I loved this posting. I think it applies just as much to DBA’s and System Administrators. I have to confess I have had the occasional thrill of playing the hero at the scene of a car crash of a situation. It can feel good. In fact I think you can easily get addicted to being in this type of situation, where you hold the key piece of knowledge to fix a particular problem. I think I have at times been on the edge of the precipice of enjoying it too much and almost hoping for another opportunity to be a troubleshooter. But I see the danger of enjoying being a troubleshooter and I can see the benefit to the organisation of being a “troublepreventer”.
Recently, on the Oracle-L mailing list someone was asking for a list of tasks that a good dba should do on a regular basis. The person was given short-shrift in that they were told if there are tasks that your dba is performing on a daily basis, why are they doing them and why have they not automated them?
I also like the idea of “exception based reporting”, that is if everything about a system/database etc. is running within specified criteria, I don’t want to know about it, and only when a monitored criteria becomes outwith an acceptable criteria do you want to hear about it. However, this does require you monitor the system closely. As an example, I would suggest monitoring your I/O response time on your database, and/or critical query response time, and then if these change to be outwith acceptable times you flag it up and get someone to look at it.
Of course, I should eat my own dog food a bit more here.