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Tips for New DBAs


Tips for New DBAs

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John Abate
John Abate
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Very good! I would go so far as to suggest that experienced DBA's should read this as well as new ones.

It is sometimes easy to forget the basics of what we do and why.
quackhandle1975
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Great article, lots of good discussion as well.

As a contractor I've been hired to basically "firefight" the company's sql server problems and you do sometimes become the "Hero DBA" which like most positions of power can be quite seductive - you gain respect from your collegues; it builds your confidence and helps with the decision regarding your contract extension. ;-)

However the flip side is working with the Hero DBA who just loves to be called out in the middle of the night to rescue some failed backup and then loves to tell everyone about it. Then the same thing happens when he/she goes on holiday, no documentation and your left with the client wanting to know why their website has been down for over 24hrs! w00t

Yes, documentation is the way to go - the geek in me even likes to produce it, how wrong is that. :-P

In reply to blandy's post, I find it pays to have a paranoid attitude ALWAYS as a DBA - today you might be looking after all that widget data, however tomorrow you might just find that execellent SQL DBA post (with great holidays and medical dental, etc) at a missile building company or simply at a bank - start with good habits (CIA is certainly one them) and you'll go far in life...

qh


Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.
etm1109
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I apologize in advance for my comments (a little bit), and mean no insult directly at any DBA but...

Do you ever take a moment and think about how many DBA's go to work every day and work with the most mundane data? Are you aware that not everyone is going to work at the CIA every day? Have ever thought about men and women who are DBAs or workers using SQL Server who count widgets day-in and day-out? This is something that just drives me nuts about some DBAs and some of the authors who and pretend that every byte of data in the world is somehow 'vital' and at risk.

...

Sheesh!!! Ever wonder why the world is paranoid?

...again, sorry for the rant - but this has to be said in respect for hard working DBAs who are not working with James Bond and MI6 or the CIA.
-------------------------------

The problem is the field requires a dilligence to value and protect data as if ones own personal information were contained in the data.
SQLRNNR
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When the data at your company reflects on the bottom line and helps define your business, then it is the most critical in the world. When it means protecting your job and excelling at what you do - it is the most critical data in the world.

Would it be fun to work at a "spy" agency, maybe. Their data may not be all that interesting, and maybe it is.


Nice re-print of the series. I have enjoyed reading it.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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TravisDBA
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It may be "widgets" that are stored in the database, but as long as the company is in the business of making them, or selling them, and thus tracking those sales, then the DBA's responsibility of maintaining that data, backing it up, and always making it available to everyone else in the company, and the IRS as well, than the role of the DBA cannot be minimized or under-estimated. A company's data is its life blood. Bottom line. Regardless of what content that data is. If it's not available or accurate on a daily basis see how fast the company's business comes to a halt. What do think would happen in this country if all the DBA's were unionized and went out on strike? Think that would be a little worse than a baseball or football strike? Like a mentor of mine once said "I don't care what data you are tracking, but make it unavailable for just 15 minutes and see how many angry phone calls you get." As long as this is the case, the DBA will always be one of the most important individuals in your company whether you want to realize it or not. Smile

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Steve Jones
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ZETM (2/12/2010)
This is something that just drives me nuts about some DBAs and some of the authors who and pretend that every byte of data in the world is somehow 'vital' and at risk.


It's not that every byte of data is vital, but that you might not realize what is vital. I used to import wood for a living, well manage the systems for those guys. Our inventory was vital for that company. If a competitor got it, they could potentially mess with our supply chain, or make deals for customers. I wouldn't have thought it mattered, but it did to them once I dug in.

Lots of data, like salaries, etc., isn't vital, but it doesn't necessarily need to be disclosed. As a result you should consider most of your data important and just secure it. It doesn't take a lot more effort, but it doesn't take much less to develop bad habits and have your data insecure.

It's like SQL Injection. Your company's home page might not be a big deal. But if it gets hacked or injected, you can bet it will happen on the day that the President has just pointed someone to it. It won't kill the business, but it could kill your day (or job)

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bsclyde
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I think you should have read the article more carefully before ranting on about something so completely off the subject. A DBA that "protects" his data is not doing so against evil terrorist cells or alien invasion, but rather from user (internal or external) corruption, be it intentional or accidental. Next time take a deep breath and make sure you understand the message before venting.
etm1109
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Steve,

I actually replied to someone's post putting part of their post in mine to illustrate my point which was:

The problem is the field requires a dilligence to value and protect data as if ones own personal information were contained in the data.
Steve Jones
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Sorry, didn't realize that. Your post comes across differently.

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
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etm1109
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Brings up an interesting point. I sometimes quote large texts from others to respond to and put a long dashed line beneath.

I should have done a better job of pointing out my comments....!!
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