Blog Post

First Day as DBA - Now What?


It's your first day at Corp of

America as DBA. The old DBA left. The sysadmins are managing the SQL Servers.

And the developers have free reign on ad-hoc code deployments. Critical reports

are running slow. The project managers have past deadlines due to immediate

concerns of performance issues on production servers, and failing backups are

overlooked. Suddenly you're thinking, now you know why the other DBA left.

Sounds like a nightmare scenario? Perhaps, but this is the day in the life of a

typical DBA. Why would anyone "want" to be a DBA then? They're always

to blame when things go wrong. They're never appreciated when things go right.

Yes, these may in fact be true, but you're not going to give up just yet, are

you?  So, before you make your first day your last, follow these few

organizing tips to organize your DBA day.

Rise to the challenge and make a go of excelling

in your DBA career.  The worst thing out of this is that you will

learn from your experiences, as well as mistakes. You will gain both practical

knowledge and acquire hands-on technical skills. You'll definitely gain new

knowledge and hone your latest tech savvy. Since your on the front lines, it's

sink or swim. So in the immortal words of Dory, from Finding Nemo, "just

keeping swimming, just keep swimming" 

In addition, you'll learn some much needed political skills in dealing with

managers and peers. No longer is the Corporate DBA sitting behind the scenes,

or freezing away in the server room. These political skills are just as

important as your technical prowess if you want to excel in your career.

Combined both, so called "soft" skills and technical will be your stepping

stones to being an exceptional DBA.

Don’t get yourself caught in the

hamster wheel. Inevitably, everyone in your orbit will pull you their way to

give attention and priority to their immediate tasks and goals.  Sysadmins, project managers, developers, etc.

may have competing interests and priorities. This does not mean their priority

is your priority.  The best way through

this, and off the hamster wheel, is to approach the department manager or

CIO/CTO of the company, and have him or her, set the priorities.  Your role is to execute the tasks before you,

not decide which one you should do first. 

Without saying as much, you want to put the burden onto your higher-ups,

so you can reduce your own work-related stress, and deflect blame away from

you.   man-in-hamster-wheel

So, you still want some hands-on

technical tips on Managing

SQL Server in the Enterprise? Click on the highlighted link for a recent

blog I wrote offering specific organizing and immediate things to do as a new

DBA, or inheriting a SQL Server infrastructure. For a comprehensive guide to

healthy SQL Server performance, and achieving a HealthySQL environment, please

consider getting my book, HealthySQL –  

If you are interested in a DBA strategy and hands-on book, read Healthy SQL – A

Comprehensive Guide to Healthy SQL Server Performance, published by Apress, you can go to the url:


  You can also

get the book on Amazon:

  For all

things SQL, news, events, jobs, info, and other fun tweets, follow me on

twitter @Pearlknows and join the #HealthySQL campaign to

keep your SQL Servers healthy!






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