Assumptions can often get us in trouble. People don’t know what you think they know, and they know what you don’t think they know.

I often present to small groups. I ask questions up front to gauge the experience level, but even so I am forced to make some assumptions. Then there are some basics that I assume any database user will have nailed down. I recently spent 90 minutes talking about writing queries and working with Excel to a group of Analysts at a University without realizing that at this particular institution an ‘Analyst’ was actually a ‘Developer.’ This was a big assumption, and I won’t be making that mistake again. But what about the ‘small assumptions?

For years I have talked about DDL and DML. I just throw these terms out like folks know what they mean. Apparently there are senior DBAs out there who are not familiar with these terms.

This makes me such a hypocrite.

It drives me nuts when I am in a call or in a training session and people start throwing out acronyms. What’s even worse is when you are working with technical terms in print. I always type out the word or phrase and follow it with the acronym in parentheses. Unfortunately my speaking habits do not match up 100%.

New Year’s Resolution
When speaking, I will follow any acronym with an immediate clarification. Even if it’s on Twitter.

Example: Toad makes it easy to generate your DDL (Create or Alter) scripts.

If I can make my audience more comfortable, they are much more likely to walk away from the meeting with the intended message.

@datachick – I’m still of the opinion any DBA should be able to define DDL and DML. Or ACID. Or RDBMS. Or…


I'm a Master Product Manager at Oracle for Oracle SQL Developer. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


  1. Erik van Roon Reply

    “Example: Toad makes it easy to generate your DDL (Create or Alter) scripts.”

    Excuse me, what does that mean, ‘Toad’?


    • thatjeffsmith

      That only used to be an acronym. The company that owns that trademark dropped the acronym and changed it to just a word…that means nothing, or I should say stands for nothing.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Acronyms and Assumptions | 140,000 Characters or Less --

Reply To Erik van Roon Cancel Reply