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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 8:03 AM


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As far as work ethic goes, what is the most important work ethic in a DBA? For me, it is self-sufficiency. Nothing is more frustrating than a DBA that can't stand on their own feet technically and must have me bail them of every problem they encounter. A good DBA muist be a quick problem solver. If I have to do most everything for them, then I might as well do it myself. However, this defeats the purpose of having a good backup DBA. As a result, I stress this point quite clearly up front in interviews as well. What do you all think?

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:14 AM
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TravisDBA (3/6/2014)
As far as work ethic goes, what is the most important work ethic in a DBA? For me, it is self-sufficiency. Nothing is more frustrating than a DBA that can't stand on their own feet technically and must have me bail them of every problem they encounter. A good DBA muist be a quick problem solver. If I have to do most everything for them, then I might as well do it myself. However, this defeats the purpose of having a good backup DBA. As a result, I stress this point quite clearly up front in interviews as well. What do you all think?


Self-Sufficiency is great. But we should also have a backup DBA atleast Jr DBA who can make the business run smoothly in case primary DBA has emergencies or on Vacation\Sick-leave. Also we need additional DBAs for on-call rotation in case of 24\7.

And also it depends on the size of the Organization and work load. Usually in large companies we have a team of 6-10 professional DBAs.

If possible and required, I personally feel it's good to add people to the team so that we can help with the unemployment too.

--
SQLBuddy

Post #1548342
Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 11:51 AM


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sqlbuddy123 (3/6/2014)
TravisDBA (3/6/2014)
As far as work ethic goes, what is the most important work ethic in a DBA? For me, it is self-sufficiency. Nothing is more frustrating than a DBA that can't stand on their own feet technically and must have me bail them of every problem they encounter. A good DBA muist be a quick problem solver. If I have to do most everything for them, then I might as well do it myself. However, this defeats the purpose of having a good backup DBA. As a result, I stress this point quite clearly up front in interviews as well. What do you all think?


Self-Sufficiency is great. But we should also have a backup DBA atleast Jr DBA who can make the business run smoothly in case primary DBA has emergencies or on Vacation\Sick-leave. Also we need additional DBAs for on-call rotation in case of 24\7.

And also it depends on the size of the Organization and work load. Usually in large companies we have a team of 6-10 professional DBAs.

If possible and required, I personally feel it's good to add people to the team so that we can help with the unemployment too.

--
SQLBuddy



It doesn't really have anything to do with the number of DBa's. It has to do with the self-sufficiency of the one(s) you already have on staff, and it is not great to have them self-sufficient, it is absolutely mandatory where I work at.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 11:58 AM
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It doesn't really have anything to do with the number of DBa's. It has to do with the self-sufficiency of the one(s) you already have on staff, and it is not great to have them self-sufficient, it is absolutely mandatory where I work at.


Yes, it depends on how you look at it and your environment. There is no single answer for everything.

--
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Post #1548419
Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:12 PM
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sqlbuddy123 (3/6/2014)


It doesn't really have anything to do with the number of DBa's. It has to do with the self-sufficiency of the one(s) you already have on staff, and it is not great to have them self-sufficient, it is absolutely mandatory where I work at.


Yes, it depends on how you look at it and your environment. There is no single answer for everything.

--
SQLBuddy


A Good DBA has to be Proactive instead of Reactive. Well versed and who sets up things as per best practices to avoid later headaches.

--
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Post #1548426
Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:07 PM


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Well, in our environment it is how we look at it. Self-Sufficiency in any DBA is mandatory. You must be able to handle most db issues on your own with little assistance, particularly when they are on call..

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
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Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 1:58 PM


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Honesty, integrity, able to ask for help when they're stuck.

I don't expect someone to know everything, no one does. I do expect someone to be able to admit when they're stuck and ask for help, not struggle for ages by themselves.



Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008, MVP
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1548480
Posted Friday, March 7, 2014 6:58 AM
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Being honest, proactive, customer friendly, self relient, no 9-to-5 mentality would make a good start.

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Posted Friday, March 7, 2014 8:59 AM
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TravisDBA (3/6/2014)
As far as work ethic goes, what is the most important work ethic in a DBA? For me, it is self-sufficiency. Nothing is more frustrating than a DBA that can't stand on their own feet technically and must have me bail them of every problem they encounter. A good DBA muist be a quick problem solver. If I have to do most everything for them, then I might as well do it myself. However, this defeats the purpose of having a good backup DBA. As a result, I stress this point quite clearly up front in interviews as well. What do you all think?


I am guessing you may have your own definition of Self-Sufficiency as every individual is different and has different methods of arriving at a solution. It 'depends' what frustrates you more a DBA who cannot do anything or the fact that you have to leave what you are doing everytime to do someone elses work. Trust me, I have been in your shoes and was of the same opinion but I try to be more accommodating now unless ofcourse it poses ANY risk to my orgs data protection.

What I have learnt from experience is depending on your level of experience, you may be expected to do some sort of mentoring or coaching and share best practices. If we all know it all then we wouldn't be on any forums.


The_SQL_DBA
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"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."
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Posted Friday, March 7, 2014 4:55 PM


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I think what Travis is referring to is something that I've recently encountered and it does have quite a bit to do with "work ethic". While it's certainly not possible for just one person to know everything there is to know, if you run into a situation where you need to ask for help, then you need to spend some time burning the midnight oil studying. If you're a really good DBA, you might spend some serious time studying before you run into a problem.

As Gail pointed out, absolute honesty and intgrity are paramount in my requirements for both DBAs and Developers. Right after that, I value intellectual curiosity and the drive to teach oneself new things before they're need. If you're not going to invest in yourself, why should I invest in you?

On the opposite end of the spectrum and quite disappointing are the people that I've interviewed in the last year or so. 4 "dbas" and only 4 out of 20 or so "developers" even knew how to get the current date and time using T-SQL. The really shocking part was that none of the "dbas" could explain clustered and non-clustered indexes even though their resumes claimed "expertise in performance tuning" and they claim to have been "dbas" for between 7 and 10 years.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
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