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Career growth - Production Support SQL Server DBA Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 1:37 AM
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I have just started as a Production Support SQL Server DBA . Earlier as I Was working as a development dba.

Personally I enjoyed work as a development dba but then ..as they say...Grass is always greener on the other side..I switched to Production support... but now I think....life is miserable for production support...as one needs to work in odd hours too !!

I would now stick to the career path which is going to be more n demand and would yeild good benefits too, in terms of $$$$ !:D

Please advise.
Post #527067
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 4:03 AM
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life is miserable for production support...as one needs to work in odd hours too !!


Do you go to different clients site to fix when they have issues?
Or do you "look after" the production server of one particular client?
Other than odd hours, do you face any other issues?
Post #527130
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 4:32 AM
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I support all production servers of a particular client. There are about 40 servers. All of them are being used in different timings , i.e. round the clock.

The other thing which I fear is that .. whether being in production support is good career option or not as compared to a development DBA's profile ?

Which of the two is in demand these days..and what is predicted for the furture ?

Post #527145
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 4:44 AM
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Both of them are going to be in demand in the future, it really depends on the size of the organisation you work for. Quite often the same dba does both, as well as designing and developing the database.

You really have to look at what you enjoy doing, if you say that doing production support is making your life miserable then maybe it is not for you.

Though i don't think it will hurt your career to do get some production support experience.

If you want to make a career out of being a development DBA then it would be good to learn about all aspects of software development and it wouldn't hurt to learn a specifc dev language like c# or vb.net

SQL careers can vary greatly and you should look at working the field that you enjoy or no matter how many £££ you make you will still be miserable.
Post #527150
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 7:36 AM
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I think it all depends on the company you work for and how they define your responsibilities. I just went to work as a Prod. Support DBA and work in a team where I am only on call once a month for a week. If you are on call 24/7/365 with the company and no comp time or compensation for the extra hours then that would suck, but maybe it's time to look for a better company environment.

You are the only one who can determine if you prefer development work or prod support work better. Both are viable career paths and there should be plenty of opportunity for both.
Post #527313
Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2008 8:02 AM


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www.salary.com has data on pay and benefits for various careers/jobs on a per-location basis. Plug in your data, get a comparison. If it's just about the money, that's where I'd go for data.

From what I've seen, production support often gets higher pay right now, but also has the highest stress and off-hours stuff. Dev often has a slightly lower payscale, but requires less weekends and evenings (except during crunch time, if your company works that way).

I do both, and don't mind the odd hours they sometimes require. I like working for small/medium companies, where I can have some variety in my duties on any given day, instead of doing the same thing all the time. I make less money that way, but it's worth it to me.


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Post #527337
Posted Thursday, July 3, 2008 8:06 AM


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There are more and more companies offering production dba support as a service. Thus I think this class of employee will be less in demand with laid-off types bloating supply. Not a good career path IMHO.

Best,

Kevin G. Boles
SQL Server Consultant
SQL MVP 2007-2012
TheSQLGuru at GMail
Post #528085
Posted Thursday, July 3, 2008 10:22 AM
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I myself have always been the "jack of all trades" DBA, production, development, data architect and even some programming. I have been of the belief that the production DBA is slowly being phased out. I've worked a lot places where the System Admins maintained backups and routine maintenance and just used me as a reference as I focused on other things. I have always considered by wealth of different experience to be an asset, but at times it leads me to tasks that I don't feel are that of a DBA, but in the end get to learn something new and of value seems to be a good tradeoff. Having said all that, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity as long as you can stand it and then hopefully move up and on to something that excites you and is even maybe a little less stressful. I have found stress in every area at sometime in my career.


Post #528218
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:28 AM
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How many database servers do you support? How many DBAs your company has?

I am not particularly a jack of all trades but do different things and do both production and development. One DBA for too many servers.

~Leon
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Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:38 AM


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Personally I wud prefer being a production DBA but you should be ready to ->
1) work under pressure
2) should be having a depth knowledge on Database structure and
3) ready to pick the calls at anytime


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