Friday, November 20, 2009

The Juice Box

I had a very typical conversation with my 2yr old yesterday.  It went something like this…

The Juice Box

Benji:  More juice daddy.

me:  Ok, go throw the box away and bring me another one.

so he goes and throws it away then looks at me.

me:  Ok baby, now bring me another box.

about a minute later he shows up with a brown box that some books came in.

me:  No baby, bring me a juice box.  The small one.

so then he shows up with a smaller shipping box.

me:  No baby, a juice box.  Bring me a juice box. A juice box.

(Benji looking around all over)

me:  it’s in the cabinet right there honey.

(keeps looking around)

me:  open the cabinet door and take out a juice box.

(looks at the fridge door.)

me:  No baby, the cabinet door.  Right there by the broom.

(goes to the other side of the fridge and looks at the wrong broom instead of the one right in front of him)

me:  no sweetie, the other broom.  Open the door by the other broom.

(opens the fridge door)

me:  no sugar, the cabinet door.  close the fridge.

(looks all around)

me:  the green door right in front of you. 

(Looks at fridge again)

me:  no no, the green door by the broom.

(goes to the other side of the fridge again and looks at the wrong broom)

me:  honey, bring me a juice box.

(looks at ceiling, floor, dog food, etc.  everything but the door right in front of him)

me:  sweetie, bring me some juice and I’ll open it for you.

(opens right door and brings the juice box.)

Now I ask you, how many of us have had conversations very similar to that with our end users or even our devs?  I know some of the devs I’ve worked with have been exactly like that.

So it really got me thinking about the skills a good DBA needs.  So as it turns out if you’re looking to make a switch to being a DBA, here’s what you should do. If you really wanna be successful as a DBA, then while you’re studying SQL and learning your job, open up a daycare and run it for about 5yrs.  Don’t only open it and run it, but actually get in there and work with the kids.  I’d say a good mix of 2 and 4yr olds should do it.  I’ve got 3 kids myself and I did it in reverse.  I became a DBA first and then had my kids, but I’m convinced that having kids has made me a better DBA because I honestly do have a lot of very similar conversations with my kids and my devs.

And this may piss of some devs, but any DBA out there who’s had to deal with a group of devs who thinks they know what they’re doing when you’re trying to show them how to do something, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Watch my free SQL Server Tutorials at:

Read my book reviews at:

Blog Author of:
Database Underground –

Follow my Twitter:


SQLRockstar said...

i do agree that having children made me a much more patient person than i was before.

ScrappyLaptop said...

I think you really nailed it with the advice to open a day care center in order to become a better dba. Notice how throughout the example you called it a "juice box" until the very last (and only successful) request? Two year olds are concrete thinkers, very literal. A "juice" is one thing, a "box" another altogether. And just like accounting, sales and management folk they effectively have their own self-created definitions for everything.

About Me

My Photo
Sean McCown
I am a Contributing Editor for InfoWorld Magazine, and a frequent contributor to as well as I live with my wife and 3 kids, and have practiced and taught Kenpo for 22yrs now.
View my complete profile


Blogumulus by Roy Tanck and Amanda Fazani

Page Views