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Company to Send DBA into Space 98

cramco writes "Moments ago, a U.K. software company announced at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle that it would send a lucky contestant to space. The sponsors, Red Gate, is holding a five-week DBA contest with the winner getting a trip to space. Why? And why put them through five weeks of quizzes and technical challenges presented within B-movie-looking videos involving rubber Martians, small dogs, alien body parts and one of their own acting very strangely? Well, as any developer knows, DBA stands for Don't Bother Asking."
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Company to Send DBA into Space

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't be surprised if a secret group of developers is paying for this. Getting rid of referential integrity one DBA at a time.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Wouldn't be surprised if a secret group of developers is paying for this. Getting rid of referential integrity one DBA at a time.

      As a network engineer, I wouldn't mind getting rid of a few snowflake developers this way. Capsules will be cheap as surviving re-entry is not a requirement.

      Snowflake Developer: This laptop you gave me 3 months ago is crap.
      Network Engineer: That's because I gave you admin privs 3 months ago and you stuffed it up.
      Snowflake Developer: I demand a new laptop.
      Network Engineer: I'll re-image the old one. I took an image of it before I gave it to you, should take about an hour.
      Snowflake Developer: I WANT A

  • by yekim ( 182367 )

    Sounds like fun. I'm guessing that's why. Despite popular opinion, even DBA's like fun stuff.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      No, I'm sure they will grumble how it would be better if they listened to him, as well as bitch about the pilots the whole time. .. and of course never offer a reasonable solution to any of these 'problems' .

  • Maybe if took up a collection we could send all of them? Can we get a half-price deal if we don't want them returned?
    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      Within 5 hours nothing would work. I had a an idiot, I mean developer, come to me today because he decided to view a table with a couple million rows in phppgadmin. Take a guess how that worked out for him.

      • Why did he have direct access to the table in the first place? That's what views are for.
        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          Because it was a dev db.
          Which means the devs demanded to be allowed to hang themselves. So we let them. Not like we don't have one than one of dev db,

          • by geekoid ( 135745 )

            So a developer made a mistake, in his OWN table and needed help? and you call them an idiot, and then bitch.


            • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

              Not his own table. Just a copy of the prod db, used for dev work. He did not do this once, he did it 4 or 5 times, today. He also can't bother to remember how to deal with it. SQL is too hard for them I suppose.

              • Ordinarily I would be hesitant to come to the support of a DBA but in this case I think it's appropriate. This is a PHP developer being talked about which is almost exclusively synonymous with dumba**, sweatshop code monkey. A breed too incompetent and uncomprehending for anything but script kiddie copy/paste hackery.
      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

        That's funny, I had *two* idiots, I mean a developer and DBA, come into my office today wondering why our application even needed a GUI, much less one that was appealing or user friendly.

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          Our application does have a nice friendly and appealing interface. The DB is a big boys toy. Not something for the users to play with. If you don't want to learn how to use it, you get what you deserve.

          • by aix tom ( 902140 )

            That's what I love about working for a small outfit.

            I'm the DBA *and* developer *and* do the GUI.

            All the fun and none of the political bickering. ;-P

            • Only works when the people you work with are cool or smart or attractive. Otherwise massive fail.

            • by aiht ( 1017790 )

              That's what I love about working for a small outfit.

              I'm the DBA *and* developer *and* do the GUI.

              All the fun and none of the political bickering. ;-P

              Me too! I have never understood this apparent developer / DBA war, because I'm both.
              Although I do still manage some of the political bickering.

      • So yeah, I once had this idiot, I mean DBA, insist on using an external, non-unique identifier as a primary key because it only gets recycled every few years, and he would have all the records archived off by then. Guess how that went a couple years later?
        • The problem with this contest is that there will only be One "winner". Maybe they could "Crowd Source" it?
        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          That guy should not have been a DBA.

          • That guy should not have been a DBA.

            No argument here.. My point is mainly that there are incompetent people in both camps. DBAs have a low opinion of devs because they've seen a few do stupid things.. Developers have low opinions of DBAs because they've seen a few do stupid things.. It's easy to only notice the failures of the other camp. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to writing a bunch of code generation templates because the DBA told us that all our CRUD has to be done in stored procedures, and NHibernate doesn't really s

    • My first reaction was the same as you: get em all to the moon with no suits, we later send in the lawyers.... BUT, on second thought, somebody has to do the excruciatingly fuucking boring job they do. And I dont want to be that guy, even if they make more money than me.

