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John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (Blog | Twitter) is a Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) of SQL Server and publisher of the free SQL community ebook DBA JumpStart, an inspiring collection of advice for Data Professionals, written by 20 SQL Server experts. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor(MCC) award, John is a prolific blogger and can be found regularly writing about SQL Server and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.

The DBA Ultimate Fitness Workout Plan

If you plan to stay on top of your DBA game then you have to workout regularly.

Those of you that know me well know that I like to hit the gym on average 4 times a week and to go running 2-3 times a week. The primary goal of course being to impress the ladies stay in good shape. Keeping fit ensures that I stay healthy and can give my best performance consistently.

The same is true of being a DBA. If you want to continually deliver your best performance or even better, to raise your performance levels, then you need to be taking your DBA fitness seriously and exercising those DBA muscles regularly.

Super DBA
“Super DBA”

As with any good workout plan it should be customised to your specific goals. Here are some principles that your workout plan should follow to ensure you continue to make good gains:

1. You Have To Train To Gain

You don’t get stronger in the bench press by looking at the bar, you actually have to try to move it. The same is true in your role as a Database Administrator. If you don’t practice and drill your database recovery process then you’re not going to get any better at doing it.

As with exercise, training only once in a blue moon does not produce results either. You need to train regularly in order to stay in shape and maintain the desired level of performance.

Think about some of the key responsibilities or tasks of your role as a DBA and how you could train to improve your performance in these areas by regularly working at them.

2. Push Your Limits Consistently

If you don’t train both hard and consistently then you won’t improve, it’s a simple as that. I see the same faces day in and day out the gym making very little progress because they’re simply not pushing themselves hard enough. As a DBA if you want to get better at what you do then you are going to have to work at it. If you don’t push yourself to learn more and to grow outside of your comfort zone then you are not going to make much progress as a Data Professional.

The key to making progress is to regularly take small and incremental steps. Don’t try and become a PowerShell master in a weekend, that’s just not a realistic goal. You will end up overtraining and burning out. Instead look to develop your skills by defining realistic and manageable goals that you can consistently work towards.

3. Eat A Nutritious and Balanced Diet

Good nutrition is essential when you are training hard and looking to grow. A balanced diet is important and you want to ensure that you are consuming from only good quality sources. There’s a lot to learn about SQL Server and to ensure you are taking on board everything you need, you should look to consume knowledge from a variety of different and most importantly quality sources. Just because a piece of information is out there on the internet does not make it true for certain. Do your research thoroughly and ensure that you are consuming only good quality and reliable information. If in doubt, just spit it out and while we’re on the subject, if you’re a content producer yourself please do remember that With Great Advice Comes Great Responsibility.

4. Flex Those Muscles

Flexing your muscles is good for you, so why not head on over to one of the many great SQL Server Forums and sharpen some of your skills by helping out members of our awesome community. You could also try your hand at answering some of the questions that get posted to the #SQLHELP tag on Twitter or for just a bit of fun, have a go at one of my SQL Crosswords. Whilst flexing those muscles though, just remember that no one likes a poser ;-)

Simply follow these 4 principles and your DBA workout plan will be off to a great start to ensuring you continue to perform at your best.

Got some DBA workout advice of your own or tips on how you stay at the top of your game? Share them in the comments section below.

Other Resources For DBA’s to Stay in Shape

Comments

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 15 February 2011

I like the assimilation to exercise.  Thanks for the article.

Posted by John Sansom on 16 February 2011

Thanks Jason, glad you liked it!

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