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Database Administration Librarian

If I cannot find a book or info in a library, I always go to a librarian for advice and I have never been disappointed. However, whenever I need to find a solution or information about a specific problem in database adminitratin domain, I always do a google search and then spend hours and hours reading, analyzing, comparing, testing and finally deciding whether what I find is useful or not.

This prompts me to think why companies with complex database administration needs do not create a database administration librarian position, and I consider this librarian position will assume the following responsibilities:

1. Collect and categorize the database administration related scripts, which can be t-sql, PowerShell, VBScript, C++, C# etc

2. Collect and build the issue case library, for example,the librarian will collect the issues / error messages other users encounter and report in various forum, and the responses/solution from other users. This may also include the KB articles MS have published addressing a specific issue etc.

3. Research / collect / analyze the info of the SQL Server MVPs (and other distinguished experts, though they may not have MVP title), such as who is an expert at what and who frequently answer question in which sql server community etc.

4. Research / collect and document other useful information related to database administration, such as tips, undocumented SP / function, third-party tools, book reviews, interview questions etc.

I believe that if a team has a libraian of this type, the other DBAs will work more efficiently and effectively. 




Posted by Thomas Nickelsen on 12 October 2008

The quick answer is Yes! I think this is an honorable and possible position in companies large enough to justify it. However, most SQL Server licenses reside in small or medium sized companies. The cost of an additional position in such cases is usually prohibitive.

However, that does not mean that this subject is not a worthwhile endeavor for Microsoft to pursue. Microsoft should sport for one or more smart young librarians who can gather this data and publish it on the web. This approach would not be the overcomplicated and market driven approach of MSDN, but a simple system that can be used in every day pursuit of answers to daily work tasks such as:

o Successful approaches to large record counts,

o Joining large record count tables,

o How a cursor can negatively affect performance, etc.

o How to use the Visual Studio to SQL Server without negatively affecting performance.

Posted by Grant Fritchey on 14 October 2008

We sort of do that where I work. I proposed a while ago to my boss to create a position called the technical lead. It's not a seperate position. It's added responsibility on top of the regular job. It isn't a management position, but instead is first among peers. It makes it possible to have someone who is a go-to person for technical issues and someone to act as the arbitrator when there are technical disagreements. I've been filling that position for a while and it seems to work. I still do all the same project work as my peers and I'm on call, everything just like them, but I also write up our documentation, maintain our standards, document our best practices and generally do a bit more in the way of research & communication than those around me, but as a defined part of the job.

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