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Re: How to obtain buy in from DBA in order to start working with databases in th

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  • bobalicious1974
    I ve found that the DBA buy-in is less important than higher management buy-in. Once you have the DBA s boss on side, then it becomes much easier to convince
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 8, 2005
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      I've found that the DBA buy-in is less important than higher
      management buy-in. Once you have the DBA's boss on side, then it
      becomes much easier to convince the DBA... if nothing else it takes
      the financial arguments away.

      In a more prosaic sense, the big win our DBA has found is that he
      doesn't need to be around to support / nurse upgrades anymore as the
      upgrades are ran so often that we can pretty much guarantee they work.
      This means far less headache time for the DBA! It's hard to quantify
      it, but an informal chat can get that point across. I.E. Make the DBA
      feel as though they'll have to do less of the nasty part of their job
      (dealing with a bile pile of mess after untested scripts have been
      ran) and more of the nice part (setting up production databases to
      perform better, fiddling with settings and reading AskTom). They tend
      to come over to your side eventually ;-)
    • Jennifer
      Hey there, As a dba who has come from the “traditional” development methods and is now an agile dba, I would like to address this issue with my 2 cents.
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 8, 2005
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        Hey there,

        As a dba who has come from the “traditional” development methods and is now an agile dba, I would like to address this issue with my 2 cents.  It really isn’t that large a leap into agile for a dba – a little flexibility on the part of both the developers and the dba are in order.  We are a small team with a large and cumbersome legacy application that is being slowly added to and ripped apart when possible.  Everyone has sandboxes with 2-minute “seed” database refreshes that can be run at will. Most of our sandboxes are on a single database/server.  Each sandbox does not necessarily equate to a new database/machine – separate schemas. The con is that there IS more maintenance for the dba/developer in managing users – the pro is that you don’t need to buy a bunch of licenses and machines.  We work efficiently and effectively as a team, and we discuss database changes, needs, etc. in our daily scrum – as a team and not a sole developer deciding upon design except in the trivial cases. Any significant addition or changes are discussed as a team and I manage all of the “database” implementation – the developers are quite happy that they don’t have to bother with the database nor refreshes of the data, etc. – even they have the full access and ability to change what they like.  The database is a team decision as far as design – the dba manages how to structure the database and keep it up and running efficiently, backing up, etc..

         

        My first suggestion, however, is to not approach the dba team as the enemy – as seems the case all too often.  Sometimes there are jerks there – just as there are sometimes jerks in development. Sometimes the dba team has zero bandwidth, and any additional maintenance is just too much.  It is naïve to state that there is NO maintenance on sandboxes.  Please don’t assume that you know every detail of the job of a dba just as a dba should not always assume that they know all nuances of a good developer.  Initially it is quite a bit of work, and then tends to lessen, sometimes even to the point of being self managing.  But things happen and, as the system grows, then the developers often need to be able to troubleshoot within the database which is where a dba can help – unless you are working on a simple or trivial system.

         

        Yes, there are absolutely free Oracle licenses, and these can be put on your desktop/laptop and work effectively as sandboxes – though the load on your machine may be a pain.  This is no additional cost to your company nor time from the dba’s. I don’t think you necessarily need the dba’s help to just download and build your own – they might even appreciate your initiative – or, they may not even know about them J

         


        From: agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Serhiy Yevtushenko
        Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 4:23 AM
        To: agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [agileDatabases] How to obtain buy in from DBA in order to start working with databases in the agile way

         

        Hi, all.

        At our project, we tried to implement the database patch runner, and
        developer work with sandboxes as a way of
        performing db merge task/improving developer productivity and decreasing
        number of bugs that got into the production.
        But we have runned into the strong opposition from the side of the DBA
        and operations group.
        Their arguments are based on the following:
        1) Now company cannot allow to buy new computers and Oracle licenses
        2) Using sandboxes will require either a new Oracle licenses, or will
        increase the load on the existing database (which are pretty loaded)
        3) This will lead to a higher costs of the maintaince of the developer
        sandboxes  for the DBA.

