The Database Specialization Backlash

Posted by Anna Navatsyk on Jul 1, 2015 3:37:00 AM

If you have a team whose job is to safeguard your databases as a reaction to past incidents, in an attempt to prevent them from recurring, you might have a serious bottleneck you don’t even realize.

Specialization almost always means dependencies that hamper teams, forcing them to ship more slowly. This is one of the reasons IT is chronically late and over budget.

What can you do to solve this? One of the approaches to fighting this is making sure that everyone–devs and ops both–can inspect what production database systems are doing. Communication and insight is a key enabler for moving fast.

Next time you’re tempted to specialize, consider whether that might make things worse. Who’ll get bottlenecked if you do? Our most successful customers realize that although specialization seems to involve a small number of people (“the database is the ops team’s problem and it’s a small team”), it’s actually the reverse: the database team bottlenecks the developer team, which is practically everyone.

And what if you take the opposite approach? Instead of specialization, give everyone access to rapid production insight on database performance and queries? Our customers who do this move faster, ship more code, experience less downtime, and have happier customers.

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