”As a comedian, I always get into situations where I’m auditioning for movies and sitcoms, you know? As a comedian, they want you to do other things besides comedy. They say “alright you’re a comedian, can you write? Write us a script. Act in this sitcom.” They want me to do shit that’s related to comedy, but it’s not comedy, man. It’s not fair, you know? It’s as though if I was a cook, and I worked my ass off to become a really good cook, and they said “alright you’re a cook… can you farm?” – Mitch Hedberg
The other day one of my good friends asked me, “Dave, how much would you charge to create a simple website for my buddy so people could order his stuff from the web?”
I tried to explain that although I do have some web development experience, I haven’t really touched that in two years and I wouldn’t be able to do it. Her friend could not afford to pay me while I re-learned to do it, and he should seek out a professional.
My friend then continued to argue with me that since I’m a geek, a super-geek in her eyes, that I should be able to do it. She just kept asking me how much. I guess this whole notion that computer professionals can do anything with a computer stems from the belief that what we do is magic. Since they don’t have any idea how we do our jobs, they think that we can just cross over into jobs that seem related to them.
As computer professionals, we may laugh privately at such requests, but are we not guilty of similar thinking? In the past year I’ve read articles regarding The Great DBA Schism and problems with Microsoft’s BI Certifications that further suggest more separate DBA roles.
I’m not suggesting that I have the solution to these issues, but I agree that more attention should be brought to them and further delineation is necessary to accurately describe our database roles. If SQL Server DBAs continue to refer to ourselves simply as DBAs, is that not the equivalent of asking a great chef if he can also farm?