Being a DBA, our ultimate challenge is pay great attention to detail, no matter which vendor’s database we are working on. That is a basic demand in our profession. If we switch a character or two in a script, overlook setting our SID, set a wrong flag at a wrong time, the result at the end is pretty messy. Most of the commands database consultants use commonly are destructive in nature. Every technician who opts to become a database administrator holds great respect in my eyes for this very reason.
Fail-Safe for DBAs
Being human everybody makes mistakes. Successful professionals try to make their works and processes fail-safe or mistake proof. The aim for this is to eliminate defects in the process and to prevent, correct and detect human errors as the happen.
If you notice around you, there are many fail-safes in action in your daily life. For example, the small holes in your bathroom sink to prevent water overflow or the fact that your microwave will stop heating your food as soon as you open its door. The list can go on and on.
At EBTS, we apply fail-safe measures to our daily activities to deliver error free outcomes. Our DBA consultants use checklists, best practices, process documentation, sign-off sheets and stuff like that to make sure there is no error in our working. Here are some general fail-safes we recommend:
Another Pair of Eyes
No matter how experienced and seasoned you are, you’re still a human who CAN make errors. Whether you are making database recovery or creating a backup, let another fellow review your steps and strategy before you commit to a process. Aside from backup or recovery, getting a second opinion in every process you perform will help you avoid making mistakes. Keep your ego aside and get your work checked for critical activities if you don’t want to mess up the outcome.
Time Saving or Problem Creating
Being a database consultant, your work is complex. That means there is no room for error. It is not wise to open up multiple windows simultaneously with a continuous copy, paste and edit routine while switching between windows. It may seem like you are multitasking to save time when in reality you may be creating a huge mess in front of yourself. Similarly avoid using shortcuts to defined best practices. Standard procedures are there for a reason. In your pursuit to save time, do not create a mass mayhem. Stick to the basics and you will succeed.
Safety First Mindset
Whenever you perform a critical or complex activity, think ‘safety first.’ It is not paranoia to put a safeguard or two in place while working, it is being safe than sorry.
Wrapping it up
These are not just some recommendations from seasoned database consultants, these are meant to get you thinking in the direction where you can come up with more ways to prevent problems and be a pro at database administration.