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One of the proposals I had committed to, Database is now known as Database Administrators. Why is this so ? Now I fear that the Stack Exchange site is catered more towards Database Administrators than Database Professionals as to which I had committed.

(yes, there is a huge difference between database professional and a database administrator).

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Thanks for this question. It gave me chance to uncommit before the site went into private beta. While I might find the site useful as an occasional user, I'm nowhere near the target audience any more. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '10 at 9:31
    
@ChrisF I know, I'm in the same boat. –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 13:11
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@ChrisF Don't you have a choice to make it suit your preferred audience? What's preventing you from asking the questions you intended to ask? –  Ivo Flipse Dec 20 '10 at 13:46
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@Ivo - I would find it difficult to ask dba type questions, but would benefit from reading existing questions and answers. I can see that I'd use the site at some point but I can't commit to the level of site use that comes with "commitment". –  ChrisF Dec 20 '10 at 13:50
    
No @ChrisF I meant, why don't you ask database professional questions? If the site is meant to be for professionals and administrators, why no use it the way you think it should be used? –  Ivo Flipse Dec 20 '10 at 13:59
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@Ivo - I won't have enough of those questions to warrant spending a commitment token. I would hope my questions would be professional (as they would be for my work), but I'm a developer not a dba. –  ChrisF Dec 20 '10 at 15:51
    
@Ivo - Database questions are more like what's wrong with this join ? Are my indexes working ? Why isn't this index picking up. DBA questions are more like HOW can I replication, my database crashed, how can I recover ? How can I upgrade my database. With a site titled "Administration" the focus is more narrow. Wikipedia may say They are also known by the titles Database Coordinator or Database Programmer, and is closely related to the Database Analyst, Database Modeler, Programmer Analyst, and Systems Manager - but in practice DBA's tend towards maintenance more. (IME). –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 16:00
    
Perhaps you simply shouldn't agree with the current practice and follow Wikipedia's example instead. Just a matter of perspective @Sathya –  Ivo Flipse Dec 20 '10 at 16:04

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

"Databases" is nebulous term, used by many, many professional disciplines. So we had to become absolutely crystal clear about the primary audience for this site. Yes, a clearer title could have be chosen early on to indicate the target audience… preferably by the community creating the proposal — Or we can step in and take one of the following three actions.

Pick one:

  1. Leave it as a "Database" site whose primary audience becomes professional programmers whose skill set includes slinging around the occasional SQL code to get their job done.
    Result: Closed as a duplicate of Stack Overflow
  2. Leave it as a "Database" site whose primary audience becomes system administrators who might have a database or two to maintain as part of their organization.
    Result: Closed as a duplicate of Server Fault
  3. Create a "Database Administrator" site for professionals who properly call themselves "DBAs" as a full-time profession; Those who identify themselves as neither programmers nor system administrators and don't currently feel they have a place on our network.
    Result: Rename "databases" to DBAs before launch… instead leaving the target audience to chance having to close it down when 70-80% of the content duplicates existing sites.

So we went for option #3.

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+1 I like option 3. Option 3 makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Option three shaves my beard, slices, dices, and makes julienne fries! I'd pay $19.99 plus s+h for option 3, plus get a second option 3 for free (just pay separate shipping and handling). Also, I think I need sleep! –  Andrew Barber Dec 21 '10 at 16:15
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I agree that Stack Overflow is the current location to post database programming questions. But the SO fac doesn't say a singe word about database programming. And I would prefer to have a seperate site, where I'm not forced to ignore all the regular programming questions. –  bernd_k Dec 24 '10 at 11:31
    
4. Shutdown the proposal and start over with a clear definition: "Database Administrators" and not "Questions about database". I feel just like ChrisF –  BrunoLM Jan 6 '11 at 23:39

yes, there is a huge difference between database professional and a database administrator

Er.. what?

All our sites (at least in theory) cater to experts, and we felt the best way to make that clear is to say DBA, as in the standard professional title:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_administrator

A database administrator (DBA) is a person responsible for the design, implementation, maintenance and repair of an organization's database. They are also known by the titles Database Coordinator or Database Programmer, and is closely related to the Database Analyst, Database Modeler, Programmer Analyst, and Systems Manager. The role includes the development and design of database strategies, monitoring and improving database performance and capacity, and planning for future expansion requirements. They may also plan, co-ordinate and implement security measures to safeguard the database.[1] Employing organizations may require that a database administrator have a certification or degree for database systems (for example, the Microsoft Certified Database Administrator).

And, this is hilarious

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Database.

I lol'ed! We had the same discussion, but I think when you're trying to build a community of experts it's best to spell that out as clearly as possible in the title and description.

Should we have figured this out earlier? Sure. But at least we figured it out before the site went into private beta and people got confused about who the expert audience is for this site.

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There was initial discussion about clashing with SO 6 months ago. Why was it NOT renamed then ? –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 12:54
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You do realize with the site targeted at DBA's - most of the on-topic/off-topic questions proposed during the definition state are irrelevant ? Lot of commitments were because of site's initial focus at database professionals, not administrators. –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 13:24
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@Sathya - you do realize that figuring out this sort of thing is probably one of the very reasons for Area51 in the first place, right? –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 18:31
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@Andrew you do realize it was renamed after hitting 100% commitment & all the a51 definitions were in place ? –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 18:43
    
Perhaps those definitions were what caused the rename? (I really don't know, hence the question mark.) –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 20:50
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"Should we have figured this out earlier? Sure. But at least we figured it out before the site went into private beta and people got confused about who the expert audience is for this site." Honestly, I think that is the answer to this question, period. –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 20:53
    
which comes back to the comment I first posted - There was initial discussion about clashing with SO 6 months ago. Why was it NOT renamed then. THAT is what I have a problem with. It was known that there might be an overlap - why wasn't action taken then ? @Andrew –  Sathya Dec 21 '10 at 0:21
    
@Sathya I suspect you are confusing discussion about the topic of the site, and determination on the name of the site. Two separate - though certainly related - things. –  Andrew Barber Dec 21 '10 at 0:57

Probably because the other major type of database professional is the database developer, and I think there's already a site for that, somewhere...

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Took 'em so long ? –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 4:56
    
The meaning of your comment escapes me. It "took them" as long as it took them to make that choice... are you asking why? –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 4:59
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@AndrewBarber Well, yes. Kind of irritating to see a proposal you really wanted to happen suddenly on a tangential route. –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 5:03
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I think it would be much more irritating to see a proposal which clashed so significantly with an existing site. Wouldn't you agree? –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 5:06
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Oh, and it's not at all tangential in the least to properly narrow the focus of an Area51 site so that it does not conflict with an existing site. –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 6:25
    
@AndrewBarber They had 6 months to figure that out. Why now ? Why not earlier ? –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 12:52
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@Sathya - I don't know. Why haven't you yet come to understand why the change was made? If you have, why didn't you realize it last night, or a few hours before? –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 18:32
    
@Andrew - The name wasn't "database administrators" when I visited it couple of days ago. –  Sathya Dec 20 '10 at 18:44
    
I wasn't quibbling on when the decision was made. –  Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 20:54
    
@ErikE I never asked to have it both ways. Also... you know how old this is, right? –  Andrew Barber Feb 10 '12 at 22:35
    
Sorry, I do see that. Never mind? I'll delete my comment. –  ErikE Feb 10 '12 at 22:41

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