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The Sixty-Second Guide to becoming a SQL Server DBA


The Sixty-Second Guide to becoming a SQL Server DBA

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sibir1us
sibir1us
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Nice job, Barry. The secret of becoming a good DBA is to never stop questioning. (The correctly asked question contains half of the answer!)

Best regards,
Feodor

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein
Dugi
Dugi
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Haa interesting route to DBA...anyway not bad recommendation! Hope to someone becoming DBA with your guide!

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kkoshinski
kkoshinski
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I am basically following something roughly like this now. About 18 months ago, I moved out of Application Support and into the Systems. I was immediately drawn to SQL Server, as I found it challenging and interesting. I started out with some certification books, which can be a bit too much for a beginner. Regardless, I read everything I could and tried to fill in the gaps with internet resources or additional books.

My advice for anyone doing the same thing is quite similar. Get a SQL Developer Edition and start playing around with it. Also, get a book that provides an overview of SQL Server. I think it is important to have a good overview before you dive into the certification materials. Additionally, pick up a beginners book on writing SQL if you aren't already comfortable with it. There are some great books, which are easy to find if you check Amazon.com. From there, I think you could quite easily jump into the certification books. Overall they're pretty good, but from my experience you definitely need Books Online for a more comprehensive study.
Grant Fritchey
Grant Fritchey
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Great primer Barry. It covers the basics of what's needed very well. Since so many questions come through on the board around the concept of "How do I get started as a DBA" this is exactly what's needed.

I don't entirely agree with #4 though. Certification just doesn't seem to be worth much and when you factor in the cheat guides, it becomes worth less. I'd rather have seen Brad's book tossed in or something else along those lines. But then, I'm probably just being a bit of a contrarian.

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Jerry Sommerville
Jerry Sommerville
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Barry left out one suggestion I would make. try and find a mentor! If there are other DBA's in your company, go to one that you feel comfortable with and ask that person to be your mentor. You'd be shocked at how many people would say yes. Having a mentor can help alot when it comes to self study. As a life long student of all things IT, mentors in my career have been very encouraging and educational to me. Find one. If there is not one at your company, find on online.

... Jerry
sibir1us
sibir1us
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Jerry! Yes you are right! A good mentor is the best thing for a beginner DBA. I remember my first days starting with SQL Server: afternoon beer with a good friend who was showing me how to write sql queries... w00t

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Albert Einstein
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Man, do I ever agree with that! Books are great but having an experienced Mentor to teach and guide you, even if it's just an hour a day, is worth his/her weight in gold.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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SuperDBA-207096
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Barry,
Pretty good article - it could launch someone down the path of becoming a DBA. Lots more to becoming a DBA, but it's a start.

I like the idea of studying for the exams. I've taken alot of exams for M$ certs through the years and every time I've studied (mostly by using the products) I've learned stuff I didn't know about the products. Even with products I've used every day, by studying for the exam you may learn a facet that you weren't aware of in the product. Pretty good concept

Mark
Dave Schutz
Dave Schutz
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Also don't forget about your local SQL Server User Group or PASS chapter.
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Grant Fritchey (12/4/2009)
Great primer Barry. It covers the basics of what's needed very well. Since so many questions come through on the board around the concept of "How do I get started as a DBA" this is exactly what's needed.

I don't entirely agree with #4 though. Certification just doesn't seem to be worth much and when you factor in the cheat guides, it becomes worth less. I'd rather have seen Brad's book tossed in or something else along those lines. But then, I'm probably just being a bit of a contrarian.


Heh... I knew we were kindred spirits on such topics. But I can't take a thing away from those good folks that did it the right way and then followed up on their training with some good hands on time. There are two types of people who are certified... and during and interview, you can tell. Hat's off to all those that took the high road.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
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