Everyone makes mistakes. Database administrators (DBAs) are no exception to that rule. When DBAs make mistakes, they are often the ones who find it first and have to fix it. In the past, I have been accused of never making mistakes, but in reality I’ve merely gotten really good at finding and fixing my mistakes before anyone else notices.

There are some mistakes that are often deemed inexcusable for a DBA to make. These are the things that can cost businesses irreparable damage. DBAs will often be coerced into allowing things that they know they are wrong. When things go bad, it is almost always the DBA who is held responsible for failing to protect the data—no matter who signed off on the risky decisions.

If a manager insists we do something that we know is wrong, it is incumbent upon us to educate that manager about why it is the wrong thing to do—and press for doing the right thing. While there are certain scenarios with a lot of grey areas that could justify allowing a risky behavior, there are 5 things that a DBA should never allow to happen.