Musical AnalogyPosted: December 12, 2008
Every now and then someone talks about “Rockstar Programmers”. Usually when describing the type of programmers he wants to hire. I assume this term is used because saying “exceptionally good programmers” is too long or not sexy enough.
Then, this guy came along and explains that he prefer Jazz programmers. He actually makes one or two good points. Jazz musicians (just like exceptional programmers), play well in different groups, play for fun, and love theory.
But this left me thinking where this leaves us DBAs. What type of musicians are we? Obviously we work in a theory-heavy field, we shoulder an important responsibility, must be extremely detail oriented (unlike those jazz programmers), we are critical in any production system, but our efforts are largely invisible (unless we screw up).
I believe this makes us the Sound Engineers of the IT world.
Note that the traditional rivalry between musicians and sound engineers fits neatly into this analogy. Lots of musicians think that sound engineers are not needed, or they are not sure exactly what sound engineers do except annoy musicians. Lots of sound engineers think that musicians are overpaid prima donnas who don’t even realise that the sound they produce is not production quality and can’t go live without huge amount of additional effort.