I was reading a very interesting post from L. Z. Granderson recently that is more of a political observation than anything, but in the piece he brought up a point that struck my interest. He finds that many people use a simple question when they are getting to know each other, and that the question might color the impressions of us that others hold. The question is
"What do you do?"
It's fairly innocent, and it's a nice icebreaker, and in fact I've used it at many conferences to try and get to know other people. I know that most people I meet at SQL Server events are technical, or work with SQL Server, but this allows me to better understand who they use the question. When people ask me who I am at conferences, I usually reply that I am the editor of SQLServerCentral, and explain the site if I need to. On my resume, I emphasize the "DBA" title, along with the "writer" label for me work with SQL Server.
However when I'm away from work, I answer the question differently. People in Denver ask me what I do and I'm a "computer guy", and if they query more because they're technical, I say I'm a "database guy." Pretty vanilla, pretty plain, but I find myself more often interested in talking about things other than work.
The label you use matters when you're looking for a job, or when you are presenting your professional brand to a potential employer, client, recruiter, or even your boss during a review. With that in mind, I wanted to ask you what title you use this Friday:
What's your job title?
Let us know what it is, or what you think it should be. I've often joked at many companies that I was the "data janitor" since I was always cleaning up accidents and messes, but I typically have only worried about being classified as a "DBA" or maybe a "Senior DBA." However with the proliferation of titles these days, and the buckets that many companies use to classify people, I usually go for a DBA job, but I'm willing to take the title that best fits for that company.
The Voice of the DBA Podcasts
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