        We tried arguing, that availability of the patch runner will not
        increase the costs for the maintaince, as it will be applied automatic,
        and developers testing will add no significant load on the databases.
        but for now are not able to overcame the objection about more cost of
        Oracle licenses.
        If someone has already performed such a transition from non-agile way of
        working with DB to the agile one, what was the good way to overcame
        similar objections/obtain buy-in for using agile techniques for working
        with databases ?


        Serhiy Yevtushenko, Dr. rer.nat




      • Garris, Nicole
        Jennifer, I really appreciate your response. Sounds like you have a very effective team development approach at your shop. I am a DBA who is trying to be
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 8, 2005
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          Jennifer, I really appreciate your response. Sounds like you have a very effective team development approach at your shop.

           

          I am a DBA who is trying to be reasonable, and somewhat agile, in a shop with “lone-wolf” type developers. I support the “sandbox” concept and have provided sandbox databases to most of our developers, within limits, in spite of the extra time it costs me (and believe me, I have no spare bandwidth!). We have tiny databases so we can do this without overloading servers or desktop PCs. They have to load test data themselves, so there are probably times when their sandbox data is bad.

           

          I am trying to “train” the developers to involve me in their database design processes. Their instinct is to provide me with a “finished” database design and a completed application, which I often have to rip apart because the database design is problematic and will cause maintenance and data integrity problems, if not now, then in the near future. I make changes to designs of even the most skilled of our developers. Or I’m not allowed to make changes and problematic designs go into production. This makes me want to eliminate all sandboxes, but I resist that urge (smile).

           

          My conclusion: For one member of a team, for instance the DBA, to be agile, certain agile or team processes must be in place and working fairly well.

           


          From: agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jennifer
          Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 7:32 AM
          To: agileDatabases@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [agileDatabases] How to obtain buy in from DBA in order to start working with databases in the agile way

           

          Hey there,

          As a dba who has come from the “traditional” development methods and is now an agile dba, I would like to address this issue with my 2 cents.  It really isn’t that large a leap into agile for a dba – a little flexibility on the part of both the developers and the dba are in order.  We are a small team with a large and cumbersome legacy application that is being slowly added to and ripped apart when possible.  Everyone has sandboxes with 2-minute “seed” database refreshes that can be run at will. Most of our sandboxes are on a single database/server.  Each sandbox does not necessarily equate to a new database/machine – separate schemas. The con is that there IS more maintenance for the dba/developer in managing users – the pro is that you don’t need to buy a bunch of licenses and machines.  We work efficiently and effectively as a team, and we discuss database changes, needs, etc. in our daily scrum – as a team and not a sole developer deciding upon design except in the trivial cases. Any significant addition or changes are discussed as a team and I manage all of the “database” implementation – the developers are quite happy that they don’t have to bother with the database nor refreshes of the data, etc. – even they have the full access and ability to change what they like.  The database is a team decision as far as design – the dba manages how to structure the database and keep it up and running efficiently, backing up, etc..

           

          My first suggestion, however, is to not approach the dba team as the enemy – as seems the case all too often.  Sometimes there are jerks there – just as there are sometimes jerks in development. Sometimes the dba team has zero bandwidth, and any additional maintenance is just too much.  It is naïve to state that there is NO maintenance on sandboxes.  Please don’t assume that you know every detail of the job of a dba just as a dba should not always assume that they know all nuances of a good developer.  Initially it is quite a bit of work, and then tends to lessen, sometimes even to the point of being self managing.  But things happen and, as the system grows, then the developers often need to be able to troubleshoot within the database which is where a dba can help – unless you are working on a simple or trivial system.

           

          Yes, there are absolutely free Oracle licenses, and these can be put on your desktop/laptop and work effectively as sandboxes – though the load on your machine may be a pain.  This is no additional cost to your company nor time from the dba’s. I don’t think you necessarily need the dba’s help to just download and build your own – they might even appreciate your initiative – or, they may not even know about them J

           


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