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We Need a DBA Boot Camp


We Need a DBA Boot Camp

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Andy Warren
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Andy
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1. Yes U.S. Army 1955 - during what was called the Korean Police Action, and received a 2nd Lts salary.

2. I believe it would be an excellent idea for wanna be DBAs. The problems with it would be:
a. Who pays the instructors?
b. Who pays those attending?
c. Those flunking have to repeat the training.

Considering item 2, it might be possible to convert a SQL Saturday or include a track in each SQL Saturday and have it extend over 2 days (Saturday and Sunday).. not long enough but a start.

Would Microsoft follow the example set back long, long ago by Hewlett Packard Co., where if your company desired to purchase a HP-1000 computer, you had to have one qualified, full time employee attend a week long training session. If the employee did not pass the final examination, the sales contract for the hardware would be declared null and void, and the cost of the weeks training deducted from the purchaser's down payment, which of course had to be included with the initial purchase order. But in these days I think that HP policy could/would not be adopted. Think of Microsoft refusing to sell the software for SQL Server under those conditions. Never happen.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Ron

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Nakul Vachhrajani
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Unfortunately, I did not get to attend any boot-camp trainings as I made my forray into the database world.
That being said, I am a strong advocate in favour of boot-camp trainings ranging anywhere from 4 - 12 weeks (depending upon the complexity of the job at hand - a basic developer/administrator would not need more than 4 weeks to become productive, whereas a full-scale production DBA should need a higher period in the camp).

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Revenant
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ad 1)

Yes and no: yes, I made it through a military bootcamp in 1965, but no, it was not one for DBAs. There were no DBAs back then. :-)

ad 2)

No, I do not think that a DBA bootcamp would be useful. The problem is that the database world is changing faster than the military world, and I doubt that any program pre-planned and sufficiently marketed program would produce graduates that have the skills required by the time when they hit the market.

I mean, who feels qualified to design, in this July 2011, a bootcamp that would produce graduates with skills in demand in May 2012?

Yes, there are the "eternal truths," such as "Back up the database before you tweak it," but you do not need a bootcamp to teach those.
David in .AU
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1) Nope, although growing up on a dairy farm sometimes felt like one Tongue

2) Yes.

I think there are enough core concepts that you could make one:
The ANSI Standard of SQL
Schema Design fundamentals
Backup regiments
General maintenance concepts (such as data archiving)
Basic performance tuning (the use of indexes)
Data Warehousing
Others that escape me for the moment...

The only thing up for debate would be the time frame involved to list a person as competent.

Advanced Specialities:
The engine (MSSQL, Oracle, DB2, blah...) as they each have their own ways of doing some things (dates, OLAP Cubes, so on).
Advanced performance tuning (traces and the like)
ETL
*insert endless list of stuff here*

Although the technology speeds along like a freight train, there are enough slow moving items that you could do something formal.
Toby Harman
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1. Kinda - Cadets for 2 years and they did cover most of the basic training.
2. Absolutely. But it shouldn't cover any particular flavour of database, including SQL.

I know that's taken as a Universal Standard these days, but I would rather they learn about 2 phase commit, what a log file is REALLY for, how to normalise a database (and when not to), what we mean by Data Security, and why no application developer should ever be allowed access to the raw database tables (ok - maybe that one is stretching!).

There are hundreds of websites out there that will tell you the duties and responsibilities of a DBA, and they all have a different view. But there are a core set which should be covered.

What I would hate to see is for it to get hijacked by vendor X with specifics about "we do this like this". That's not the point!
yeomanie
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Hi

I'm not sure which format you envisage this having but the idea is a brilliant one. I've spent 6 months searching for a site that would give me the knowledge I wanted and a sense of other people being out there and experiencing the same situations. So now I found it hallelujah! Smile

I think if you could break a 'bootcamp' into a series of 101 seminars, whether they be recorded webinars or just articles with maybe some follow-up exercises, this would be seriously helpful to those of us starting off or even to someone who has done it for some time but isn't sure if they've covered all bases.

Anyway way to go! Please do this ... if you want help proof-reading or running through exercises I can do.
jrhutch
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1. No boot camp for me, but I always thought the challenge of it sounded interesting even if military service never did.

2. I don't think the boot camp model works for DBA's. The reason is that boot camp is also known as Basic Training. They take in a crowd of people and train them on the basics they need to know. You're not going to get an expert out of basic training, and a DBA should be an expert (IMHO).

A DBA boot camp would put out entry level database workers, not DBA's. Most employers (maybe all?) aren't going to be to keen on sending their entry level database workers out on 12 weeks training.

As a tool to make sure experienced DBA's know everything they should, it might have some merit, but I would imagine by that point most DBA's would be sitting through a lot of classes covering stuff they already know in order to learn a few things they didn't.

With that in mind I think having individuals seek out the training that they need is probably the better route.
tsceurman
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1) Yes, 1994.

2) The idea sounds appealing. The point would be to say that anyone who graduates the training program has the same set of definable skills and knowledge. It's a standardization process. The downside to this idea is twofold: one, who sets the standards; and two, who manages the program, including changes and updates to the training process.

I think the advantage would be to the employers, because they know what they are getting.
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I think DBA boot camp would be beneficial, but who has 6 to 8 weeks. Only really large companies that already have a bunch of DBA's could afford this. I would say only a few mid-size companies and probably no small companies could live with an employee being gone for that long.

So my suggestion, here is your money making idea, Why not an on-line program? Perhaps with pod casts, to help instruct through difficult subjects. Then the soon to be DBA would be able to take the course at their leisure. It would make sense to have some quizzes and tests to ensure the student was tracking.

Ben
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