short episode in the Stack Exchange Challenge, for Database Administrators. It’s a weird one in the eco-system in my opinion. When you first hear about it this would seem like a great and vast topic to ask and answer questions about, but in reality it turns out this one’s not all that active. But lest I start with a conclusion, let’s first dig up the facts!
Here are the usual stats for this particular sub-domain:
|Questions with no upvoted answers||767 (8.86%)|
|FAQ (questions with most links)||1,619|
|Top 3 questions||130 votes, 74 votes, 64 votes|
|Questions active last hour||9|
|All-time rep for top 3 users||38.0k, 28.9k, 21.7k|
So far I’ve asked three questions on DBA.SE, and I’m moderately pleased with all of them:
- First one on constraints to prevent circularity in hierarchies. A few upvotes, not too many views, but most importantly: several very good and educational answers. A great question to get me enthusiastic about this Stack Exchange site.
- The second question was a newbie one on sp_spaceused giving unexpected results. Got a good answer rather quickly.
- More recently I asked my third question on updating data from a report. Guess I just needed a little push.
That last one didn’t draw much response at first, so I took my chance to explore the bounty system some more. This worked perfectly, because someone was triggered by this to give me the answer I was looking for.
Related to my own questions there’s one more important thing to mention. This is the thing that triggered me to do an episode on the DBA site: the @StackDBAs Twitter engine tweeted a great question by a good friend of mine, on using the “sp_” prefix for stored procedures. It’s great to see something from a friend pop up in your Twitter feed via an unexpected angle!
Yeah, well, ermm… still working on that. No answers so far. Weird thing is: most of my Stack Overflow reputation comes from answering DBA-related questions. But the questions on DBA are not very voluminous, and often also out of my league. Oh well.
Here are a small few gems with a lot of votes:
- Should developers be able to query production databases? As a developer myself, I can’t help but hear the tone of protectiveness some DBA’s and SysAdmins have. Luckily with methodologies like Scrum the DBA can even be part of the team.
- I’ll just plug it again: Still wrong to start the name of a user stored procedure with sp_?
Hmm, there aren’t any real great questions in this category that stand out from the bulk.
The main problem with this site is that people will probably prefer to ask their DBA questions on the subdomains that are more likely to generate a lot of views and answers: Stack Overflow and ServerFault. So let me summarize the pro’s and cons of this particular Stack Exchange:
✓ Great, friendly community
✓ Usually fast answers
✘ Not very active
✘ Askers seem to opt for asking on Stack Overflow or ServerFault instead
Bottom line: great community, not so great content (relative to other Stack Exchanges). Alas.