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Mistake or #Fail

By Steve Jones,

http://www.popartuk.com/g/l/lghr14309+the-art-of-war-5-fundamentals-sun-tzu-poster.jpg I ran across this article the other day about Linux Administrators and it mentioned that there were some basic things that new people weren't learning. These are items mostly specific to the Linux OS, but some of them might be applicable to other systems, even SQL Servers. For example, you could compare learning the command line to learning T-SQL scripting. And weak passwords for privileged accounts are something every administrator should avoid. You can read the article and see if you agree with the others.

I see new DBAs having similar issues, often not wanting to learn some basics about the systems they work with. One thing I often see is a lack of scripting skill, especially scripting to manipulate files; that seems to be something that many new administrators lack. An understanding of indexes, keys, and how data space is managed are other areas that I seem to be constantly answering questions about as well.

But by not knowing these things are people new to the platform just making mistakes? Or are they failing themselves and their employers?

I'd argue that not learning fundamentals is more of a failure than a mistake. All too often there are new administrators that refuse to learn these things when they're informed of them. They ask the same questions, or very similar ones, over and over. Everyone is ignorant about something in their career and will make mistakes because of that ignorance. Progressing in your career means reducing that level of ignorance and learning more.

Following the advice of others until you have learned enough to make an educated decision is how many people progress quickly, and become better SQL Server professionals. However blindly following advice and asking questions because you don't want to work on you career is a sure path to failure.

Steve Jones


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