What Keeps You Employed?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item What Keeps You Employed?

  • I tell people that I'm a database administrator and that I currently take care of and protect about 20 Terabytes of data.  I explain that a Terabyte is a million million or a 1 followed by 12 zeros.  If each byte was a single character, a Terabyte is equal to a stack of typewritten pages roughly 14.46 miles tall and 20 of those is a stack of paper a little over 289 miles tall.  And that doesn't include backups that I also have to take care of, which are about 2 and 1/2 times larger than that and that doesn't include any of the stuff outside of the databases like Excel spreadsheets and Word documents.

    Another fun fact would be that it would take an average person talking at an average speed of 135 words (average of 5 characters each) a minute about 3097 years of talking 24 hours a day to speak just one Terabyte.

    I also tell them that's actually very small compared to what some of the people I know take care of.

    --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)

  • What keeps me employed is i am the only one knowing (coping with) our BI System (8000 employees).

    I finished studying one year ago and started without work experience with SQL Servers. The only knowledge is had was about SQL and the theory of what BI is about. Before i started the guy that previously was in charge already left. So there was no one who actually knew the system when i arrived.



  • The best answer I had was towards some work colleague who has seen me around rather frequently at the customer site and he asked me what I'm doing here.

    My first answer was a classic one: "I work with computers and most of the time around databases." - Nice try, wasn't it? Well almost:

    "What do we need you or databases for?" This got me a little bit thinking and I told him "Well, you probably know this better than me but I've been told you're struggling every year ordering the perfect required amount of tyres for your customers once winter season begins, right?" "Oh yeah, we definitely struggle with that every year!" "Well I'm building data so you'll hopefully be able to order the right amount of tyres at the perfect time of year for that in the future."

    "OK, this really sounds useful."

    There we go, I sometimes have to do a "triple double step-back" in order to explain what I do to someone in a meaningful way, too but usually people at least believe to see I'm doing an important job in some way.


    But to answer your question: What keeps me in my job mostly asides having some years of experience in very large organizations will be my honesty: I do not fear at all to talk to the customer where I think his problems come from - as I have 5+ years experience in performance optimizations, everyone I come to in some sort of way has performance issues with some DBs - and the last thing I fear to call out either code or HW sizing "failures" at layer 8.

    I think this provides much more value to my customers than just those few lines of SQL Code and SSIS GUI drawings I might do on the sideline, too.

  • I make sure that databases are available to the business 24/7. It is the main point. Other crucial point is automating administrative tasks like backups, replication, etc.

  • I automate tasks that would otherwise take a lot of manual work and thus help keep customers competitive, and in business.

  • I was asked "want do you do for a living" a few years ago during jury selection. After seeing eyes gloss over when I responded with my "Database Solution Architect" job title, I quickly added "I'm a computer geek". That was a reasonably accurate answer for the situation, even under oath and the penalty for perjury 🙂

  • I'm a Developer whose role has usually included DBA work.  Thus, I usually say that I write websites, ones that need to marshal a lot of data from a database into that website.  Most people connect with the website bit... if they are IT literate then I explain that it's mostly c#, Sqlserver and some javascript.  Sometimes this triggers conversations about SqlServer or why my husband and I call Javascript 'write-and-run' language!

  • I've done the first year of a ten year DBA job for the last 10 years. Someone else at my company handles years 2-10.

    I'm highly efficient at what I do and we have hundreds of sites. That being said, we are moving more toward using an interface than a database so my work going forward will be with new systems.

    412-977-3526 call/text

  • Jobdescription: Well, it depends 🙂

    God is real, unless declared integer.

  • My husband tells people I'm a computer geek.

    When I say "Database Administrator" I get the blank look so I follow up with a very simple "I am responsible for all of the computer data within the company"  They think a moment and say "well that sounds like a big deal"  🙂

  • My answer depends on the situation. If I'm at the bank applying for a car loan or enrolling my kids in school, and I'm asked about my occupation, then I'll reply with "Information Technology". That answer gets a nod of approval, and no further explanation is needed to explain the reported income. In a social setting, most lay people these days know what IT means, and just for the sake of making conversation, I'll nonchalantly go on to mention I'm a database administrator, performance engineer, and solution architect.

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

  • Thomas Franz wrote:

    Jobdescription: Well, it depends 🙂

    This. If I'm talking to someone in the industry then I'll be more specific. If not, people's eyes tend to glaze over if you give them more than "computers" or "IT".

  • I tell people in the industry that I'm a BI developer.

    I tell lay people (those whom I expect have never heard of BI) I'm a database developer.  The usual response is something like, "So you work in IT", at which point they have already lost interest.

    When it comes to car insurance, BI Developer is not a recognised profession.  Data analyst, Business Consultant, Data Processor, IT Technician, Software Developer etc. - I can take my pick.  I just find out which gives me the cheapest insurance and pick that.  In one example, Data Processor came out £70 cheaper than Software Developer.

  • I have used the analogy of medical doctors before to describe the different fields within the computing space. It does help people to recognize that there is quite a bit of diversity in data professionals. While physicians are something that people can relate to, even if they don't understand the details, it's more difficult for them to understand the vast variety of jobs found among data professionals.

    When I tell folks that I'm a data architect, I usually reference an analogy of building architects but it's for data systems organization and processes instead. That usually helps except for the few that think I design actual computers!

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