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The DBA as a helpdesk.

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Every one and again you will see people asking What skill do you think is the most important for your job? Usually the answer is soft skills. I.e. dealing with people. Today I have a someone specific soft skill in mind. I was talking with my son and he mentioned that half the time he hears me on the phone with a co-worker he hears some variation of Not my job. He’s not wrong. Over the years I’ve noticed if the word data or some variation of it is anywhere within a city block of the issue I’m going to be one of the first people called in.


I have an error that says I need an updated driver installed on my machine.
Ok?
It’s a database driver.
Ahh. Yea, I’m afraid I don’t do that. You’ll need to call the helpdesk.


My website is down.
Ok?
Sends me a long error (if I’m lucky)
Oh, I see. It can’t find the SQL Instance. What instance are you trying to hit?
No, clue, how do I tell?
Contact this person. They are the SME for that website.


Half of my job is figuring out who can actually help someone with their current needs. Be that another developer, an SME for an application, the help desk themselves etc. And even when it’s my work I frequently have to train the new people, and there always seem to be new people, how to fill in the correct documentation so that I can actually do the work.

One of these days I need to get around to adding all of this to my job description. But I am curious, do you have the same experience? Is it just me? Is it just DBAs or do other technology specialties have the same type of experience?

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