Buggy Whips

May 21, 2008 at 7:40 am (nHibernate, Object Relational Mapping) (, , , , )

I just spent two days learning about project management and the Feature Driven Development methodology from Jeff De Luca. He’s a fascinating and informative guy. He’s actually going to be running a project and mentoring a bunch of people where I work. It’s going to be interesting times. I expect to learn a lot.

Why buggy whips? What the heck do they have to do with FDD? Nothing, directly. A big part of FDD is the development of business models. These models can, and usually do, directly correlate to objects/classes in code. Because of this, object oriented methods are, not an inherent part of FDD, but certainly easily automated and used by those designing and developing systems in FDD. Buggy whips? I’m getting to it. Mr. De Luca has spent a lot of time working in object oriented languages, primarily Java and working with lots of object oriented development tools. Identifying automation methodologies to assist in developing, with or without these objects, is an inherent part of FDD and any intelligent developer’s approach. Buggy whips? Hang on. One major area of automation is around what the object oriented developer thinks of as the persistence layer. Others might refer to it as a database. Mr. De Luca very clearly stressed that writing TSQL and designing data storage were, for him and true adherents to object oriented approaches, a thing of the past. Sure, the need for data warehouses and operational data stores for historical storage and ad hoc reporting were necessary, but the days of designing a database along side the application were over.

Buggy whips. A long time ago, when I was just getting started in IT, I was working with desktop publishing software. I knew a bunch of people that did hot & cold typesetting and other types of traditional publishing. They were all convinced that desktop publishing was a niche or a flash in the pan. But someone I knew back then pointed out that these guys were manufacturing buggy whips as the Model T drove by. In other words, they were about to be out of a job and had better wake up and smell the coffee.

Buggy whips. I’ve worked as a developer and a dba and finally landed in the somewhat odd position of being a full time development dba. That means I spend a healthy chunk of every day thinking about database design and writing better TSQL code and trying to train developers in the same. I’m sort of wondering if I just saw a Model T drive by?

I was thinking about this and composing this post when I read Steve Jones’ editorial this morning. DBA’s are becoming a more demanded skill set. Of course, that’s the generic DBA. It doesn’t specify if that’s someone to design a BI system, a warehouse, run your backups, set up your DR plan, or help tune queries and design tables that aren’t coming out of an ORM tool.

Buggy whips. I think I agree with Steve that the constant growing of data means more and more demand for people to manage it, but now I’m wondering if that’s just the management side and not the development and design side? I’m wondering if I need to look into moving back into development if I want to do more than simply manage systems? I’m thinking maybe I need to spend more time learning BI. I’m wondering if anyone else saw that Model T drive by?

1 Comment

  1. A Horseless Carriage? « Home of the Scary DBA said,

    […] Horseless Carriage? I’ve talked before about my concern that I’m manufacturing buggy whips.  Jason Massie over at StatisticsIO has posted a pretty convincing argument that cloud computing […]

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