Change Approvals

Part of a developer’s or DBA’s career is getting their work released to some system where others can use the system. Some of us may do this more than others, but we all usually have some role, whether in packaging changes up or actually pushing the button that runs a script or copies files to some live server. This can be an exciting and stressful time, depending on how you feel about the quality of the work.

Releasing software often isn’t something done in a vacuum. Even in the highly agile, DevOps companies like Amazon and Facebook where developers release code many times a day, there is often some sort of approval process, whether implicit or explicit, before code goes out. Even if it’s just a peer that code reviews something, or a business person that examines a test version and pronounces it correct, another person often weighs in on our changes.

That’s not always the case, as I know in emergencies, some of us make quick decisions and change or run code that only we have examined. I’d hope that’s the exception, rather than the rule, with most database changes.

Today I’m curious. Who approves your database changes? Is there a formal process? An informal one? Does the person making the decision even understand the code or do they depend on you to have written and tested solid T-SQL?

It’s been said that the person closest to the work is often the best person to judge if it should be released, but that’s only partially true. Deploying code is often disruptive. It introduces change, which customers may or may not like. There may be good reasons to release at discrete intervals, rather than whenever the developer things things are working. This may change with heavy use of feature flags or feature toggles, but in general, code releases are interruptions and we want to limit them.

Unless something is broken, in which case, we often want the change as quick as it can be released. Does that mean we want a different change process? Let us know today.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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