The Exceptional DBA

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There are many SQL Server DBAs with an intimate knowledge of how SQL Server works, the operating system, hardware and so on. They have the skills to keep a production system running without a hitch.

It is no longer enough.

As a DBA, you must communicate effectively. Communication does not just mean talking to your team members and boss. It includes writing effective emails, status reports, check lists, documentation, presentations and database diagrams. Even that is no longer enough; you must ensure that the company, as a whole, understands what you are doing and how your work contributes to the business.

I'm currently working on a project with Brad McGehee that examines "How to become an Exceptional DBA". It looks in detail at the different challenges that DBAs face, and the sort of skills and strategies they need to overcome them. It then goes one stage further to consider what marks out an exceptional DBA from a competent DBA.

Exceptional DBAs are not just defined by what they know, but what they do. I guess we all know roughly how a good DBA would react if a server is under-performing, or goes down. But consider the following scenarios:

  1. Your CFO wants to implement a new BI system that you believe will cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in wasted resources, and even then won't do what it needs to do.
  2. An inexperienced Project Manager has caused several delays to a database project. Finally word comes down from the top that it must be completed in 2 weeks. No excuses.

So what do you think? How would an exceptional DBA react to circumstance such as these?

Over the next few weeks I'd like to explore the "Exceptional DBA" theme, and get the views and knowledge of Database Weekly readers, in order to find out from the people who know best which traits mark out the exceptional DBA.

I offer a $50 Amazon voucher to the best contribution.

Cheers,

Tony.

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