Throwback Thursday: Shh! Don't tell!

Pilot fish gets a new job where one of her first assignments is to design a database-oriented application.

"I'm not permitted to create any tables or keys," says fish. "I have to submit it to our database admin, who will take care of it when he gets around to it.

"I soon learn that, at this company, they spell DBA G-O-D."

Fish sends DBA her tables, their links and recommended indexes. DBA accepts the table design, but tells fish that the data will be indexed by first, middle and then last name.

That won't work, fish tells him; the lookup key is by last name. But the boss sides with the DBA. And predictably, the application's response times are B-A-D.

A few months go by and the DBA goes on vacation. One day, fish asks the DBA's temporary replacement to build an index on the test system a certain way. The index works, and fish tells the temp DBA to put it on the live database.

"The users immediately contact me," fish says. "They think the application must be broken because what used to take several minutes to run now takes seconds.

"I ask if they're getting the correct response. Yes, they say, but it's happening too fast to be doing the job. I explain what happened and they're all happy.

"The temp DBA doesn't tell the DBA what he did, so it's allowed to stay in place."

Speaking of speed, Sharky needs stories fast. So send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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