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Question of the Day
The Voice of the DBA

What Keeps You Employed?

I get asked this question regularly each year as I start coaching volleyball: "what do you do?" New parents are always interested in what the coach does outside of running their kids around a court. This year, I actually got asked this question a couple weekends ago at the final tournament by a parent that I'd talked to many times, but this was the first time we had an extended conversation. It's always a little funny to explain what I do, since it's a mix of quite a few jobs, most of which are somewhat out or the ordinary.

There was an interesting post from Pamela Mooney recently that reminded me that many of us perform jobs that are a little harder to describe to others. Or maybe we are a bit too literal in how we communicate and struggle to concisely express our job responsibilities. In any case, I like the analogies that Pamela makes to the medical industry where there are many specialties with vastly different skills. It's similar for data professionals, though there are really many less potential specialties. Pamela has a general definition that covers lots of things:

DBAs are the guardians and facilitators of the company’s data.

Guardians covers most of the administrative responsibilities. Protect it with backups and security, ensure it's still there, and more. Facilitator might be more development focused, but availability and performance would certainly fall under this description as well. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a good general description.

One that's not likely to mean much to laymen.

I'm sure most of you have had to answer the question at some point in the past. Thinking about it now, without the pressure to respond in real time, how would you easily describe what you do? What do you say about your job? Perhaps you talk about the parts that you really like, or that things you are proud to do. Maybe you mention the things that annoy you the most.

Let us know today what you respond with, and try to do better than the generic I often give: "I'm a computer guy."

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

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

Redgate Webinars
  Featured Contents

Are your CPU-intensive queries running slowly? Check your VM type.

Additional Articles from Brent Ozar Unlimited Blog

When you build a VM for SQL Server in Amazon EC2, Azure VMs, or Google Compute Engine, it’s all too easy to overlook the CPU speeds that you’re getting. Brent Ozar explains when to stop and check the VM type you used when building this VM.

Exporting Custom Messages from Sys.Messages

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from

Learn how to get your custom messages from an existing instance and add them to a new instance.

SQL Clone for Unit Testing Databases

Site Owners from Redgate

Phil Factor demonstrates how to use SQL Clone to create 'disposable' SQL Server databases, for development and testing work. You can spin up a clone, use it to unit test your code, messing up the clone in the process, then reset the clone in seconds, ready for the next test.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Animating a Magic 8 Ball in SQL Server Management Studio

Bert Wagner from SQLServerCentral

This post is a response to this month’s T-SQL Tuesday #114 prompt by Matthew McGiffen.  T-SQL Tuesday is a way for the SQL Server community to share ideas about different database...

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - DevOps Is About Communication

Grant Fritchey from SQLServerCentral

I spend a lot of time showing how to use tools to automate database deployments in support of DevOps. However, the one message that I always try to deliver...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Contract Requirements

When creating a Service Broker Contract, what is required?

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




  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by rVadim)

Delete offline database

I'm low on disk space. I see there is a database that was taken offline some time ago and now can be deleted. What will happen after I execute DROP DATABASE?

Answer: Database is deleted but I don't get any disk space back.

Explanation: If the database or any one of its files is offline when it is dropped, the disk files are not deleted. These files can be deleted manually by using Windows Explorer. Ref: Drop Database -

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.

SQL Server 2017 - Development
Finding the starting ID in log table - Thanks if you can help. A logged process starts and then perform additional actions. Then the process starts again. I want to group the starting log message and the subsequent messages associated with it so that each message can tie back to it's 'Starting' message ID. The last select shows my expected results in column […]
What is the best way to test data type conversions? - Is there a way where I can use a debugger to see the value of a variable at each execution step? Is there a way to see how much space in memory the value is taking up? When would a person do an explicit conversion?  If you know that you will need to do an […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
Migrating from (mostly) 2K8 to 2016 - HI all, About to start this project and would be grateful for any good comprehensive articles rated highly by the good folks here at SSC TIA  
DBCC15 Result File - I had a database on a drive that failed. It got corrupted, but only 3 tables. It was moved to a new drive. Then due to choices that were not mine to make, it was decided not to restore from an untainted backup and to instead rebuild these three tables. I did this and everything […]
Endopoint stop alwayson during X time - Hello everyone , I just discovered that the databases in my Alwayson cluster are in NON SYNCHRONIZED status I tested Endpoint I found it in status stoped I launched Endpoint to start it again it has gone well and the endpoint has started well i would like to have now during the period where the […]
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
Organizing and cleaning up AS400 DB2 data in SQL server - I've been dealing with data migration out of ancient AS400 piece by piece through linked server connection and I'm having hard time figuring out the best way to structure everything into more or less decent way.  I'm joining multiple tables into views to get a piece of data I'm looking for and then creating tables […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
Unique Permissions for User - We have a financial application (Dynamics GP) with a SQL 2014 back-end.  Users of GP are in a security group that has write/edit permissions.  Ownership is asking me to give one user, who is a member of that group, read-only access to the SQL tables so he can connect via MS Access and ODBC.   SQL […]
High Availability - Backup Secondaries - Hi I have Enterprise 2014 with HA and also one local secondary and one remote secondary. I would like to backup the two secondaries locally so that if any of the three go down I would be able to restore from a full bak (& diffs & trn logs) But looking into it - it […]
Development - SQL Server 2014
DML performance : Unpartioned Table with Index vs Partitioned table with Index - Hi My take on Partitioning is, it facilitates large chunks of data into/out of a main table, limiting its downtime, due to locking.  Other than that, its of no specific use. It may also facilitate occasional DBA maintenance activities like compression etc.  But, its of little use in terms of day to day DML operations, […]
find duplicates that is not exactly duplicates - Hi All, Need a query to find the duplicates which is not exactly duplicate- Have a person table which got some duplicate names even though the Primary is distinct. The rows are as flows- PersonID      FName       Lname 1                      Tom   […]
Amazon AWS and other cloud vendors
increase size instance RDS - Hello everyone I would like to create an RDS instance I will create my instance with an initial size of 20G0 if tomorrow I will need to increase space dedicate will it be possible to thanks  
Analysis Services
Need to perform leaf level aggregation - So I have a DW with  a table with some pre-aggregated scores (not my choice) and the counts of animals separated by breed and a date. To calculate the average score across breeds, I need to the following calculation: ([AverageScore]*[CountOfAnimalsForBreed])/TotalCountOfAnimals The problem is that when the cube rolls up for a specific date, it is […] Announcements
Status Update 17 May 2019 - It's been a week, and a hectic one away from SSC, so I've delayed posting until I could check on a few things. We have had full development staff this week, but we lose one today as we ramp down and catch up on things. Highlight of things fixed this week: resources migrated from old […]
SQL Server Agent
Unable to stop SQL Server Agent Job showing "In Progress" status - I am using SQL Server 2014 and I have a job (let's call it JN5) scheduled to run at a specific time on a daily basis. The job runs an SSIS package and has 11 steps in it. Looking at the Job History in SSMS, the job seems to be stuck at Step 9. It […]
SQL Job failed - Hello Team, I am getting the below error while running the new job.Help me to  resolve  this issue. Error Message : Starting copy... SQLState = 22001, NativeError = 0 Error = [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver]String data, right truncation. Using below bcp command when  i am trying to run the job : bcp PatsDB.dbo.Sharepoint in Sharepoint.txt […]


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