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Risks and Bets

By Steve Jones,

This past week was the week of T-SQL Tuesday for the month. This month Jason Brimhall hosted, and had an interesting set of posts that he summarized. The topic this month was Place Your Bets, inviting the community to write about risky situations that they'd encountered in their careers. As you can read through the results, there were a variety of topics, but many of them resulted in one thing for the DBAs.

Stress.

I have found that many DBAs tend to be more conservative with data integrity, more risk adverse when considering changes to systems, more careful about the architectures they are willing to recommend than many other positions. I think this is because of the temporal nature of data. It has to be maintined. Unlike a .DLL or .EXE, which can be deleted and a new (or old) version copied over. Windows machines can be rebuilt or re-imaged. Databases, however, need to maintain their contents and state over time.

When companies decide to take chances with hardware, applications, or data, it causes stress for the DBA. More than a few of the posts mention the difficulties of dealing with others that treat their data with less importance than we do. That can cause us a tremendous amount of stress as we try desparately to ensure that our data is intact, secure, and available no matter what the situation.

I write a lot about career choices and the positive, and negative, aspects of working in technology. Ultimately I think there are lots of good jobs, and that each of you should actively look for those good jobs to be sure you enjoy your life, both inside and outside of work. As one of the summaries mentions, "...if work is causing health problems, then it is time for a change."

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Steve Jones
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Steve Jones