Database administrators are lonely. In most companies, there’s only one DBA, and nobody else really understands the job duties. We don’t have anybody else we can talk to about the crazy things we run across. I think this is the biggest reason there’s such a vibrant SQL Server community on Twitter – we’re looking for other people who understand us.
This January, Jeremiah turned me on to DevOpsReactions.tumblr.com, and I was hooked. DevOps is a new hybrid job, a cross between developers and system administrators. Like DBAs, they’re an unusual profession with very different challenges than most of their coworkers.
I knew what I had to do.
I started DBAReactions.Tumblr.com and set up logins for Jeremiah, Jes, and Kendra to contribute. The images & captions came fast and furious, and almost immediately we’d written a couple of weeks’ worth. I figured it was a fun experiment just to see if other people would enjoy seeing our take on common DBA problems. I kinda soft-launched it just by retweeting a few of @DBAReactions’ tweets, and people came in droves:
The bump in early February is from our blog post announcement and it hitting Reddit.
I wasn’t expecting that many people to find it funny – after all, I think we’ve got kind of a wacko sense of humor. The site’s already got a strong following on both Twitter and Tumblr.
The real shocker was the number of pageviews. When people visit the site, they VISIT THE SITE, going through 5-10 pages of gifs at a time. On any given weekday, it gets 5-8,000 views:
I shared those numbers with a couple of my friends who work in marketing, and their first words were, “Wow! How are you going to make money on that?” Hey, not everything is about money – sometimes it’s just about having fun, and this is a hell of a lot of fun. When I sit down to write these on weekend mornings, I look up at the clock and realize two hours just disappeared. It’s a great way to blow off steam and share the strange life of database work.
I’ve set some restrictions on what I write. I try to keep it database-independent so that a DBA on any platform will get a laugh out of it. While I take a lot of pot shots at SAN admins, VMware admins, and developers, I try to keep it in good fun. Tumblr restricts images to around 1MB max, so that cuts the gif potentials somewhat. Maybe the toughest restriction: I try not to use gifs with obscenities. Sure, the f-bomb is funny in the right circumstances, but I want people to be able to forward the site around via email without worry. Other DBAs have sent in their own suggestions, too. Feel free to email yours to Help@BrentOzar.com and we’ll add ’em to the queue.