VividCortex Brings Developers and DBAs Together

Posted by Alex Slotnick on Apr 6, 2016 5:50:33 PM

If you want to maximize a team's productivity, special attention ought to be paid to helping DBAs and developers work together as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, this is a relationship that's overlookedor taken for grantedfar too often. 

One of the major values that VividCortex provides an organization is the way it equips developers with new insights into their data systems, giving them a better understanding of how to work with DBAs. It affords those developers more confidence and responsibility in working within a database, thereby granting them and DBAs more freedom and independence in addressing issues quickly and effectively. And that means more good vibes all around. 

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Last summer, we published a blog post that evoked strong reactions from many readers: The 8 Best Ways to Lose Your DBA. That post was satiricaland it operated with just a dash of snarkoutlining the most common ways that teams tend to bury DBAs in avoidable, abusive situations. And it's no coincidence that a huge portion of that article focused specifically on DBAs' relationship with developersthe connections between these two groups are deeply rooted and vital, and, when neglected, they can foster a harmful, unproductive environment. If we read through the satire, the post advises the following:

  • Don't allow DBAs to become so specialized and isolated that all database problems become their de facto responsibility and fault.
  • Be wary of heightened change control -- don't make it the DBA's sole responsibility to fix sloppy code. Instead, find a way to share that responsibility across the team.
  • Give developers the ability to self-service. Not every database request needs to be filtered through a DBA.
  • Find the proper number of DBAs to match your team's size and growth. The DBA role is often underappreciated, and the ratio of DBAs to developers can be astonishingly skewed.

But how do you put into place a real solution that makes these goals achievable? Well, the fastest and most effective way to ahere to this advice is to let developers and DBAs interact more meaningfully. Provide the team with a collaborative platform like VividCortex, which allows developers to engage with the database and take responsibility for being the first line of defense against bad queries.

Database Administration isn't just a necessity—it can be a strategtic application and one of a team's strengths. This is one of the major organizational advantages of a solution like VividCortex: by providing fast, digestible, actionable insight into how the database functions, such a solution gives developers the agency to make changes themselves. And for DBAs, this means there's more commonground to be found with developers, more sympathy, more opportunities to work collaboratively, rather than consecutively or oppositionally. 

This kind of personal responsibility has been instituted at places like Netflix— known for achieving the best value per employee in the industry—where the team tasks individual developers with addressing their own issues. "The site reliability team at Netflix," Adrian Cockcroft of Battery Ventures told us, "...their only job was to identify which microservice caused the bug, and then notify only the developer... the developers (not monitoring or the Ops/platform team) are on the hook for supporting their microservices."  

In our ebook The Strategic IT Manager's Guide to Building a Scalable DBA Team, we examine some of these value propositions more in-depth. We also include a long, detailed list of the various IT products available to help both DBAs and developers work together more effectively, with more success all around. Why limit a powerful solution to a small group of users? We have no good answer either, and that's why we designed VividCortex to be a powerful yet intuitive solution, accessible to a range of people in a variety of roles. And in this case, that access brings developers and DBAs together, strengthening entire organizations overall.  

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