If you truly desire to be an effective SQL Server Database Administrator then you absolutely must have a buddy.
SQL Server is a huge product that is packed full of features to the extent that no one individual can be an expert in all areas. You’re going to need help!
The fact that no one individual can master all there is to know about SQL Server to expert level means that the knowledge of “other” experts is of exceptionally high value to you, so much so in fact that you may find yourself unable to proceed with your task without it. We’re always hearing about how important and valuable experience is, particularly from the job market, and the more of it that you have and have access to, the better.
Don’t believe me, read The Database Administrators Primary Responsibility. It should be clear to every DBA that proceeding ahead on any task without complete and absolute certainty of what’s involved and what the expected outcome is, would be putting your data at unnecessary risk. Put simply, this is something that you just do not want to be doing.
With your very own SQL Buddy or even better Buddies, each with their own areas of expertise, you gain the potential to tap into an incredibly valuable expert knowledge resource and in turn the opportunity to take further steps towards avoiding putting your data at unnecessary risk.
Some of the powerful ways that your Buddies can work with you include:
You’ve designed your latest index optimization process and tested it thoroughly in your development environment. Does that guarantee that it will work just fine in Production? Absolutely not, there are no guarantees of success short of when it actually works in Production, which is why a second pair of eyes to review your work can be an incredibly valuable asset to you. It’s inevitable that you will make mistakes and having a Buddy can be the difference between it actually costing you or being caught as a simple matter of process.
Your choice of buddy is often determined by the colleagues and professionals you have close proximity to. Here are some of the places that you may wish to look when seeking to find your very own buddy.
Obviously your buddy will not be able to assist you in all areas of SQL Server for the very same reasons that you are seeking a buddy in the first place. For this reason it’s important to know when to work with a particular buddy. A Senior Server Admin is probably not going to be able to assist you with performance tuning T-SQL code but could provide you with a valuable peer review/second opinion when planning for new server build for your environment.
It’s important to remember that finding a buddy and forging a good relationship is a two way street. To ensure that you get the most out of the relationship you must reciprocate the support and knowledge sharing effort. The more you put in the more you will get out. Through collaboration you can consistently produce higher quality deliverables and improve the safety of your data assets.
By now it should be clear to you that every DBA can benefit from having a buddy, so what are you waiting for? Get out there, make new connections and start investing in the protection of your data assets.