What was the most challenging thing that happened in your career?
That's a question I've seen a lot this past week after Chris Shaw started tagging people with the question. I first noticed this on the Scary DBA blog (Grant Fritchey) and since then I've seen quite a few more. I've linked in a bunch to the newsletter so you can see what some of the influential people in the SQL Server community have been through.
I think everyone has had some challenges in their career, though some more than others. If you play it safe, not pushing the envelope, and have some good luck, you might have a fairly quiet career. There's nothing wrong with that and I certainly wouldn't think anyone was a failure for not having many challenges. There have definitely been times in my career where the job was just a paycheck and I didn't worry about being challenged. I was happy to go to work, put my headphones on, and get things done.
However I've been a bit driven for most of my life and have had trouble not pushing the envelope a little. I definitely have days where I'm a little jealous of you real DBAs out there in the world tackling some interesting problems. My wife and I joke that we're busier every year, and more successful, and we both have trouble slowing down. I can't imagine what retirement will be like.
Solving a technical problem might be challenging as we work through it, but I'm not sure that is one of the largest challenges any of us have faced. We likely all are capable of figuring out the code or we wouldn't be in this business. Especially those of us that write, speak, and otherwise put our skills on display.
My thoughts are that our biggest challenges are in growing our skills, in stretching our limits and learning to do things we're not comfortable with. For most of the people in IT, I'd say our challenges are in the areas of dealing with people, management, politics, and other areas outside IT. Those areas that I think many of us aren't as naturally comfortable with, which might be different for each of us.
I think the technical challenges of solving a problem, of dealing with a complex restore in a disaster would be more of a challenge for a salesman or an executive than an IT guy.
At least it appears that way to me, but everyone has to judge where their own challenges have been during their career and lives. If you're willing to share, or if you've answered Chris' challenge, feel free to drop a note in the discussion.
Steve's Pick of the Week
It's not exactly a SQL Server related post, but I found this Virtual Earth specialist Johannes Kebeck created some maps using Virtual Earch (Thematic Maps and Heat Maps)and SQL Server 2008's spatial capabilities. They are a good use of the capabilities and might inspire others to see how to take advantage of spatial data.
The Voice of the DBA Podcasts
The podcast feeds are now available at sqlservercentral.podshow.com to get better bandwidth and maybe a little more exposure :). Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there.
or now on iTunes!
Today's podcast features music by Incompetech. Kevin Macleod has some great compositions in all genres of music. Check him out at www.incompetech.com.
I really appreciate and value feedback on the podcasts. Let us know what you like, don't like, or even send in ideas for the show. If you'd like to comment, post something here. The boss will be sure to read it.