What is your definition of a DBA?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item What is your definition of a DBA?

  • Great topic, thanks. I think a lot of people use DBA as a catch all term for anyone who works predominantly in databases.
    As soon as I mention that I predominantly do database development, BI and ETL people glaze over, if I say I'm a DBA they sort of get the general idea that I work with databases!

  • I tell people that I (well, we, the DBAs) look after the databases, the database servers, make reports and make manual changes from the tickets that end-users send us. We make sure that the DBs are running as well as we are allowed manage them [1] and the servers have optimal settings in security and performance.
    We turn data into information, that is, we collect all manner of data in our specific field and when we get a request for, say, the number of x that happened per geographical unit in period y, excluding conditions a, b and c, we can get this done for them.
    Finally, I am developing cubes and cube-based reports internally and, if all goes well, we will be able to offer these to our clients.

    [1] There are constraints β€” I would love give some of the instances more CPUs and more RAM, but the relevant product manager can't afford it (internal accounting). I would love to revamp the indexes, but this requires a release and all that goes with a release (testing and so forth).

  • I am a DBA PROUD TO SAY , Who are really critical for any small to big organisations to maintain their environments, speed up the process. Take care of the databases on day to day basis and also make sure that business can work as usual in case of any Di-aster recovery or failure of the DB's. Your knowledge cant be limited to only SQL Server database but can also do lot of development under SQL business intelligence tools like Analysis services, Reporting Services & Integration Services.  SQL is just a ocean and what we are working on it is just a droplet out of it the more you learn the more you need to know. But not all understand the meaning of a DBA some companies see DBA as only administer for database and don't give a opportunity to work on the development side which is the only drawback of being a DBA. If you know all DBA activities and also have developer skills, for sure HE/SHE will be the best developer as they know where they need to check in case of any performance issues. I as a DBA wrote lot of powershell scripts, stored procedures..

  • It's usually what the hiring manager what's it to be.

    The more you are prepared, the less you need it.

  • Heh... for quick elevator conversations, I summarize by saying what the shirt says...
    https://www.sunfrog.com/Data-Base-Administrator--SOLVE-192312050-Black-Guys.html?15435

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

  • Avi1 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:11 PM

    In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

    Heh... on that note, I'll tell you that I stopped counting the number of supposedly senior DBAs with supposedly 10 years or more experience (many also claiming code performance tuning) at 20 out of 22 that didn't know how to get the current date and time using T-SQL.  It's really amazing that anyone would claim to be a DBA and not know how to do that.  I originally started asking the question as a non-threating, easy to answer, ice-breaker of a question to demonstrate that I don't ask trick or esoteric questions during a person's interview.  It turned out to be a litmus strip test as for how the rest of the interview was going to go... mostly pitiful.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 3:10 PM

    Avi1 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:11 PM

    In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

    Heh... on that note, I'll tell you that I stopped counting the number of supposedly senior DBAs with supposedly 10 years or more experience (many also claiming code performance tuning) at 20 out of 22 that didn't know how to get the current date and time using T-SQL.  It's really amazing that anyone would claim to be a DBA and not know how to do that.  I originally started asking the question as a non-threating, easy to answer, ice-breaker of a question to demonstrate that I don't ask trick or esoteric questions during a person's interview.  It turned out to be a litmus strip test as for how the rest of the interview was going to go... mostly pitiful.

    Ask the 2 that are left to explain the difference between πŸ˜› 

    SELECT getdate(), CURRENT_TIMESTAMP, SYSDATETIME()

  • ZZartin - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 3:31 PM

    Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 3:10 PM

    Avi1 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:11 PM

    In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

    Heh... on that note, I'll tell you that I stopped counting the number of supposedly senior DBAs with supposedly 10 years or more experience (many also claiming code performance tuning) at 20 out of 22 that didn't know how to get the current date and time using T-SQL.  It's really amazing that anyone would claim to be a DBA and not know how to do that.  I originally started asking the question as a non-threating, easy to answer, ice-breaker of a question to demonstrate that I don't ask trick or esoteric questions during a person's interview.  It turned out to be a litmus strip test as for how the rest of the interview was going to go... mostly pitiful.

    Ask the 2 that are left to explain the difference between πŸ˜› 

    SELECT getdate(), CURRENT_TIMESTAMP, SYSDATETIME()

    Between GETDATE() and CURRENT_TIMESTAMP... no difference at all. In fact SQL Server resolves CURRENT_TIMESTAMP to GETDATE(). The difference between those an SYSDATETIME: The first 2 have a resulution of 3 miliseconds and SYSDATETIME() has a resolution down to 100 nanoseconds. 
    Does this mean I get the job? πŸ˜€

  • Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:38 AM

    Heh... for quick elevator conversations, I summarize by saying what the shirt says...
    https://www.sunfrog.com/Data-Base-Administrator--SOLVE-192312050-Black-Guys.html?15435

    LOL....for those who can't be bothered to follow the link the T Shirt says...
    "I'm a Database Administrator
    I solve problems you don't know you have
    In ways you can't understand"
    A very nice summary, I'll use that for the "elevator explanation" of my job from now on!

  • Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 3:10 PM

    Avi1 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:11 PM

    In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

    Heh... on that note, I'll tell you that I stopped counting the number of supposedly senior DBAs with supposedly 10 years or more experience (many also claiming code performance tuning) at 20 out of 22 that didn't know how to get the current date and time using T-SQL.  It's really amazing that anyone would claim to be a DBA and not know how to do that.  I originally started asking the question as a non-threating, easy to answer, ice-breaker of a question to demonstrate that I don't ask trick or esoteric questions during a person's interview.  It turned out to be a litmus strip test as for how the rest of the interview was going to go... mostly pitiful.

    Are you planning to retire when a candidate finally says: "GETDATE of course. Next question please." ?

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Eric M Russell - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 11:03 AM

    Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 3:10 PM

    Avi1 - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 2:11 PM

    In small organization of course one resource may have to do all the tasks related to SQL. But in my experience I have seen mostly expectation is installing SQL Server, managing server performance including disk space utilization, managing backups, controlling access and user’s rights/roles, managing replication and always-on / multiple fail over clusters and performance tuning/indexes, sql jobs, alerts, database mail, releasing db scripts. Even most of the time DBAs have assumed that these are the roles they have to perform. All development is for SQL developer or ETL developers. But I believe a DBA should have a good hands-on SQL development experience as well, this helps tuning and review for better practices

    Heh... on that note, I'll tell you that I stopped counting the number of supposedly senior DBAs with supposedly 10 years or more experience (many also claiming code performance tuning) at 20 out of 22 that didn't know how to get the current date and time using T-SQL.  It's really amazing that anyone would claim to be a DBA and not know how to do that.  I originally started asking the question as a non-threating, easy to answer, ice-breaker of a question to demonstrate that I don't ask trick or esoteric questions during a person's interview.  It turned out to be a litmus strip test as for how the rest of the interview was going to go... mostly pitiful.

    Are you planning to retire when a candidate finally says: "GETDATE of course. Next question please." ?

    No... but there will be one hell of a beer drinking binge that night... probably with that person especially if the say "There are many ways" and the rips through them all while volunteering details about what the return data-type is and explains the advantages/disadvantages of each data-type including the ability to and reasons for direct date manipulation.  Same goes with the create a table with sequential numbers from 1 to a million.  I'd love for someone to list While Loop and rCTE and the reasons why they should usually be avoided for the task and then write the code using a short Tally Table, a long Tally Table, a CROSS JOIN on a system table, and Itzik Ben-Gan's cCTEs along with a brief explanation of the pro's and cons of each method without me prompting them to do so.  And to find someone that can actually talk correctly about Clustered and Non-Clustered indexes would be a joy.  Maybe then I could finally get to asking more substantial questions   It would likely turn out to be a 3 or 4 hour interview just for the pleasure of talking with someone in person that actually knows their trade.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • allinadazework - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 1:36 AM

    Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:38 AM

    Heh... for quick elevator conversations, I summarize by saying what the shirt says...
    https://www.sunfrog.com/Data-Base-Administrator--SOLVE-192312050-Black-Guys.html?15435

    LOL....for those who can't be bothered to follow the link the T Shirt says...
    "I'm a Database Administrator
    I solve problems you don't know you have
    In ways you can't understand"
    A very nice summary, I'll use that for the "elevator explanation" of my job from now on!

    That was a large part of my job when I wasn't involved with databases.  Adding DBA functions to my job didn't make a blind bit of difference to that.

    Tom

  • TomThomson - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 5:18 PM

    allinadazework - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 1:36 AM

    Jeff Moden - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 11:38 AM

    Heh... for quick elevator conversations, I summarize by saying what the shirt says...
    https://www.sunfrog.com/Data-Base-Administrator--SOLVE-192312050-Black-Guys.html?15435

    LOL....for those who can't be bothered to follow the link the T Shirt says...
    "I'm a Database Administrator
    I solve problems you don't know you have
    In ways you can't understand"
    A very nice summary, I'll use that for the "elevator explanation" of my job from now on!

    That was a large part of my job when I wasn't involved with databases.  Adding DBA functions to my job didn't make a blind bit of difference to that.

    Heh... agreed.  It's been a part of every job I've ever had even in the jobs that had nothing to do with IT.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

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