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Does Maturity Make a DBA?

By Brad McGehee,

I have been a DBA for about 14 years, and I have been fortunate to meet hundreds of other DBAs throughout my career, many of whom are now my friends, even though most of them live thousands of miles away from me.

While there are exceptions, most of the DBAs *I* have met seem to fit into one or more of the following categories:

  • Conservative, not necessarily in the political sense, but in how they conduct their lives.
  • Stable, dependable, and reliable.
  • Family-oriented, who puts their family first.
  • Hard-working, doing whatever it takes to get the job done, and providing for people close to them.
  • Community-minded, often helping others and volunteering their time for various community causes.
  • People of faith, participating in their chosen religion.

In other words, DBAs tend to be mature, responsible individuals, generally the kind of person that you would want as friend, or as a next door neighbor.

This has got me thinking. Are DBAs drawn to their work (as a DBA) because the nature of DBA work fits well with the characteristics described above, or is it because employers seek out such individuals with these characteristics, because they know these types of individuals will do a good job in a position of great responsibility? Of course, there's also the possibility that their personal maturity is actually a secondary consideration to their professional maturity, and the two just happen to feed off each other. What I mean is that I think a lot of DBAs have already had first careers and are coming to this new arena later in life. It could be that employers are actually drawn to those of us who are wise in the ways of the world, and bring a longer perspective to the role.

So, what do you think? Are DBAs drawn to their work because of their maturity, or do organizations who hire DBAs tend to prefer mature employees? Or am I full of baloney, and perhaps DBAs are no different than anyone else?

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