Ever fire a DBA?
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Thread: Ever fire a DBA?

  1. #1
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    Ever fire a DBA?

    Just curious - any of you (or your managers) ever had to fire a DBA? What were the circumstances? I don't mean lay offs.

    To me, "human" errors (to put it politely) that significantly affect revenue (due to down time) are simply unacceptable. You hose a database with 5 users due to negligence, I might let it pass. If you hose a database with 500 users and it results in downtime of a day - adios.

  2. #2
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    It all depends, EVERYONE fawks up, period.
    Even my Systems manager told me that on my interview, it is how you handle it that counts. Don't try to be a hero, let your superiors know and get other people involved so you can minimize loss.
    Sounds easy but it is not, you'd be surprised how many people simply can not man up and say "I dropped the ball, help".
    If you are firing someone that does that then I think you are making a mistake unless they do this on a routine basis.
    Last edited by Mr.Hanky; 11-02-2004 at 12:47 PM.
    I remember when this place was cool.

  3. #3
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    I've never let someone go because of a single incident. I believe that you have to provide an environment where people can make mistakes without fear of being fired. You may have some screwups, but you also get some exceptional ideas. Personally, I think somebody that never makes a mistake is somebody who doesn't do anything.

    There are a couple of reasons I let people go:
    1. Making the same mistakes repeatedly.
    2. Not progressing in their knowlege.
    3. Habitual tardiness.
    4. Lying.
    Jeff Hunter
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  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Mr.Hanky
    Sounds easy but it is not, you'd be surprised how many people simply can not man up and say "I dropped the ball, help".
    Exactly. When people don't own up to making a mistake and try to cover up or point fingers elsewhere, it makes it worse. I respect folks that have the 'courage' to say - "yes, I screwed up. But I'll see to it, it doesn't happen again". I would back such a person for sure.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by marist89
    There are a couple of reasons I let people go:
    1. Making the same mistakes repeatedly.
    2. Not progressing in their knowlege.
    3. Habitual tardiness.
    4. Lying.
    I deal with all the above often. Funny how far organizations will go to tolerate incompetance.

  6. #6
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    Interesting comments. I agree with you all.

    Ufortunately, not everyone is as accepting as you guys.

    At my last company, as a Jr. DBA, I did some weekend maintenance. During the maintenance window, we had several problems with Production (running on the backup system). Due to craziness, I forgot to analyze one of the tables. It had some nasty performance affects come Monday. My fellow DBA and I found the problem, reported it to management (like you suggested, Hanky), and fixed the problem. My management was clueless and wouldn't have known any different if we didn't tell them what the problem was. I felt terrible, but knew that I did the right thing owning up to my mistake. My boss told me don't worry about it. 3 days later I was called into his office and written up for the "screw-up" - Step 1 of 3 to be fired. I was floored.

    It was crazy, because I was the most Jr DBA, but had been doing 75% of the maintenance for the previous year - all without incident!

    So, I do agree with you all about owning up to your mistakes. I always felt good that I didn't hide anything. But know that not all managers are as forgiving.

    Jodie

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by marist89
    I've never let someone go because of a single incident. I believe that you have to provide an environment where people can make mistakes without fear of being fired. You may have some screwups, but you also get some exceptional ideas. Personally, I think somebody that never makes a mistake is somebody who doesn't do anything.

    There are a couple of reasons I let people go:
    1. Making the same mistakes repeatedly.
    2. Not progressing in their knowlege.
    3. Habitual tardiness.
    4. Lying.
    That's a great list. I work with someone exactly like this, but their chance of being canned is probably 0.
    David Aldridge,
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    Senior Manager, Business Intelligence Development
    XM Satellite Radio
    Washington, DC

    Oracle ACE

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by jodie
    At my last company, as a Jr. DBA, I did some weekend maintenance. During the maintenance window, we had several problems with Production (running on the backup system). Due to craziness, I forgot to analyze one of the tables. It had some nasty performance affects come Monday. My fellow DBA and I found the problem, reported it to management (like you suggested, Hanky), and fixed the problem. My management was clueless and wouldn't have known any different if we didn't tell them what the problem was. I felt terrible, but knew that I did the right thing owning up to my mistake. My boss told me don't worry about it. 3 days later I was called into his office and written up for the "screw-up" - Step 1 of 3 to be fired. I was floored.
    Unfortunately, the right thing to do is never the easy thing to do. I know I can sleep at night because I did the right thing during the day. It says more about your management team then your skills if they crucify you for making a single mistake with a demonstrated track record of success. All I can say is get your experience, build your confidence, and jump ship before the axe swings in your direction.
    Jeff Hunter
    marist89@yahoo.com
    http://marist89.blogspot.com/
    Get Firefox!
    "I pledge to stop eating sharks fin soup and will not do so under any circumstances."

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by marist89
    Unfortunately, the right thing to do is never the easy thing to do. I know I can sleep at night because I did the right thing during the day. It says more about your management team then your skills if they crucify you for making a single mistake with a demonstrated track record of success. All I can say is get your experience, build your confidence, and jump ship before the axe swings in your direction.
    Done! I jumped ship two years ago after I got a couple years of DBA experience. Much happier at my current employer! It also tickles me a bit that the previous company has self imploded a bit!

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by jodie
    Interesting comments. I agree with you all.

    Ufortunately, not everyone is as accepting as you guys.

    At my last company, as a Jr. DBA, I did some weekend maintenance. During the maintenance window, we had several problems with Production (running on the backup system). Due to craziness, I forgot to analyze one of the tables. It had some nasty performance affects come Monday. My fellow DBA and I found the problem, reported it to management (like you suggested, Hanky), and fixed the problem. My management was clueless and wouldn't have known any different if we didn't tell them what the problem was. I felt terrible, but knew that I did the right thing owning up to my mistake. My boss told me don't worry about it. 3 days later I was called into his office and written up for the "screw-up" - Step 1 of 3 to be fired. I was floored.

    It was crazy, because I was the most Jr DBA, but had been doing 75% of the maintenance for the previous year - all without incident!

    So, I do agree with you all about owning up to your mistakes. I always felt good that I didn't hide anything. But know that not all managers are as forgiving.

    Jodie
    Sorry to say - but you had some really dumb management that gave you warning for something like that! Your immediate DBA/systems manager should've known better. You made the right choice by giving them the boot.

    I started this thread coz - I was recently called in to do root cause analysis on some issues on some critical machines. I noticed none of these machines/databases had been backed up in 6 months! The DBA's hadn't been monitoring it. No body was looking at the alertlogs..major batch processes were failing every night. No one bothered to check even, while the customer was in pain.

    To top it all, a major incident happens. A tablespace had been in backup mode for several months. The machine crashes. The database startup obviously failed since one of the tablespaces was in a backup mode when it crashed. This group of DBA's decide that they need a full database recovery to fix it! (Talk of being incompetant). They wipe the existing database..then find that they didn't have a good backup either. They restore an age old database from 8/9 months ago and tell the customer/management that extensive corruption creeped in from several months ago. What a load of cr@p.

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