How many of you are not true DBA's?

  • Not a DBA, a coder/programmer/developer, actually, but...that said...I think it behooves programmers to learn about the systems they're on, for greater coding efficiency if nothing else; for greater understanding, ideally. It goes with the "pick your head up and look around" philosophy of life.:-)

    I like to ssc as a resource, even when people make it clear that they never read through your entire question before they post a reply - at least they're out there replying! And I always appreciate that.

    Donna B.

    The Happy Coder

  • I am not a DBA. I am a ColdFusion/SQL Server developer. I spend most of my time developing web applications. My job requiers a pretty strong knowledge of database design and SQL. So, I spend a lot of time at this site in an effort to educate myself. 🙂

  • Software Engineer, currently working with .NET and SQL Server. I have had to do a lot of database work in the past and now. Never been a DBA. is my main go to site for anything sql server. I am an avid reader of the daily email, articles and forums here.

    I am always amazed at the time and effort many of the members contribute to helping others on this forum. And as best I can tell it is ALL voluntary.

  • Stuart Davies (5/12/2010)

    I wouldn't consider myself a DBA. My boss couldn't of put it better about my role:- "He's in charge of the SQL servers - but that's only cos he knows more than anyone else here about them".

    That also sums me up quite well! I'd probably describe myself as a Sys Admin for whome SQL is one of the Systems he Admins! 🙂

    I guess I got into it accidentally many years ago. We had a large project to build requiring several technologies that none of us had much experience of, so we split them up between us and learnt what we needed. I already looked after the companies backups, so knew enough to backup the one SQL Server we already had, so I ended up with it. Went on to do my MCDBA, and have been the defacto DBA ever since, but I'm still very much a Sys Admin.

    It's interesting to see the range of backgrounds shown in this thread, though I'm kind of suprised that the vast majority come from a programming background, with only a few admins scattered throughout.

  • I'm Operational IT

    I am a DBA (MySQL, MSSQL), WebServer Manager, problem solver,...

    And get every task none other can/like to do.

    And each Problem, is a new challenge for me because i have to find a solution.

  • I'm a developer.

    The DBA is in charge of the database but I'm in charge of what goes inside it 🙂

    MCSA SQL Server 2012

  • I'm a SQL developer but would like to be a DBA when I grow up. That is, as long as I don't have to work weekends, long hours or carry a company cell and be on call a lot - which may be an impossble dream. So maybe I'm happy being "just" a developer. 😎

    The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. - Stephen Hawking

  • I'm impressed that people are still posting to this thread! 🙂

    Funny thing -- ever since I first posted this, my job has changed. Although I still do a little database work, the emphasis right now is on "little." I'm now primarily a web developer. (Don't shoot me! ;-))

    Which also explains why I haven't been perusing SSC as much, lately!

    Hopefully, my Threadizenship won't get revoked!

    Check out my blog at

  • I guess I'm the DBA.

    Nobody else will do it.

    "When in danger or in doubt. Run in circles, scream and shout!" TANSTAAFL
    "Robert A. Heinlein"

  • I'm not a DBA, nor a DB developer, nor someone whose main work is to do with using or managing databases. Nor have I ever had a job of that type.

    But I've been involved with databases on and off for about 40 years (not SQL or anything relational at first, obviously).

    That involvement includes being chief architect of a massively parallel relational data engine (that was about 33% of my job at the time - the other 70% was being chief software architect for the rest or the Alvey Flagship massively parallel system and its applications and trying to keep our academic partners in the real world) in the 80s and early 90s;

    designing a a lock manager to allow Oracle to run on the EDS massively parallel system;

    researching deadlock detection methods and acquiring patents in deadlock detection for distributed and parallel RDBM systems for my employer (that bunch was again about 30% of my job: the rest was putting together proposals for massive research projectss, while holding together research collaborations covering everything to do with parallel and declarative systems and involving industrial and academic partners from several countries)

    running a project that included development of a new ODBMS (never again - I'd had previous experience of ODBMS and it was all dire but I was naive and trusted the people who said they needed it and also the people who told me they could do it: wrong on both counts)

    proposing SQL extensions for implementation in various Esprit projects

    throwing IBM and their DB2 out of a company and replacing it by SQL Server 2000 for a "map the web" project that I was running (needed a locally distributed system with a total of 42TBytes of data in a set of linked relational databases - vertical partitioning onto 40 servers and 2 servers handling metadata and overall control to keep the other 40 productive; but the main thing was developing extremely efficient spiders, so the database didn't get too much attention)

    and finally from 2002 to mid-2009 being technical lead (various job titles, ending up as Chief Architect and Technical Director) in a company providing interactive entertainment systems and content to 5 star hotels (and to the ruler of Qatar for his summer residence) where everything was data driven from data held in SQL databases and the current system state was made persistent in the DB instead of in filestore too (and there was a requirement for 24X7 operation, another requirement for monthly content upgrade) and a very firm requirement that the customers' IT staff couldn't get their sticky fingers into the servers.

