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Most important DBA Skill? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:07 AM
Old Hand

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I would say that's not just true for a DBA job, but for any type of technical job. If you've got great technical skills, but you aren't willing to listen to users or aren't able to communicate with them, you will fail. Another need is the right mixture of self-confidence and humility; self-confidence to know when you're right, humility to know you're not always right.
Post #1448049
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:15 AM


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Now back to the real world. All the people skill in the world is not going to matter a tinkers darn if you can't deliver the goods under pressure, end of story. Are you a good guy/gal or a goto guy/gal? They are not the same and are usually never the same in one package. That's just the way it is folks. Brilliant usually is arrogant and cocky, so get used to it! Anyone that tells me that aptitude and ability can be learned is kidding themselves in a real time production environment today. Sure, if you got months to train someone and bring them up to speed and to be really good, then good for you... However, most shops today just dont have that kind of time. They have commitments and hard deadlines. They need someone to hit the ground running and knows their stuff and can deliver on time, period. If this was not the case then high priced consultants would be phased out of the industry by now, and believe me they are still around. I have seen a lot of "good people skils" guys and gals come and go over the 29 years I have been in this business...Most of them are selling cars or flowers now.

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448054
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:23 AM


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I agree people skills are extremely valuable. I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have some people skills.

But, to be contrarian and to agree with TravisDBA, I have worked with people who have no people skills, but they deliver. They exceed expectations and they are brilliant at what they do. While it'd be nice if they had people skills too, there's still no comparison to someone with more people skill and less technical skill (in their role).

I would argue there's a difference between lacking people skills and being rude/arrogant/short-tempered too. While people without people skills can come across as rude or arrogant, it's a question of intent. Are they being arrogant because they are an a**, or because they know what they're talking about? If the former, then yeah, that shines through. If the latter, anyone who works with them will quickly gain respect for what they have to say, regardless of initial impressions.


Leonard
Madison, WI
Post #1448061
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:28 AM


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There are a lot of DBAs who don't have people skills, a university degree, or even socks, but they are amoung the best at what they do.
Post #1448065
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:29 AM
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Yea, the real world aspect, is if they are 'that' good, they will move onto either high priced consulting or higher level job which kind of moves away from the original question what is the most important skill. I don't think it's a skill, I think it's many skills. The most important think I think a DBA needs is the skill of Jack of All Trades, to be able to quickly deliver on a development project, turn around solve a production problem, spit out a report for management, and if something bad happens recover an environment. It's why DBAs are typically paid well. A good DBA is worth his weight in gold.
Post #1448066
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:36 AM


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mosborne (4/30/2013)
Yea, the real world aspect, is if they are 'that' good, they will move onto either high priced consulting or higher level job which kind of moves away from the original question what is the most important skill. I don't think it's a skill, I think it's many skills. The most important think I think a DBA needs is the skill of Jack of All Trades, to be able to quickly deliver on a development project, turn around solve a production problem, spit out a report for management, and if something bad happens recover an environment. It's why DBAs are typically paid well. A good DBA is worth his weight in gold.

A talented DBA will always earn a good living as a problem solver; someone who can sit in the background and spit out reports for management. However, without people skills, that high-priced consulting career will remain tantelizingly beyond their reach.
Post #1448068
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:43 AM


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Eric M Russell (4/30/2013)
[quote]mosborne (4/30/2013)
However, without people skills, that high-priced consulting career will remain tantelizingly beyond their reach.


I have only two words in response to this rather audacious statement above only because I have personally seen it and can personally attest to it, 'Not true".


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448073
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:58 AM


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TravisDBA (4/30/2013)
Eric M Russell (4/30/2013)
[quote]mosborne (4/30/2013)
However, without people skills, that high-priced consulting career will remain tantelizingly beyond their reach.


I have only two words in response to this rather audacious statement above only because I have personally seen it and can personally attest to it, 'Not true".

A talented IT person with less than average people skills certainly can earn a good living leaping from one six-month contract to another. However, that's not the same thing as a "high-priced consultant".
Post #1448094
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:12 AM
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You hire the "who", not the "what". The What changes, that's why you have professional services and contract engagements. The Who is the face of your company to your users and determines whether or not you are looked at as a successful organization or a road block.
Post #1448100
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:17 AM


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Eric M Russell (4/30/2013)
TravisDBA (4/30/2013)
Eric M Russell (4/30/2013)
[quote]mosborne (4/30/2013)
However, without people skills, that high-priced consulting career will remain tantelizingly beyond their reach.


I have only two words in response to this rather audacious statement above only because I have personally seen it and can personally attest to it, 'Not true".

A talented IT person with less than average people skills certainly can earn a good living leaping from one six-month contract to another. However, that's not the same thing as a "high-priced consultant".


Yes, I know the difference. So, then are you saying that "high priced consultants" always have people skills? Because, if you are, I am saying that not all of them do, because I know many of them.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1448103
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