need.

As a DBA I try to balance the needs of the business, developers, auditors, etc. It's not that I don't trust my developers, It's that I need to balance your needs and wants while mitigating risk.


If all DBA's are like what you described yourself, this topic would not exist (which would be good). Unfortunately, most DBA's think that the development (or the company) wouldn't be able to exist without them.

Similar goes for desktop support people and network ops.

DBAs, desktop and network support exist to cater development and production, which is why company exists (development and production not necessarily relating to software).

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 09:52 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380238 in reply to 379914
Mr Glass:
JV:
This is why WE do not have a DBA on our team. We're smart enough to be developers AND handle the database as well.


Good for you. However in most places you have at least one idiot, and having someone sane as a database protector is a good thing.

At my previous job, we had one of those "I structure my tables like I do my Java objects"-kind of developers. He was quite proud of his system and obviously thought it rocked. Did I mention I don't work there anymore?

Moral is, not having a DBA is just like dictatorship. If it's a good Saddam, it's super-efficient and awesome. If not, poverty hits 99% and you lose your arm if coughing after 8 PM.


With minor exceptions that are mostly related to tables driving reports (for performance reasons), tables SHOULD mimic applications objects! Databases (and tables therein) serve one purpose and one purpose only: to keep (store) data generated and used by the applications. Databases (and their god-administrators) are actually both replaceable (e.g. devs can relatively quickly switch to other data-store systems, equivalently useful, and most DBA's won't be able to accommodate quickly, cause they are most one-system-only "experts").

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-02 10:07 • by appellatio (unregistered)
380241 in reply to 379917
wbrianwhite:
EmperorOfCanada:
Oracle DBAs like this douche are why WE went with MongoDB. Development with Mongo trusts the developers to not be jackasses; trust being the operative word. If you can't trust a developer then get a new developer. Not trusting them results in scaring the good ones away.


So.... you don't care about any of the traditional benefits of an RDBMS: atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability?


WTF are you talking about? RDBMS means RELATIONAL database system. Read: data stored in tables that CAN link one to another for EASIER and QUICKER data joins. Do you honestly think there's a developer that doesn't understand this and that can't do this without you?

There's a place for performance improvements that may include tables to be rearranged and similar. Any average developer can figure this out also without a DBA. Given that a developer team will typically have at least one senior developer (experienced), there probably isn't a true senior developer who doesn't already understand these things. So, we really don't need you beyond organizing backups, and perhaps help out with data transfers or similar, and watching out for patches and upgrades to the DB server. Got it? Even those things we could do without you, but we have better things to do. You should be paid hourly, under 25. That's how I value a DBA position.

When it comes to more complex (distributed) database servers, perhaps there we need you to set up and monitor (cause, mostly, I don't want to spend time to research for that one-time thing of setting up distributed SQL servers - even though, I really wanted to, I'm smart enough to understand and implement that, too).

* * *

Usage of word "I" above also means "developer" (or a "team").

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-03 12:21 • by AnAssholeDBA (unregistered)
Assholism comes into two forms, through experience or inherent ability; nurture or nature.

Assholes exist at every level of the software development process. Those in administrative positions tend to be the most annoying. A DBA that works well with the developers is treasure to behold. One that thwarts all developer activities is hemorrhoid. Developers that think all DBAs are useless and only exist as road blocks are most likely arrogant assholes themselves. A developer whose only unfortunate experience has been to deal with asshole DBAs will exist in despair.

If a DBA is working with a mix of dumbass and talented developers, he must follow the draconian policies to protect the database from the dumbasses screwing things up. If effective socialization of the policies has been completed, the talented developers will understand and begrudgingly follow them; while the dumbasses will just think the DBAs are being cruel assholes.

As a DBA that has worked in organizations that had both ends of the spectrum (mostly dumbasses or mostly talented), I have been an asshole and a helpful member of the team. As an asshole I have cloaked myself under layers of policies and procedures. As a team member I have demonstrated and explained better methods to effectively deliver new software.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-14 07:49 • by Rachel (unregistered)
Sounds like a case of an arsehole employee ending up with the arsehole employer and arsehole colleagues he deserved. Amazing how often that happens.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-05-14 19:45 • by Haakon (unregistered)
381142 in reply to 379888
Seriously now, it should be pretty obvious that in any shop where the Oracle DBAs hold any sway, they will use parametrized queries, and will have a standard fallback to use in case the user agent weren't found.

While this means that the site may not be perfect, it will at least work. Perhaps it will even do statistics of which user strings were the most used, so that it might be supported in the future.

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-06-11 15:07 • by Deckard (unregistered)
382993 in reply to 379852
in "The IT crowd" of course!

Re: Classic WTF: Behavioral Deficiencies

2012-08-14 06:00 • by Cbuttius

TEIAM:

ftfy - there is now.
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