Responsive Versus Responsible

Two things you can always do as a database professional are being responsive and being responsible.

Responsive is when you take action on an item. It doesn’t matter if it is something for you to do or not (such as when there is a disk failure and you are not a member of the server team so you can’t fix the disk immediately), if the perception is that you need to do something then your customer needs to see you as responsive. The hardest part of this is being responsive at all times of the day because the better you get at your role the more your services will be in demand.

Responsible is simply taking ownership for something. Most notably this come into play when mistakes happen, or when your actions cause a delay. Once I was not able to restore master as quickly as I would have liked. It took me about 45 minutes longer than it should have. The next day I informed my managers that I could have done better and also outlined a training plan so that any member of my team would be able to perform the same tasks in the correct amount of time. I took responsibility and I would like to think my managers appreciated my honesty.

I could have easily kept such information private. After all, its not like they even knew what a DBA does for work anyway (which was apparent because they were bewildered by my informing them of my mistake which was either a result of their never having met an honest person before or not understanding what it means to restore master).

But that’s not me, that’s not who I am. I like to be responsible. My actions are mine, and mine alone. I took the blame when I could have easily blamed others.

Be responsive, and be responsible. I believe it pays off in the long run.

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