More DBA Proverbs

The last post I made here was rather popular, so I decided to dig up and post a few more of my Favorite Quotes that apply to IT and database administration. So here, in no particular order, are my latest and greatest favorite quotes:

  • Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail. – Eliot Spitzer, former New York state attorney general

    Even though Mr. Spitzer met with public disgrace, there is still a quiet wisdom in the great quote… especially so in this day and age of regulatory compliance requirements and general litigiousness.

  • Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. – Bernard Mannes Baruch

    Opinions are not facts, but a lot of people treat them as interchangeable. If you do that as a DBA, you won’t be a successful DBA for very long… you’d be better in the field of politics, or news, or sales, or…

  • I have noted that persons with bad judgment are most insistent that we do what they think best. – Lionel Abe

    Mr. Abe may have added that these persons frequently ascend into a management role…

  • The possession of facts is knowledge, the use of them is wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson

    Somehow this one seemed to fit well, especially after the past two. And we already have knowledge management systems; I wonder when we can expect wisdom management systems {he asks, tongue in cheek}?

  • You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers… You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions. – Naguib Mahfouz

    Got any questions?  I didn’t think so…

  • To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. – Sir Winston Churchill

    And to be a good DBA is to use a robust change management system!

  • There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Otherwise known as management?

  • We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. – Kurt Vonnegut

    What are you pretending to be today? I miss Kurt… he was a genius. Fortunately, his heirs continue to publish his unpublished short stories, the most recent of which, While Mortals Sleep, was published just a couple of weeks ago!

  • Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed. – Benjamin Franklin

    Take Franklin’s advice to heart, DBAs, because the same could be said of standards.

  • To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous. – Confucius

    Hmmmm… let me think on this one, err, I mean study on this one, no, wait-a-minute, oh, let’s just go on to the next one…

  • See first that the design is wise and just; that ascertained, pursue it resolutely. – William Shakespeare

    Bill Shakespeare would have made a good DBA, don’t you think?

  • The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. – Theodore Rubin

    So, do you have a problem with that statement?

  • Foolproof systems don’t take into account the ingenuity of fools. – Gene Brown

    Or end users… or managers… wait, am I being redundant?

  • Go ahead and do it, it is easier to apologize than to get permission. – Admiral Grace Hopper

    As long as you have studied and thought about the problem (Confucius), designed it wiseley (Shakespeare), and are ready to tackle any problems that arise (Rubin), then Hopper’s advice is sound.

  • Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. – Albert Einstein

    Einstein would have been a good DBA, too. What a DBA team: Shakespeare and Einstein… but who will be on call?

  • The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether or not it is the same problem you had last year. – John Foster Dulles

    Here’s hoping that all of your problems this year are brand new ones!


I’m sure I’ll be collecting more quotes and proverbs over the course of the next couple of months, so be on the lookout for future editions of my favorite quotes and DBA proverbs… and feel free to login and share your favorites in the space provided for comments!


I'm a data management strategist, researcher, and consultant with over three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development and implementation.
This entry was posted in change management, DBA, information. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to More DBA Proverbs

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