Here’s the challenge.
How do I post to both work and personal blogs and provide appropriate material for both? It’s not a problem I expected to face because most employers, at least where I’m from, wouldn’t entertain the idea of employees blogging on company time to the company blog, far less encourage it. Which is one of several reasons that I found myself choosing to work with Pythian.
I thought about this quite a bit during January evenings (although Cary Millsap might have preferred me to spend a bit more time writing about Parallel Execution!), and Paul VallÃ©e and I have discussed it on and off. Do the technical blogs belong here, because they crop up during work? That would be a bit of a disaster, given the already dangerously low level of technical content on my own blog. Besides, Pythian is full of smart young people who do that so much better than I do (and yes, even my team lead and the CEO count as young when you’re my age!). Then again, I can’t just blog about cuddly toys here. Actually, if I had a good enough argument, I bet I could swing it, but I don’t.
My thoughts turned to a series of some kind, just to give me a structure for my contributions, so that I can leave the ad hoc meanderings for my own blog. Since balance is good, I also wondered what I might contribute that could add something different to the Pythian Group blog. Maybe something that reflected my particular views on the challenges of remote DBA support, delivered by a growing company stuffed full of DBAs?
Then I remembered something Paul VallÃ©e had shown me at the start of my second week in Ottawa during a long meeting about how things were going. We were talking about what I have called the DBA craft in the past, and about his constant references to engineering in conversation. He skipped across his office (actually, it’s small and completely impossible to “skip” across, but he’s a bundle of energy and he seemed to skip) and dug out a bundle of rolled-up posters he had in one corner.
They are produced by MARSS, the Maintenance and Ramp Safety Society, who are “a non-profit society dedicated to reducing Aviation Human Error”. Sounds like an excellent objective to me! At the risk of blowing the whole series by declaring everything up-front — you can see the posters here.
The lazy side of me would like to write about “The Magnificent Seven” (and they’re good, too) but the truth is that Paul has “The Dirty Dozen” and a few of those caught my eye. I’m not sure yet if they can all be applied to Oracle Database Administration, but I think it interesting (to me at least) to go through them one by one and see how well they apply. Which, if I’m not mistaken, commits me to at least 12 postings on the company blog.
Mmmm, can I change my mind before it’s too late?
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