I was listening to a podcast on nHibernate this morning. Most of it was very good, but there was one section that absolutly made me see red.
The guest on the show was asked how the DBAs felt about the use of nHibernate for a new app on an existing (old) database. The reply essentially was ‘We haven’t told them and we’re not going to tell them.’ Apparently the plan was to only tell the DBAs about this app if there was a problem with it in production
Now there’s a whole lot of problems with that scenario and I can sum most of them up in one word – Trust.
If an application was mostly to be written in C#, but there was a critical portion that depended on (say) Biztalk no one would seriously suggest keeping the biztalk expert on staff in the dark and doing it completely themselves. So why do developers do that with databases?
I’ve often heard developers complain that the DBA doesn’t trust them. Guess what, pull this kind of stunt and they’ve got a good reason for not trusting those developers. Go behind someone’s back, hide stuff from them and they’re not going to trust you. No big surprise there.
The whole ‘them and us’ attitude that a lot of developers and DBAs have is, quite frankly, stupid and highly counter productive. The DBAs are the ones responsible for the database portion of custom apps after they become production, they should have some input during the development phase whether it be on the database design, the stored procedures or just ensuring that the app will scale to the required production load.
So, in conclusion…
Developers, speak to the DBAs, get them involved in projects early. You may be surprised how much value they can add to the project and how much smoother things can go when everyone’s working together instead of fighting each other. Of course, if your DBAs are the arrogant, overbearing type that give the profession a bad name, if may not be that easy.
DBAs, if you know that the developers avoid you, hide projects and prefer to go their own way, first take a look at your own behaviour. Ask to be involved in the early stages of development. Chat with the developers, see if there’s anything that you can help out with or any areas that they need assistance. You may be surprised how many problems can be ironed out before they become problems in the production environment. Of course, if your developers are they type that triggered this rant, it may not be that easy.