Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lack of Critical Thinking and Reasoning Skills

Well folks before I switch to a more technical series of posts, I thought that I would submit a rant.

I have noticed lately in the last few years a dire lack of critical reasoning and thinking skills in the technical arena. Maybe it is due to the "get it down quick not good" attitude of management or maybe its lack of real talent. Who knows? But to me it is a pet peeve when a person fails to challenge himself/herself and gives up all too easy when presented with a problem. To me, one should take a deep breath, relax or chill and take a fresh simplified approach to solving a problem. Perhaps its fear of failure or inner doubt? When a senior or even a junior database or other technical person could just do a simple google search or lookup the question in a manual, it would save time and frustration. Case in point, I have seen 'supposed' senior level database developers unable to write a simple JOIN query let alone a nested subquery in Oracle!!! While I do not profess to be a developer, even I can write basic SQL.

It is far better to take the time to do it right the first time rather than to waste time spinning wheels over a poor and rushed solution.

Case in point, recently on my current project there has been performance problems that have been occurring on daily basis in afternoons for the database servers. Initially the manager/DBA lead assumed that it was virus scanner software that was causing the performance issue. I kindly replied that we cannot assume this and need to conduct tests to discover the true culprit. Sure enough, my hunch was correct and it turns out to be a shortage of memory and CPUs on the server. The virus scanner software took little resources maybe 0.0002 per cent of usage on the server. I did find one user, a Cognos developer, nonetheless who was running a resource intensive report that uses full outer joins to be consuming 25% of the server resources.


Donald said...

Hi Ben,

>> The virus scanner software took little resources maybe 0.0002 per cent of usage on the server.

Do you have the virus scanner set to bypass the dbf files?

I've seen anti-virus destroy Windows servers, scanning each dbf everytime it is referenced!

Ben Prusinski said...

Hi Donald,

Good point- actually not yet. We plan to exclude the database files from the virus scanning. I just completed the initial performance assessment and looks to be shortage of memory on each server and incorrect settings for paging file/virtual memory configuration thus far for the Windows 2003 servers.