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How to be a Good DBA - Strategy and Tactics


How to be a Good DBA - Strategy and Tactics

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Sheshadrinath R
Sheshadrinath R
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Even I wanted to be a Good DBA. But I never understood, from where to start for this. I was reading so many books, articles over internet and finally I was in a confusion state. But this article helped me a lot regarding. I will definitely follow these steps. Wonderful effort by the author. Thanks sir
NielsGrove
NielsGrove
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Great article!
One thing I spend a lot of time doing is connectivity; ADO, OLE DB, ODBC, connection strings etc. Being an issue with scripting and programming, is might be a intermediate task - to use your steps. There are several performance and security issues to consider in connectivity, and often the programmers and the administrator turn to the DBA's for help.
The three steps I think is a good guidance.

/Niels Grove-Rasmussen
John Kanagaraj
John Kanagaraj
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Great article. I would just add a few more!

A Junior DBA needs to have the ability to follow written instruction while the Intermediate DBA (as well as the Senior DBA) should be able to produce clear documentation and instruction. Many DBAs just "forget" to write down what they did/do (mostly because they haven't allocated their time properly, and some from the mistaken fear of being "replaced" if they reveal all). However, such timely documentation will not only save them time/hassle when it comes to repeating/recreating the same steps when the situation occurs again, it will help them move up by providing a way of clearly delegating work to a junior.

The ability to intelligently framing questions and providing the right details and environments with the questions seems to be sorely lacking nowadays, especially among the younger folks. Whether you are interactiving with MS Support or a great forum like this, you need to able to do this well in order for someone to help you with your problem.

Another personal trait that is necessary for all levels is curiosity combined with caution. Just getting to the bottom of a problem may/will not only reveal the solution, it will also give us an opportunity to learn something more. (Cautionary note - don't try it in Production unless you have tested it elswhere !

Finally, one needs to be teachable. This is again applicable at all levels, but just for the juniors. After 22+ years in IT, I still learn every day and am open to saying that "I don't know" followed by either "can you educate me on this" or "but I can certainly look it up".

Happy new year to all,

John Kanagaraj

Co-Author: Oracle Database 10g Insider Solutions http://www.samspublishing.com/title/0672327910


Thunder Storm
Thunder Storm
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Great article,

Since my current post is both developer and DBA, the jobs in my company are not quite rigid. I had to combine both things from time to time just to "make this report in reasonable time" or "we need to backup/restore/shoot our own leg" but with the ease of a mouse-click.
And sending an E-mail NATO wide announcing "I added a 'shoot thy leg' feature due to ... request" is one of the most important things. Unfortunately because usualy he's not the only one who likes to shoot his own leg.
Atlas
Atlas
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Excellent Article.

I totaly agree with your article. I am happy that you covered the importance of scripting languages and the importance of understanding the SQL-DMO model. One of the future challenges that I see future DBA's having to tackle is the CLR runtime support in SQL Server 2005 and Oracle 10g. It is important for a DBA to have at least a basic programming background. I made the transition from Programmer to DBA a long time ago. I have still kept up with my programming skills and incorporated them into my DBA skills. It has saved me a lot of time and it also gives me a better understanding of how applications touch the database.

Another Important topic you covered is Database Documentation and Data Model change control. This is a must.


Scott Abrants
Scott Abrants
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What is interesting in my place of employment is that the Database Technologies department is broken up into three sections:

Systems DBA : Primarily responsible for Installing SQL Server, Creating Logins, monitoring performance in environments outside of development.

Production DBA: Primarly responsible for deploying scripts to the production databases.

Development DBA: Primarily responsible for database creation, script creation, physical designs and coding standards.

I come from a programming background and am now a development DBA. With that separation I was, and to some extent still am, worried that I might loose some of the skills that the Systems DBA handle. Some of the things that I would be responsible for in a smaller shop. Not sure but the article looks focused on being a complete DBA in a small to medium shop setting.


K. Brian Kelley
K. Brian Kelley
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Even some larger organizations have DBAs wearing all the hats. They may make a separation that says, "Because you were the DBA assigned to development in this project, you can't be responsible for promoting the changes into production." But otherwise, all DBAs are expected to maintain similar skillsets.

K. Brian Kelley
@‌kbriankelley
ppreston
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Great Article, I have found it invaluable having been a programmer and rising up thru the ranks to be a DBA.



mcenroyb
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Brilliant - a great guide to the responsible and dangerous world of SQL Server DBA Management



Arun Jebakumar
Arun Jebakumar
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The article was very informative, but I would like to rephrase the below clause in modern terms.

When combining VBScript with DTS and SQL-DMO, I bet almost all administration work can be scripted and automatically run under a schedule

With just T-SQL, SSIS packages and Powershell scripting (no more VB Script), u can do almost anything with SQL Server.
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