Data is king

In most organizations, the data is significantly more important than the applications which use it - data is king. The fundamental reason is simply that data almost always outlives the applications that create it. Data is quasi-permanent, whereas the applications that use the data usually change over time. For example, it's common for an end-user application to be completely replaced after a certain number of years, using a more modern set of tools. In this case, the database may:

Persistent data is just that - persistent - it stays around for a long, long time.

If data is king, then the most important tasks for a developer are those involving the database. Any effort put into improving the database, or how it's used, will have a lasting, long-term benefit. In particular, the application programmer should make sure that: