Last year I got strong armed into being a judge for the Exceptional DBA award that Red Gate software sponsored. I'm not a big fan of contests, especially when they require work from me, and so I wasn't overly enthusiastic about participating. When I got over a hundred entries to review, I was even less thrilled.
It did get better as I went through the entries. I read some interesting stories, and found there are some great DBAs out there doing amazing work. And I realized they're mostly people that many of you have never heard of.
The entire process ended up being a success when we presented Dan McClain with the award at the PASS Summit in Seattle during the SQLServerCentral opening night party. It was then that I'd learned that with his great work, and being selected as the Exceptional DBA for 2008, Dan had gotten a new job. We'd announced Dan as the winner a few months earlier, and that had led to better employment for him.
That could be you this year.
I wouldn't have thought the awards would make much of a difference last year other than a conference admission, but I do now. Being recognized by your peers as one of the top DBAs in the world might boost your career, as it did for Dan. I'd urge you to think about entering this contest this year and see how you stack up against other DBAs. I'm sure the competition will be stiff this year, but that should be the type of challenge an exceptional DBA is looking for.
The judges this year are Brad McGehee, Gail Shaw, Rodney Landrum, and myself, all experienced DBAs that will be looking at your entries carefully. We're going to expect those people that not only work hard, that build useful solutions, but they help others and raise the level of quality from everyone around them. The Exceptional DBA thinks ahead, plans their next step, and then follows through. The Exceptional DBA is someone that we look up to and want to be like.
I don't know how many DBAs out there are exceptional at their jobs, but I do know there are quite a few of them out there. This is the award for people that grind away at their job, doing a great professional job day in and day out. We aren't giving this out to consultants and professional authors or speakers, but to someone being a top notch DBA for their company. So if you're doing great things for your company as a SQL Server DBA, let us know and enter the contest.
And if you don't think you do anything exceptional, maybe you want to work on that for 2010.
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