I just wanted to say that it was a not-completely-pleasant surprise to realize that this whole other site for database stuff could be taking questions from SO, and that an area I had earned at least some appreciable amount of reputation in and that I consider my top professional skill (SQL) would no longer be valid there.

My best idea for avoiding this kind of unpleasant surprise to our question-answerers (the one thing, mind you, that makes these sites have any value) is to send a special email to all those with badges (or heck, even any answers at all) in related tags inviting them to the new site and explaining the rationale.

Just like the difference a customer experiences between receiving a large bill and receiving a surprising bill, easing me into it would have saved (at least me, and the people responding to me) stress and heartache, and certainly gotten faster adoption with less resistance.

I realize that had I been super active on SO for the last year I'd have been less surprised, but I wasn't. I have a job and a family and my participation comes in spurts there (to save you time I have almost 5500 rep there earned in 3 years). Here are samples of the kinds of SQL answers I give.

Also, for what it's worth, the "DBA" name was confusing to me as this evokes different things in my mind than the site is intended for, mostly due to my experience in my own company of what DBAs do (not advanced SQL for one thing).

That is all I have to say on that. At least, here, now, on this topic. Great thanks to those who bashed into my head what I could have discovered from diligent searching here on meta.

... those interested in all the gory history of this question and my silly surprise reaction can view the edit history.


One last point I've been thinking about for a couple of days is that people who are not familiar with any stackexchange site (including SO) may find SO first, and ask their SQL questions there, and simply not know to come here. It seems to me that a complete split (all SQL questions here) would be better.

SQL is what I do, and I can't even edit posts yet! Sigh.

  • I'd love to know if your thinking on the original migration has evolved any during the time elapsed since then: migration and the angst it causes is a hot topic right now... Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 17:14
  • 1
    @Jack I still think the split is not well-thought-out. This halfway stuff confuses many, surprises and upsets people, dilutes the intangible rep reward for past work ("you're no longer a trusted and respected community member recognized as an expert, you're just a newbie like everyone else"), and retards the growth of dba.se, keeping it from critical mass for a lot longer. There is no clear communication mechanism about the change on SO! And the name DBA is too easily misunderstood. All in all I think it's a botched job that needs remediation. (Some day, I'll tell you how I really feel!)
    – ErikE
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 17:34
  • Thanks - that is very useful :-) how about personally - are you glad you found out about dba.se? I am keen to know if I'm exaggerating here ;-) Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 18:27
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    Sure, I'm glad I found out, but the volume of questions is too low. I can barely find any unanswered questions to use my uber SQL query-writing mojo on. Seriously. Not enough meat on the bone here to keep us all satisfied. Especially after subtracting questions about DBMSes I don't work with.
    – ErikE
    Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 18:38
  • I agree - we need loads more advanced SQL here. I'm Oracle and postgres, and tbh 90% sql, 9% pl/sql and 1% the rest. Still it is early days and question volumes are growing month by month so I am confident we will be able to feed your hunger one day :-) Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 8:47

3 Answers 3


Why would this sql querying question be migrated from SO?

Stack Overflow's mods are responsible for migrating questions away from that site. Any question about querying is on-topic here, and advanced questions are specifically the focus of this site and not Stack Overflow. If you believe the migrated question isn't advanced enough to merit the migration, take that up with the community on meta.SO.

The question of what makes a question advanced is discussed in many places:

Basically, if the best answer requires professional experience or specialized knowledge, the question is advanced. If the best answer requires just a few months of experience writing SQL, the question is basic.

"Administrator" is NOT how I think about myself and not what I want to do.

As you probably learned from reading this post (as well as the material linked from it), that's not how we think about ourselves either--hence the desire to change our name. As our FAQ clearly states, we are the place for advanced database development Q&A, not just server admin type questions about backups, installs, etc. Stack Overflow cannot say the same about itself.

Why don't you make questions able to exist on both sites at once and gain rep in both at once?

This is a question for meta.SO, since they discuss the fundamental nature of the Stack Exchange network.


Actually, I did propose a M:M site:question relationship feature on meta.so a couple of years ago, but it just got met with a sound of crickets.

The 'Database Administrators' name of dba.se has been a point of contention for some time now, but the terms of reference for the site do explicitly include advanced SQL development topics. The site isn't just database administrators. If you'd like to discuss the name, there are a number of meta questions here, here and a few others as well.


It seems to me that a complete split (all SQL questions here) would be better.

I think this is a point of view that deserves serious consideration - but there are two things we need to bear in mind:

  1. We have no direct influence on SO - they decide what they want as on-topic.
  2. The SE network is keen for us to keep an 'expert' focus

Currently we only migrate completely trivial SQL questions to SO (along with genuine programming stuff of course).

SQL is what I do, and I can't even edit posts yet! Sigh.

If you flag an advanced SQL question on SO, especially if you are the OP or the accepted answerer, their mods will consider migrating it over. Your rep will come over too and you'll potentially get more votes here once it arrives :-)

It is often very helpful to discuss migration candidates in The Heap first

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