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John Sansom - SQL Server DBA in the UK

John Sansom (@SQLBrit) is a Technology Lead with the database team at Expedia, Inc. providing consulting services and support for one of the worlds largest SQL Server environments. Awarded the Microsoft Community Contributor Award (MCC) John can be found regularly blogging about Being a DBA and Professional Development over at www.johnsansom.com.

Your DBA Role is Changing. Are you Ready?

Where do you see yourself in the future? Are you working at the same company, are you working in a similar role, does your current role even exist?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” - Mohandas K. Gandhi

Change has always been a close companion of the technology world. Technology is persistently striving to be faster, smarter and greater, much like its disciples. With such unstoppable momentum to change it’s inevitable that the role you are in now will not remain as it is indefinitely. Surely then it’s a question of how long or rather how soon will it be before your current role, the role of the traditional Database Administrator(DBA) perhaps, no longer exists?

You only have to look immediately around you, right now in your current working environment, to see that things are changing.

Why Should You Care About Change?

It’s clear that your role, technology and the world around you is changing but why should you care about change?

  • Consider that your current role as it exists now will not remain so forever. You will ultimately have no job if you do nothing or worse still, resist change. You don’t want to be left behind.
  • You want to position yourself so that you are ready to take advantage of the new landscape that is unfolding and to flourish with it.
  • Change is exciting! It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore, learn, grow and adapt.

Change and the Role of the DBA

If you’re an operational DBA it can be especially easy to focus solely on the here and now, moving from one task to the next without coming up for air. Before you know it, several years may have passed and the technology around you has moved on. You should evaluate your circumstances every once in a while, to ensure that you are both where you want to be now and heading toward where you would like to be in the future, particularly where your technical proficiency is concerned.

Consider what change means to you and your role as a Data Professional:

  • Look at what the future role of the DBA may have in store for you.
  • Consider how the professional landscape  is changing. There is no pure DBA role any longer. Ask any two DBA’s and you will most likely find that their roles are very different, using different features from the SQL Server product stack,  working with different types of users/applications/customers.
  • DBAs need to be more than just technically adept at administering database servers. Some are developers, some work with storage, some start from a parallel discipline such as server administration.
  • Today’s DBA needs more than just technical skills, something we looked at before in 10 Character Traits of Outstanding DBAs and my Top 10 Junior DBA Interview Tips. What skills will the Data Professional of the future need?

Some of you have no doubt seen the role of the DBA change considerably throughout your career. How do you see it changing as we move forward?

With Change comes Opportunity

Change always brings with it an abundance of new and exciting opportunities. You just have to be open to seeing those opportunities before you, to be able to seize them.

Here are some suggestions

Make Sure You are Ready

The role of the Data Professional and the environment in which we work is continually changing. Both your attitude and approach to change are key to your success. I truly believe that we are working in exciting times packed full of opportunity for those open to it, willing to explore, learn and grow. I want you to make sure that you are ready to make the most of it, to make the most of change.

What do you think the future has in store for the role of the DBA or Data Professional? What changes do you see on the horizon in the work place? Maybe you’re excited about StreamInsight or Cloud technology. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Make sure you catch all future posts, as well as additional exclusive content, by Subscribing to my blog feed. You can even receive posts direct to your email .

Comments

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 25 May 2011

Change - what?  No!!!

Seriously, good stuff

Posted by John Sansom on 25 May 2011

Thanks Jason!

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