DBA’s need resolutions, too!

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It’s that time of year again: time to make resolutions, then try to stick to them. Sure, we could start doing things we need – or ought – to do at any time, but there’s something about the tabula rasa of a New Year that brings out the hopeful optimist in us all. With that in mind, I humbly offer my own DBA resolutions for the year, and hope they may inspire you as well:

  • Lose weight – Are your databases a few gigs overweight? Are they suffering from health problems like clogged CPU’s, memory loss, or chronic fatigue? Now is a good time to review retention policies if you have them, or create them if you don’t. Trimming your databases down will result in improved system health and happier clientele!
  • Clean house – Got a bunch of unused indexes lying around? Logins for people who’ve long since moved on? Orphaned files? Excess logs? Now’s a good time to comb through your servers and databases and get rid of things like these.
  • Get organized – Or maybe your indexing isn’t what it should be? Review those missing index recommendations. You don’t have to take them literally – in fact, you shouldn’t – but they can be valuable guidelines for improving performance.
  • Help others – Don’t be a knowledge hoarder. Share with anyone who asks, in as much detail as they can stand. Is there a younger developer who shows an interest in becoming a DBA? If your management is willing, spend some time working with them. Give them tasks to accomplish, problems to solve, and most of all, encouragement!
  • Learn something new – Don’t neglect yourself! There are countless blogs to read, new features to explore, tools to try out. Try to find topics that will benefit your company as well as you, and dig as deeply as you can. Work with your managers to set aside time each week for learning. Do you have a work-from-home day set aside each week? That’s a great opportunity to do some heads-down learning!
  • Stress less – Or learn to deal with it better. Meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, whatever works. And don’t spend the entire day staring at your monitors: take breaks, talk to colleagues, move around, go outside and take a walk. Anything that broadens your horizons and helps you maintain perspective.
  • Be bold – Make your opinion known. Stand up for your convictions. Push back against nay-sayers and chronic pessimism. Speak truth to power.
  • Take pride in your work – You worked hard to get where you are. You have knowledge and skills that make you valuable to your coworkers and your organization. Walk tall!
  • Most of all – Have a happy and productive 2018!

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