In The Beginning

Like everyone with taste, I love Dune. I’ve read it countless times and I am not exaggerating. Dune, like all literature, conveys philosophy; for example, one well known quote from Dune is: “A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.”

This is super important when it comes to new staff. How departments treat the newcomer is great maturity metric.

This area was a big gap in the department, so I went to work! We now have an official dba new hire meeting, where we discuss:

  1. The names and purposes of all the sql servers. I set up a Central Management Server for this so that the department has the same information as the database admins.
  2. The names of the reporting servers. I had the system guys create sub-domains for the dev, QA and production SSRS installs.
  3. Who are the leads for the different applications
  4. How to get code into production
  5. How we do deployments
  6. Tidal Scheduler
  7. Stored procedure and DML templates
  8. Our ticketing system and severity definition
  9. Our general security model

In my experience, all of this is best discussed with a dba because it helps to create a relationship which must include plenty of discussion for the department to be successful.

In the initial meeting I also discuss common shares, such as for

  1. SSIS packages and config files
  2. SSRS log files
  3. Dev, QA, production and ad hoc backups
  4. The location for job output files

I am not big on documentation to be frank; we evolved to communicate verbally, face to face. Then there is the often repeated joke of how documentation is out of date essentially as soon as it is written. Of course that is not totally true and there are certainly some things which benefit from being written out. The items above are all in a document and the url to that gets sent to the attendees following the meeting for their convenience. Because it is so important, I’ll say it again: the meeting is primarily a way to set us up for quality communication.

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