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Erudite, insightful, self-aware and almost human: Give your local database admin a hug – it's DBA Appreciation Day

We said, we hope you get some downtime. Oh never mind. Come on, it's just once a year

Hang the bunting, ice the cupcakes, and wrap the presents: it comes but once a year but today, as you beautiful people well know, is international DBA Appreciation Day.

Just imagine their little faces lighting up when they see their gifts laid out before them. So, join us in thanks for the lovely and unloved database administrator in your life.

What's the point? we hear you ask. What's the point?!

Well, according to the blurb on the DBA Appreciation Day website (yes, really) the point is that if your business data is safely stored, your data security taken care of and your datatabase running smoothly, then you have a DBA to thank. Or just pay, perhaps.

"This doesn't happen by magic but just because you've got an awesome database administrator," the site oozes. "Database administrators usually work behind the scenes, over the weekends and antisocial hours in order to look after the database which is at the core of any business."

This being tech, there is, of course, a vendor angle. On this occasion, it is ScyllaDB that takes all the religious meaning and warm nostalgia out of DBA Appreciation Day by tweeting customer testimonials to the notion that the company makes make life so much easier for DBAs.

"It reduced the pain that the database engineering team was taking to actually maintain the cluster in a healthy state," said Niraj Konathi, director of platform engineering at US sports merch store Fanatics. (Or seems to have said once what he actually said was dumbed down and sanitised by a long line of overpaid marketing executives.)

Despite their apparent troglodyte existence, DBAs can be erudite, insightful, self-aware and, well, almost human. Step forward Ember Crooks, who in a 2013 blog set out to "raise the reputation of DBAs everywhere".

She puts DBAs in two categories. One group is the all-knowing, uncaring consultants who "won't compromise on a best practice for anything" and will "only attend that part of a meeting that directly requires [their] involvement". The other is the half-absent obstructing idiots who think they are all-knowing but just say "no" a lot. "He doesn't actually understand the problem or why he's saying it," according to Crooks.

Responding to The Register's request as to what to get a real-life DBA in fully human form on this most auspicious of occasions, she said: "The main thing I want is to be included in the conversations. The ones about what RDBMS to use. The ones about load testing. As a female DBA and conference speaker, I want to see more than 20 per cent of conference attendees be female, and more than 10 per cent of the speakers."

There's no harm in raising a toast to that. ®

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