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By Jeffrey Yao,
2005/12/30 (first published: 2004/03/03)
Having been a DBA for about 9 years, I am frequently asked by some
programmers, “I am tired of coding, now I want to switch my career to be a DBA,
so where should I start?” I promised that I would write an article to answer
these questions based on my experience, so this article is mainly based on my
experience as a SQL Server and DB2 DBA, and I welcome other DBAs to share their
experiences on this topic.
The quickest way to be a qualified junior DBA is to understand the scope of
daily DBA tasks and grasp the necessary skills to do these tasks. I figure that
a junior DBA’s work accounts for at least 40% of daily DBA tasks. The following
is a list of tasks essential to every DBA.
T-SQL is a powerful tool that enables DBAs to personate their database
management styles by scripting their daily tasks such as auditing, backups /
restores, performance tuning etc. Most of application performance issues in real
world are related to bad SQL statements. I cannot over emphasize the importance
of writing good SQL scripts.
The following are the essential SQL statements to me:
a) CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) statements about database, table,
view, UDF, triggers, stored procedures.
b) T-SQL programming control statements, such as if…else…, begin…end,
while…break…continue and case statement and use of cursor.
c) SQL Server internal functions, such as @@identity, @@spid, substring(),
To be a qualified DBA, you have to master the right skills at the right time.
You do not have to know everything to start your career as a DBA, but you have
to know where to start. There is no distinct line between a junior DBA and an
intermediate DBA or an intermediate DBA and a senior DBA. But my personal
feeling is that when your rank goes higher, you need more than technical skills
to demonstrate your values. My final word to those who are interested in DBA
“Do not think of database management as a routine job, but think of it as an art
work that you can demonstrate your imagination and creativity.”
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