DBA

T-SQL Tuesday: Changing my mind

This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by my friend across the pond – Alex Yates. Alex has a fantastic topic for us to blog about – he asks us to talk about why we changed our mind, on anything related to our careers. What was our original opinion, why we believed that, and what we believe now.

I have many things to relate in this regard.  I decided to wite about two significant decisions, one technical and the other non technical. I am including both in the same blog post.

Technical point on which I’ve changed my mind: ORMs are evil.
In most shops I have worked at – ORMs or Object Relational Mappers such as NHibernate and Entity Framework have been a DBA’s nightmare. They used to generate horrific queries and the inability to control what is generated when made it incredibly hard to work with. Over time, I’ve worked closely with developers and understood (well somewhat) their need to use such things. I’ve learned how to streamline ORM usage so that it doesn’t become the evil nightmare that it can. To do that – I try to do the following:

1 Keep calls down to basic CRUD operations. This is essentially all that ORMS were designed to do. The queries doing basic CRUD are parameterized, not that evil.   
2 Avoid treating tables like objects and doing object-object mapping – relational tables are not objects.
3 Use stored procedures wherever possible or wherever ORM queries are nightmarish. The ORM can call the stored procedure.

With such basic rules in place, am able to manage ORM generated queries better. I don’t think I will ever love an ORM, but am down to thinking they are not as evil as we data people consider them to be.

Non technical point on which I’ve changed my mind: Career progress is a thing and is different from what makes me happy.
I believed this for a long time – that there was something wrong with sticking to a job you like, or not getting big pay hikes, or that your next job should be ‘bigger’ with more responsibilities than your earlier one, and on and on. I defined career progress in terms of all these things, and thought I need a roadmap to live by that said – in 5 years – I am here, in 10 years am here, and so on , each level being with a different job title and of course, more money. After several job changes I have found out – there is no such thing. There are only jobs where you are happy, or not happy at. And happiness may very well include money, and job titles , for some. For me, it is mostly about quality of work, and working with smart people. I do need money, we all do –as long as the job pays me decent money, gives me quality work to do, and a good team to do it with – there is not much else to go after. Life is short, being happy at what we are doing matters. Most of us spend atleast 8 hours a day at work, if not more. It is important to be happy there, doing what we enjoy doing and liking atleast some of the people we work with. Success is really nothing more than that. To me. I don’t complicate my mind trying to figure it out any further.

Those are the two things I’ve changed my mind on. Thanks Alex, for the great topic. I look forward to reading what other people in community have to say on this.

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