How it works -- and why it matters

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This database admin pilot fish is working at a state government agency -- one where the practical definition of DBA is "Does 'Bout Anything."

"It was a good thing I had a varied background," says fish. "Besides installing and maintaining the mainframe relational databases, I also worked closely with the application programming staff.

"One day, while helping a programmer correct an application, I was trying to explain the how and why of coding a specific routine. But the programmer said she didn't need to know that sort of information. She told me, 'I don't need to know how a car works in order to drive it.'

"I was momentarily shocked into silence at that statement. Then, using her analogy, I explained that the programmer was not driving the car but instead was a mechanic fixing the car -- and she'd sure better know how it works!"

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