    I reckon none of that makes me a DBA or a DB Developer.

    I had to learn to understand the relational model and how its multi-valued logics worked (the latter was easy - I started life as a mathematician and my thesis was about the semantics of logical calculi, so I had a head start) but understanding the relational model meant people started regarding me as a database expert, and then I had to understand SQL and doing that made people regard me as more of a database expert, and then it somehow came to be that in my various jobs I knew more about databases than anyone else in the company (or, while I was still employed by ICL, anyone else in the same division of the company) and that made people think of me even more as a database man, and these days there are a lot of people who think I'm a DBA.

    But people like Gary and Grant and Gail (just to take one letter [G] of the alphabet - we can easily find as many more for J, or indeed for most of the other letters) each know 100 times more about being a DBA (whatever the A stands for) or a DB Developer than I know or probably ever will know, so it always feels wrong to be called either of those things. I can talk about the theory (having been involved in a lot of research collaborations involving academics I have had to understand the theory, not just the jargon but the real ideas behind it) and I can do some of the practical things pretty well, but the real DBAs or DBDs who contribute SQL Server Central can run rings around me on th epractical stuff on on how the SQL Server technology works any day of the year. And these people work with relational databases as their main job - they are the real DBAs (whether the A stands for Administrators, Architects, Appliers, or Alphas).

    PS: I saw the "true DBA" idea in some of the comments. Don't know what it means. I guess it's the opposite of a "false DBA", but I don't know what one of them is either. Hence "real" and not "true" above.


  • I'm a database fire fighter, mainly focused on SQLServer.

    "They" call / know me whenever they suspect problems with their db/sever.

    I help them out and provide guidelines.

    I work with my team on new version standards for implementation, default security, backup regimes, feature tests and guidelines ...

    I'm to little a dev to deserve the title, but I don't consider myself a full time dba because of the lack of development project involvement.

    But I'm working on the dev part.

    If you provide guidelines, my experience is your advise is way better appreciated when being able to "talk dev". Meaning provide the examples and guidelines in the way your devs will be using it.

    Know at least basics of ADO, .Net, Linq, and the most important methods and properties to their availability.

    Most on OLTP systems, so I'm not in to powerpivot, excel for BI, ...


    Learn to play, play to learn !

    Dont drive faster than your guardian angel can fly ...
    but keeping both feet on the ground wont get you anywhere :w00t:

    - How to post Performance Problems
    - How to post data/code to get the best help[/url]

    - How to prevent a sore throat after hours of presenting ppt

    press F1 for solution, press shift+F1 for urgent solution 😀

    Need a bit of Powershell? How about this

    Who am I ? Sometimes this is me but most of the time this is me

  • I'm a Microsoft BI developer (mainly SSIS), but I like to have some foundation of TSQL and SQL Server in general, as it really helps in making more efficient SSIS packages.

    I've done some (really) small DBA/Development projects in the past when I wasn't working on BI projects, but those are in absolute minority.

    SQL Server really interests me, so I'm trying to develop my knowledge of this product as much as I can.

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • I'm a SQL Server Generalist with a DBA title.

    I spend

    20% of my time designing new tables/databases for application modifications/creation for internal apps

    20% of my time consulting with developers who actually write software the company sells

    40% of my time working on BI projects, be in report design, cube design, or SSIS and DW design

    40% of my time mentoring programmers in my department

    20% of my time keeping an eye on backups


    20% of my time monitoring performance.

    No clue what that makes me, but it does mean I use 160% of my time working on something 🙂

    Which probably means I violated a reality constraint somewhere 😉

    --Mark Tassin
    MCITP - SQL Server DBA
    Proud member of the Anti-RBAR alliance.
    For help with Performance click this link[/url]
    For tips on how to post your problems[/url]

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