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Soft Processes and Hard Software

By  Nov 7, 2007

Topics: Data

Sometimes, you can just state the way things should be, and at others, it doesn't work out that way. At most of the shops I've worked at, there are a set of rules and guidelines we followed for table names, when to backups, and other tasks.

But automation is often better than "soft" processes. With a scheduled script you can take a backup, and with DDL triggers you can enforce naming standards. So I've also worked at shops where automation was king - we did it for just about everything. But in time we found we actually had to work around the automation, because there are times when using "hard" settings in the software gets in the way of what we really needed to get done. In fact, this is where the PC revolution came from to begin with - the mainframes had so many processes and hard software requirements that you could simply get done quicker with a PC.

So let the lessons of the past teach us today - process is great, and so is automation. Our job as technical professionals is to get the balance right - or faced being "worked around".

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