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The More Things Change ...

By Steve Jones,

The more they seem to stay the same to me. I had someone at the recent TechEd show in Orlando tell me that he wanted to dig more into DBA work because he was worried about employment. This person was a data center manager and did a little SQL work, but he thought that there would be less and less data centers around over time.

I heard similar things 8 years ago about DBAs, that with SQL Server 7, us DBAs were becoming a bit obsolete. I had a friend a few years before that actually get out of IT. He had been a successful Windows sysadmin with a lot of Exchange experience at a large company with over 50,000 desktops. He was sure in 5 years time that so much of what he did on a daily basis would be automated and they're be no need to keep him around.

10 years later he's doing OK in real estate and there are more system administrators employed than when he worked at the company.

There will always be lots of IT work, no matter how much automation we develop, it seems that we constantly need more staff to handle the load. More and more servers exist, often specialty servers like SSRS servers, Blackberry servers, etc.. While any individual can manage more systems, there are so many additional systems that more people are hired.

I think the same thing happens with SQL Server. I remember in 1998, when SQL Server 7 was released, that it was so easy you didn't really need a DBA. That wasn't true, and while it was easy to setup and get a basic server to store data, to really build a database application well you still needed DBAs. Even today, the same simple process to restore a full backup, differential backup, and a few log backups seems to escape most Windows administrators.

And it seems with each release of SQL Server, many tasks for DBAs get easier, but the platform gets more and more complex, and it's less and less likely that you'll have a server instance run for any number of years without a DBA of some sort. It might be a once-in-a-blue-moon consultant, but you'll need someone at some point.

There's no need to worry about work in the IT field, at least I don't think so. Until we have the Star Trek-like voice control where the computer can really handle all tasks for itself and can understand what we mean when we talk to it, I can't see IT staffs shrinking in the foreseeable future.

And even if they do, in a few years there will be a tremendous number of baby boomers all around the world retiring and I'm sure there will be plenty of jobs for the Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z people out there.

Steve Jones


The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.mevio.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.

Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.

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Steve Jones