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The Voice of the DBA

Where Do You End Up as a DBA?

This editorial was originally published on Feb 20, 2015. It is being re-run as Steve is traveling to SQL in the City - Los Angeles.

I saw this question pop up on the forums: Where do senior DBAs land finally? It's an interesting question, and for people that are searching for the next challenge, I would guess that they're interested in an answer. Here's what I think:

There is no landing, senior or not. There are only stops along the path of your career.

As you gain experience, and talent, you will have both more, and fewer, choices. If you expect to constantly gain salary, you will find that harder and harder over time. That's the nature of any business. The best artist/athlete/programmer/whatever will reach a point where they can't necessarily raise the market price for their services. The more you want to get paid, the fewer people that will afford you.

If you look at money as a measure, you will be disappointed at some time. Not that money isn't important, but I recommend you keep things in perspective. Money is important, but as you earn more, I would hope that value would start to diminish.

At the same time, the challenges and opportunities at a job may matter to you. If you always want a harder problem to solve, a more complex system to manage, you'll find the same limitations at some point. Fewer and fewer extremely complex (or very large) databases exist. You have less choice if this is important to you.

Some people are restless and want to look for new opportunities on a regular basis, no matter what their situation. If that's you, I would think you should consider consulting, either with a company or by yourself. Which you choose probably depends on your tolerance for the non-technical parts of a business, as your own consulting business will have lots of non-technical work to manage.

Some people value stability, and if you value that highly, you'll sacrifice some challenge and excitement. However stability is very relative these days, and you need to keep that in mind. You always work for yourself and no job is guaranteed for the rest of your career.

I have moved back and forth from consulting to FTE, and like both, but I tend to value the co-workers I have and environment more than other things. I have to enjoy going to work. I find the DBA/developer job to be pretty much the same in most places, but my co-workers make the difference.

It's good to investigate and consider other options, but don't think of this as the game of Life, with a few choices and an ending point. There are many paths, many directions to go. Some routes may cross, but many do not. You choose the one that matters to you, but don't be afraid to cross to another one if you find yourself wanting.

Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

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  Featured Contents

Using Azure Data Studio with Git

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from SQLServerCentral

In this article, we will examine how to use Azure Data Studio with a git repository for storing code.

Importing Data into Azure SQL Database

Additional Articles from Database Journal

Data imports represent some of the more commonly performed database management tasks. Learn about a number of traditional SQL Server data import techniques that you can leverage when importing data into Azure SQL Database.

SQL in the City Summits – US & Down Under

Press Release from Redgate

Redgate are inviting senior data professionals to attend one of the upcoming SQL in the City Summit events taking place in May and June. If you’re interested in learning how your business can benefit from implementing Compliant Database DevOps this event is for you. Find out who’s presenting and register for a Summit near you today.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Storage Considerations for Running SQL Server in Azure

david.bermingham from SQLServerCentral

If you are deploying SQL Server in Azure, or any Cloud platform for that matter, instead of just provisioning storage like you did for your on-premises deployments for many...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Capture Trend in Dead Lock Occurances

SQLPals from SQLServerCentral

Deadlocks are usually detected and resolved automatically by SQL Server by killing one of the SPIDs involved in it.  You may have an alert setup to notify you and/or users...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Junior Galvão - MVP):


Database Properties

In previous versions of SQL Server, the Page_Verify database property algorithms were used to verify and identify possible incomplete, suspected, or broken pages of data. In SQL Server 2017, what is the new option that should be set to add a certain bit in the header of a page?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.


Redgate SQL Source Control


  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Preventing a SELECT

I have a table, dbo.DatabaseSizeInfo, with some information about my database growth. A developer, SallyDev, wants to view this information. However, I am sure others will also want access. What is the best way to get SallyDev access to view data in this table?

Answer: Create a role, grant SELECT on dbo.DatabaseSizeInfo to the role, and add SallyDev to the role

Explanation: The preferred way to manage security in SQL Server is to always use groups and roles to grant access. The way you would do this is to create a role, grant the rights to the role, and the add the user (or group) to the role. Ref: Getting Started with Database Engine Permissions -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

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SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL
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