Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Tao of DB2 - Part 1: Achieving Balance and Understanding with DB2

This blog post begins a multi-part series of posts as we look in on a new DB2 DBA learning from a long-time DB2 DBA who is preparing to retire...

Our expert DB2 DBA sure has his work cut out for himself, but he understand the Tao of DB2 and is armed with database Te... He recognizes the Li of the application programs and how they work with DB2... He can remove tweaks that work against the Wu-Wei of Tzu_jan high performance DB2 applications.

"One could study for ten thousand years and travel the four corners of the globe and yet still be ignorant," said the expert DBA.

"I do not understand," said the young intern.

The lesson here is that DB2 is a large, complicated piece of systems software. No single person can fully understand everything it is and everything it can do without help. Knowing where to look for answers when you are stuck is much better than trying to memorize everything there is to know about DB2. Because just when you think you understand it fully, along comes a new use case or a novel way of using DB2 that you have yet to encounter. And new versions will come out regularly making the old way of doing things obsolete and introducing new and different techniques and features.

You must always be open to learning - never assume that you know everything!

Just then, the phone started ringing. The end-users were howling, the system was not responding. “What should I do?” screamed the intern. The old DBA pulled up his PDS member, typed SUB, and pressed ENTER

“Oh, has this happened before?” asked the intern. 

“How many times?” said the DBA.

The lesson here is that you can minimize conflicts through written standards and goals, and you can prepare for recurring problems with predefined scripts.

As the intern smiled, confident that he was learning the Tao of DB2, a frazzled programmer barged into the DBA's cubicle. “I followed the standards to the letter, but it doesn’t work,” spat the frustrated programmer. 

“The best thing about standards,” said the bemused DBA, “is that there are so many of them from which to choose.”

The lesson here is that even though it is advisable to create DB2 standards that apply to the most common situations, there will be times when you will be better off making exceptions to the standard. 

And the DBA sent his intern off to read some manuals...

Be sure to check in with us next time to follow the ongoing saga of the retiring DBA and his quest to teach his intern...


Yogesh said...

Excellent! being an intern myself I'm looking forward to the future Posts..Thanks in advance..

Craig S. Mullins said...

Thanks Yogesh... I'll try to post a new entry in this series every week for the next couple months...