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DBAs and the Career-Life Balance Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 2:08 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item DBAs and the Career-Life Balance

Brad M. McGehee
Microsoft SQL Server MVP
Director of DBA Education, Red Gate Software
www.bradmcgehee.com
Post #1236215
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 6:15 PM
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I can barely stop laughing.

Point 1: Steve just recently posted the exact opposite article about how we need to spend MORE time working (phrased as "learning" however) on our own time in order to be successful.

Point 2: You post this about how we need to spend LESS time working and more with our families.

Point 3: I just spent the last 24 hours working on an Excel spreadsheet that would allow an HR employee to press a button and create an XML file so we can load new hires into our ERP system. Of that 24 hours, 3 was spent with the family, and 5 were spent sleeping.

Point 4: This effort was required because someone else was unable to complete their work on time, putting a major project at least 2 months behind schedule.

Point 5: I have another 4 or so major projects that are at risk because I can't spend enough time on them, but their go-live dates are later.

I agree with you, I feel the majority of people feel they have to work unreasonable hours because employers know so many people are out of work. Maybe one day the economy will turn around, and we can go back to the days when we got actual raises, and employers were terrified we might find out how underpaid and overworked we were!

I am doing it mostly because I enjoy coding, and the work needs to be done. I still manage to spend more time with my family than almost anyone I know.


Dave
Post #1236233
Posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:26 PM
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The first thing to remember is you are not the savior of the world. Concentrate on the things you are directly responsible for and make sure you complete the tasks your coworkers are depending on. Learning is a never ending joy that will make you wonder at how dumb you were in the past. Your family is part of that learning. You will regret deeply if you focus to hard on one facet and find you have missed something that you will never again have the chance to experience.
Post #1236236
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 6:30 AM
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In many IT environments it is a taboo to allow the employees a portion of time during working hours to advance their knowledge and skill sets, unless this is directly related to what they are currently working on.

What many organizations do not grasp is that incorporating learning in employees' daily schedules is an investment in future productivity. Instead, it is thought of as wasting company money on employee idle time. As a result, peoples' time at work is often packed with menial, mundane tasks with no time left to "think", "plan" and come up with innovative ideas spawned by learning.

Because IT and SQL Server, in particular, is advancing so rapidly, any self-respecting professional with an ounce of interest in what they do would feel the need to keep up-to-date with latest developments and increase their knowledge. The only time left for that is really at home and that time will inevitably encroach on family life. It is a challenge I face constantly and I have found no easy answers. I take it one day at a time and do the best balancing act I can, knowing that one area or the other will suffer at any given point.

I guess what it boils down to is this: 10 or 20 years from now, what will I regret the most: not spending enough time with my family or not becoming a SQL MCM? I think the former.


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Post #1236287
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 7:04 AM
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I submit that if one were to ask "Who are you?" and the reply has something to do with "working as a SQL Server DBA or SQL Server database administrator" then there is a problem. What happens when you cease to be a SQL Server DBA? That day will come.

Marios has a good point regarding the corporate view about learning and skill-building during the work day being wasted time. But I recall that one from back in the day working with COBOL on an IBM 370.



Post #1236291
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:55 AM
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DBAs and the Career-Life Balance?!
parallel things)
If count $$ is one side of medal, knowlidge is other, something else is third.
In condition changeble world no doubt business-analytics plays important role and perhaps best path for DBA, need to do correct conclusion from them.

Anton Kruglikov


Post #1236308
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:36 AM


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To be honest, I took the article by very surprise.

Currently I am working as an Application Support (IT section) in a Shipping company. From the 6.5 to 2012 I have been worked as sql developer and no matter how many times I have asked my reporting manager "to change me in to the higher role on the SQL side" and it is a still no. I have seen myself derailed from my main interest and from past last 2 years I have not worked on SQL at work, as my role and support does not allow me to do. So I am planning to quit my current job and start all over with the SQL, and this has been by resolution of this year and my future career.

I do all the stuff on SQL what you have mentioned... downloading, installing... last week I spent all the off time is installing the XP on the VM and configure each OS for each SQL version. I have now like 8 OSs (including MySQL)

" Is it more important to download SQL Server 2012 on your home computer and learn it than working on a hobby that you enjoy?" this is the most interesting thing for me, as now SQL has become my hobby.

From my current work it is hard to spend the time with family and I miss most of the things happens around and even some peopel hate me for showing/spending so much of time on the work. This was me last year, and this year I have changed a bit and no matter what I always make some time to be with family people around. After reading this article, I understood one thing that even SQL jobs are not easy for managing time. But some people go and do exactly what they feel. Being at one side is hard, even after spending some time with family it becomes boring and you feel like go back to work and do some thing new and vise-versa. I have never found a proper balancing thing between these two.

On twitter I follow few people and see them work and enjoy their life both at the same time and everytime i see their new tweet I feel how are they doing this? And one day when I was reading their interview on how they got in to SQL I came to know these are the people who do not work for money and nor for name, they work because they love their job and each task is like a fun to them and they enjoy doing what they do.

The bottom line is "enjoy what you do and do what you enjoy" if you take work as a work and it really becomes as work (as-in stress), if you take work as fun and interesting, it does not feels like work and it feels like you are having fun. As long as you are happy on what you are doing, I guess this should not bother to anyone.

(now its time to put some extra hours into my hobby )


ww; Raghu
--
The first and the hardest SQL statement I have wrote- "select * from customers" - and I was happy and felt smart.
Post #1236327
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:08 PM


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In our office I'm known as the SQL Evangelist... at home, these days even my wife would wake me up and read alert text messages, understanding half of it..

She loves making jokes involving SQL "talk", using words like table joins, procedures, heck, she can even speak a simple select statement....

Sometimes I think I'm too deeply involved in SQL Server, and turn it down a notch, but when I find myself speaking t-sql in my sleep, I'm just back on the path again....can't get away from it.



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Post #1236370
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 12:12 AM
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While it is not that easy, my health, well being and my family comes before everything. My close friends are also very important to me when I think about it. My job, while important, I do not live to work. I work to live.
Post #1236403
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012 4:54 AM
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Whilst I consider myself a good SQL Server/IT professional, I do find it incredibly hard to keep up with all the latest features within the product and I take my hat off to the guys who are at the top of the SQL tree. However, thats just not me. As much as I try and stay on top of all things SQL Server, I probably don't spend as much time keeping my SQL career current as I could.

Last year, I made a point of blogging every week (on a SQL topic) to ensure I kept my technical eye in whilst doing my bit for the SQL Community. It was tough but rewarding. This year, I won't be able to make the same commitment because of changes in my personal life and i'm comfortable with this.

I'll try and blog and do as much as I can to keep myself valuable (to me and my company!) but this won't be at the expense of other commitments.



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