T-SQL Tuesday #131: An Analogy

T-SQL Tuesday #131: An Analogy

This month, the T-SQL Tuesday invitation is from Rob Volk. Rob has asked for an Analogy that you use to describe concepts. This works well for me as I use analogies a lot, today I’ve gone with…

“I drive the truck”

I once put together a presentation on the subject of “what is a DBA”.

There were no slides, no slides with words anyway. I presented a series of photos that represent different aspects of the role.

Here’s one of the pictures, introduced with “I drive the truck”.

Why do I liken the “art of the DBA” to driving a truck?

I am responsible for making sure that the “truck” is a safe and secure place to store things.

  • I make sure that it’s in the right place, regularly serviced, with the correct tax and paperwork.
  • I make sure that there’s air in the tyres, fuel in the tank.
  • I do my best to keep the driver alert of what they are putting into the truck.
  • I help ensure that the truck contains only what it’s mean to.
  • I control who has access to the truck.

I’m not responsible for what goes into the truck.

Well, I am really, but at a more global level (for security, privacy etc.)

I can help the loading and offloading of the truck, I can advise when it’s getting full and what to do when problems occur, but my responsibility is to managing the contents, not how the contents are used.

Think of it like the Amazon delivery chap who just dropped off a parcel, he doesn’t know what’s in there. He knows it’s not dangerous and he knows that it’s valuable, his role is to get it safely from the Amazon depot to my door. “He drives the truck”.

While this may sound like a charter for slopey shoulders, no one person should be responsible for everything.

As a DBA, I’ve “got your back” and I’ll do my best to keep you on the right track.


The photo gives a neat insight into the origins of my Surname. I used to work in Transport, as did my wife. We both worked for our respective family firms. Once, my dad’s truck broke down (Nock), so my wife’s truck ahem, gave it a lift home (Foulkes).

Thanks for reading. I was tempted to explain each bit of the analogy, but hopefully you got it.


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