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More Tips for New (and old) DBAs Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, January 10, 2009 11:36 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item More Tips for New (and old) DBAs

Craig Outcalt



Tips for new DBAs: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Career/64632
My other articles: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Authors/Articles/Craig_Outcalt/560258
Post #634196
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 3:47 AM
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Craig, interesting article, particularly the just say no and passing on problems bit. As we all know when there are performance problems the database always gets blamed first, so having to refer on problems once we have checked things out is not uncommon.

On the just say no section, one of our main interview questions is to ask what the interviewee would do if they received a request over the phone to delete data, if they say they would do it and don't start going on about proper change procedures and backout plans we get worried.

Also management backing for refusing ad-hoc requests is needed all the way up the chain. In service companies this is not often forthcoming and someone will eventually cave in to keep the client happy, so you can end up getting it in the ear from both ends. That doesn't mean the DBA should just give in though, its part of the job to protect the data and take the brickbats.

Hopefully you will avoid any pork chops on the cursor comment, :) as DBA housekeeping jobs are probably the one area they are a good way to do things, with the elapsed time being dominated by the dynamic SQL generated (backup,reindex, checkdb) rather than the loop process itself.


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Post #634546
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 5:29 AM


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Nice article!

Lots of good advice, I particularly like the advice about learning T-SQL... and the fact that Cursors have their place, and DBA code is one of the places where it could be ok to use a cursor...

Mark
Post #634589
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 6:18 AM
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Very nicely done and covers some difficult topics - primarily the topic about saying NO. It is just as much of an art, as it is a technical dance, to be an effective DBA and you bring that to light in this article.
Post #634615
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 6:49 AM
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Your organization needs to suppoort saying no; it's easy to say this from an ivory tower perspective but you have to have management and executive support. At some companies the culture simply is that you will do what you need to do to help. If you try to single handedly change this without the power to do it (and DBAs are often staff, not management) it can adversely affect your career.

However, the article was spot on in general. A DBA needs to think before the perform any task and that seems to be the main message, one that is often difficult for junior DBAs to pick up. Part of the value a DBA provides is adding the extra filter and layer of protection to the systems.
Post #634637
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 7:36 AM


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Andy Steinke (1/12/2009)
Your organization needs to suppoort saying no; it's easy to say this from an ivory tower perspective but you have to have management and executive support.


This is very true and in the case where management support does not exist, a case needs to be made to get the attitudes, procedures and culture shifted. By not supporting production stability and strongly defined processes the organization is stunting its capabilities (and may not know it).

Thanks for your comments!

~BOT


Craig Outcalt



Tips for new DBAs: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Career/64632
My other articles: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Authors/Articles/Craig_Outcalt/560258
Post #634678
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 7:53 AM
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SQLBOT (1/12/2009)
Andy Steinke (1/12/2009)
Your organization needs to suppoort saying no; it's easy to say this from an ivory tower perspective but you have to have management and executive support.


This is very true and in the case where management support does not exist, a case needs to be made to get the attitudes, procedures and culture shifted. By not supporting production stability and strongly defined processes the organization is stunting its capabilities (and may not know it).

Thanks for your comments!

~BOT


couldn't agree more, but be prepared to be unpopular with the wrong people! So this is not a task that should be left to a junior DBA.


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Post #634689
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 7:58 AM
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is it just me or is this thread not appearing in 'active threads' or 'my posts'?

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Post #634697
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 8:32 AM
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... be prepared to be unpopular with the wrong people!


Some people say no and couldn't get the right people to stand behind them or support them even if they offered gifts and bribes. Some people however can say no and everybody lines up behind them to support their decision, regardless of whether management support currently exists or not. We've all seen this.

In my experience it's not a matter of having a good argument. You can talk X + Y = Z all you want but it rarely persuades. It's something else. I have some ideas. But I'm curious to see what other people think.

Post #634729
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009 8:47 AM
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Rob Symonds (1/12/2009)
... be prepared to be unpopular with the wrong people!


In my experience it's not a matter of having a good argument. You can talk X + Y = Z all you want but it rarely persuades. It's something else. I have some ideas. But I'm curious to see what other people think.



gut reaction - if the management do not understand the technical issues or do not have respect for technical people per se, they are less likely to support them

Also, if they want to appear proactive to the client trying to circumvent procedures, it's easier to kick your own people. i.e. its a cop out.


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