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Gaining experience with no experience? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 1:28 PM
Grasshopper

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Let me state that I know this is a very complicated problem, and of course there's not much getting around it other than "getting a job".

I have a predicament: I work as a Windows sysadmin, and I watch over a database server. By that, I mean I make sure it's running, I make sure apps can still connect to it, and not much traffic happening.

I really like SQL Server, and want to work as a Jr. DBA. Most of the time though, no one wants to work with you until you've had some data under your stewardship - and for good reason, it's *data*!

But how do you counteract this? Run through some tutorials about data that isn't critical to you? Be inventive and use PowerShell to dump system information to a CSV, then create reports off of it (even though you still don't care about it)? Grab your last year of account transactions and import them into DB - then be criticized for such awfully stupid judgement?

I've been trying to crack into volunteer DBA work. Guess what? Yeah, you got it, they want people who already do this stuff - "not just anyone".

It's a tired problem, but one I'm hoping to hear everyone's thoughts on (and if you know of a volunteer DBA job I'll totally mail them back )
Post #1272932
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 1:50 PM


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Do you have a DBA where you work? If you do, try getting some time to talk to him (or her). Let him know you are interested in learning more about SQL Server and that you would really like to move into a Junior DBA position. Get the opportunity to spend time with him when possible (don't neglect your own duties). This can be your first step into gaining experience.


Lynn Pettis

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Post #1272957
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 1:59 PM


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If you don't mind a little self-promotion, an article I wrote for SSC on this topic:

http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Career/71608/

Edit: Whoops, wrong one.

http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Career/73400/



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Post #1272965
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 2:26 PM


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ilanham (3/26/2012)
I have a predicament: I work as a Windows sysadmin, and I watch over a database server. By that, I mean I make sure it's running, I make sure apps can still connect to it, and not much traffic happening.


Does that DB server have a DBA? If not, suggest to your boss that you start looking at the DB side of the box in addition to the rest of your sysadmin work. Voilà, you're a DBA (though that is a hard way of doing things with no one to learn from). Do that for a year and you can legitimately put 1 year of DBA experience on the CV

If you do go that way, there's a huge amount of learning to be done and it's entirely your responsibility to make sure that you do it.



Gail Shaw
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Post #1273002
Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 2:36 PM
Grasshopper

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GilaMonster (3/26/2012)

Does that DB server have a DBA? If not, suggest to your boss that you start looking at the DB side of the box in addition to the rest of your sysadmin work. Voilà, you're a DBA (though that is a hard way of doing things with no one to learn from). Do that for a year and you can legitimately put 1 year of DBA experience on the CV

If you do go that way, there's a huge amount of learning to be done and it's entirely your responsibility to make sure that you do it.


Yup, I am the DBA for that box I make sure backups run properly (TLog, Diff, and Full), and stats and dbcc runs properly as well. I've been doing that for closer to 2 years than 1. Studied like crazy, got my MCTP on SQL Server 2008 dba track.

I've still been finding stuff looking for >5 years exp. on SQL Server. I figure it maybe just isn't the right time, say if all the Jr jobs are taken. My resume could also be a mess.

My assumption (whoops) has been that when I tell people 1.5 years of DBA work on...50MB databases, no one really cares. You could legitimately argue the business case of "why SQL Server for that data size?". Not my call to do so (inherited environment), but the response anyways is "3rd party apps we bought that insist on Standard or higher".
Post #1273011
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