  • And a spacecraft is nothing but a mess of software applications held together with wire and tinfoil.
  • I interviewed with Red Gate earlier this year (made a complete wreck of the interview, turns out travelling down on the day was a horrific idea).

    I'm fairly certain I got to interview because I mentioned in my covering letter that I liked talking to the coffee machine.

    They're just that sort of company.

    • by madprof ( 4723 )

      Someone from my company went for an interview with Red Gate to get a free iPad. He got it, and felt very happy. He still works with us.

    • I think Internet meaning-fuzzing is occurring. Are you suggesting that Red Gate are completely insane and no-one sane would want to work with them, or that they are endearingly quirky and it's probably a fun place to work? (Or something else entirely?)

  • If not, I guess that is one thing you can do with an ornery DBA.
  • you must pass to get to space any ways.

  • so for some it may be a very high cost free trip.

  • Send all the DBAs into space, so the rest of us can get work done.

  • Send DBA to wide-open space.

  • It wasn't that long ago that I read a /. article about someone who won a prize of a trip to the space station, but had to turn it down because of the phenomenal tax liability he would face if he accepted such a "prize". I don't see this as any different, the average guy just can't afford to win such a prize without facing ruin from the taxes. Why does /. even continue to hype such prizes, or don't the editors eat their own dog food?
    • a company who has thought this through could always included a cash prize equal to approximately [value of prize]*[tax rate]*[1+tax rate]...

      This would solve any tax burden problems (which occur not even for large prizes...look at all the oprah guests who got nailed with a tax bill after winning cars)

  • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @03:51PM (#37694702) Homepage Journal

    You don't even have to bring him back...


    • by Threni ( 635302 )

      Yeah, we should be sending clueless non-technical "development managers" into space. There are fucking loads of them, and you'd never miss a thing if they never came back.

      • by Bigbutt ( 65939 )

        Oh well. If we can broaden the selection criteria I have a few more candidates including the development manager who asks if operations hires competent people and the project manager who says engineering is the logical career path of a technical person so the engineers are where the smart people are :rolleyes:


  • by madprof ( 4723 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @03:52PM (#37694706)

    The company is doing this purely for the publicity. Which Slashdot has now kindly provided!

    If this story deserves to be here (and you can argue it either way) then it proves that impressive, but expensive, stunts are definitely worth the investment for any company such as Red Gate.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Yes its a stunt. YOU aren't revealing anything new, again. NO one is surprised or taken in by it. At the end of the day, a DBA is going into space, and that's cool.

      • by madprof ( 4723 )

        What do you mean "again"? You remember who I am? If so, you must have no life.

        I suppose a DBA going into space is cool. The point still stands that it is a very effective tactic. When will we see another company do a similar thing?

  • After the DBA, is there any chance we can have a contest to send a few lawyers into space?
  • Hosts were annoying, though.

  • The prize awarded to the confirmed Winner (“Prize”) shall be, at the Winner’s option:

    (a) a non-transferable ticket for a sub-orbital space flight which is to take off from and land in a spaceport in the USA and will last for approximately 15 minutes during which the space flight will reach a minimum altitude of 100 kilometres above the earth’s surface (“Space Flight”), or

    (b) a cash prize equivalent to the price of the Space Flight of US$102,000 (one hundred and t
  • B-Ark? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Megane ( 129182 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:21PM (#37695076) Homepage
    So is this a chance to get DBAs onto the B-Ark? []
    • And the developers led full, rich and happy lives until the world's IT infrastructure was suddenly wiped out by an accidental DDOS started by a runaway query.
  • Can we send all of the DBAs to space?

  • I could narrow my eyes evilly and note that the article says they're only sending them into space,
    nothing about bringing them back.

    'What's that? Want to get back from space you say? Sorry, that's another team.'

    There will be forms to fill ...
    And a totally opaque process to follow
    You might find your request summarily rejected for reasons unknown to you forever
    And your oxygen given to someone else for no reason

    In dba space, all you can do is scream :'>

    Seriously though, dba's can be great once they realise y

  • The "unless you're in SQL, you're not a DBA" attitude. I was DBA here for yonks, then got an email from a new starter signed "Senior DBA". Gave me a start. He was the new SQL man, it turned out.
  • See if the DBA can refactor my database before time runs out and we shoot them into space! Muahaha!
  • I wouldn't really want any DBA to have us all in their sights; they might try something crazy like "DELETE FROM earth;"

  • If we can send one DBA into space, why can't we send them all?
  • How long are we leaving them there?

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982