What Keeps You Employed?

  • I find questions like that are usually conversation starters rather than an expression of true interest.

    In IT = Well paid, probably intelligent but boring.  Best to gloss over it and spin it around to what do they do.  That'll upgrade you to well paid, intelligent and a good listener.

    If pushed I describe my role as finding ever faster and better ways to allow people to access information.

  • "If pushed I describe my role as finding ever faster and better ways to allow people to access information."

    That' s a great answer!

  • I am technically competent to be in the Senior SQL Server DBA position that I am in.  My work ethic is, I am here to provide the tools, policies, and procedures for everyone to be able do their job (but not to do it for them).  I'm really good at supporting the developers, users and managers for their various endeavors by being proactive on their behalf not just with the SQL stuff under my control, but also by helping facilitate the issues with Infrastructure, BI, Reports, etc.  That isn't really my bailiwick, but that I can usually effect a positive outcome.  I do that by working at keeping good relations with the other team members, which is really what my point is... You can't work in isolation... You have to work as a team.  That work ethic has kept me steadily employed for 28+ years, with little down time.

    Brandon Forest

    Senior SQL DBA

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  • When describing my role as a DBA to anyone outside of our profession, I tell them that I'm a glorified plumber.  I make sure the data pipes are all connected and not leaking... what data flows through the pipes, I haven't a clue.

  • I have used data janitor often for other IT people asking.

  • I do a lot of code reviews, so I usually rely on saying "It is a cross between a building inspector, and a teacher"

  • Awesome! The best IT consultant.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    I have used data janitor often for other IT people asking.

    BWAAA-HAAAA!!!!  I have told people that when it comes to data, "I'm the cleaning lady... but I don't do Windows". 😀

    --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

  • I tell most people I am a software engineer. If they ask specifically, I tell them I am a data architect and then explain what that is to me and my organization. I feel I can explain that pretty well for most to understand. The only issue is when I get into domain specific things like machine learning, attribution, and etc on why I do what I do.

    What keeps me employed is mostly domain knowledge and not technical knowledge. I think most forget that we are at a age where we have a lot of technical experience out there. So many joke on the quality of experience, but so many forget that quality is often reflected by that lack of actual domain experience too.

    I'm actually a relatively bad architect, but amazing marketing guy.

  • I used the analogy of the medical profession as well, in describing what I do, as opposed to others who work in technology (IT, development), but don't do what I do. And it's a good one. I normally explain that people who work in IT are like those who work in the medical profession. If you needed to have heart surgery, you wouldn't go to a pediatrician. Regular lay people get the analogy.

    I don't tend to tell them much, though, other than to say that I work as a software engineer and sometimes do database activities. I've also learned that if I go into more depth, people's eyes glaze over. It isn't worth going into more than that.

    Rod

  • David.Poole wrote:

    I find questions like that are usually conversation starters rather than an expression of true interest. In IT = Well paid, probably intelligent but boring. 

     

    Agreed.

     

    I've used the fridge analogy before but only to technical people. It confuses non-technical people more. https://www.brentozar.com/archive/2013/06/sample-sql-server-dba-job-descriptions/.

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