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IT staff would rather pocket $100k than blast off into space

By Press Release,

Cambridge, UK, 16 November 2011 - Given the choice between a ticket into space and $102,000 (approx £65,000), 60 per cent of IT staff would take the cash. That’s the finding of a survey of its 4,000 global Twitter followers by UK-based software company Red Gate.

The research was carried out as part of Red Gate’s current DBA in Space competition which has a spaceflight as the first prize. Now extended until noon GMT on Tuesday  22 November 2011, the free competition, open to anyone who is involved with IT databases in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada and Germany, will put one lucky database administrator (DBA) on a Space Adventures flight into suborbital space. For legal reasons the winner of the competition can choose between the flight and its cash equivalent of US$102,000.

The Twitter survey found that cash-conscious DBAs would overwhelmingly put their money into bricks and mortar over interplanetary travel, with 65 per cent promising to splash the cash on paying off their mortgages. The survey is still running and anyone in the IT community can simply visit DBA in Space to indicate their preference for either cash or space.

The competition has already grabbed the attention of entrants – the DBA in Space site has seen 67,000 unique visitors, with the different pages and videos viewed over 263,000 times. The UK currently leads the way in terms of visits per head of population, closely followed by Australia and then the USA.

Over 2,400 competition tweets have been sent, as entrants scrabble to find the answers to the 14 video-based sci-fi questions. Fifteen finalists will be chosen, based on a) scoring 100% in the quiz and b) what they’d tweet from space. They’ll take part in an American Idol style vote off, with the ultimate winner chosen by a 50/50 combination of the public vote and a panel of judges.

“We created this competition to celebrate the underappreciated work that database administrators do and to reward one lucky person with a trip into space. However it looks like the recession must really be biting, as six out of ten of them would rather take the substantial cash equivalent instead of the journey of a lifetime,” said Neil Davidson, Joint-CEO of Red Gate. “We want to find out what other people think – so we’ve opened the poll up to ask the whole IT community would you go for space or cash? And while we call it DBA in Space the prize is open to anyone that works on databases – DBA doesn’t have to be your job title. There’s still time to enter before the extended deadline of 22 November, and you have a great chance as only 1 in 5 of applicants so far are getting all 14 answers right.“

After the competition closes, the answers to the sci-fi quiz questions will be announced on 23 November, with the 15 finalists of DBA in Space revealed on 6 December 2011.

About the sponsor

Red Gate creates ingeniously simple software tools used by more than 500,000 IT professionals worldwide. The company works to uplift the market it serves through free web community sites, technical publications and conference sponsorships that reach millions annually. For four years, Red Gate has sponsored the Exceptional DBA of the Year award, honouring the DBA who exemplifies the virtues of knowledge, sharing and dedicated service.

About Space Adventures

Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world's first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va., with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecraft. The company's advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, and Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott.

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