Where Do You End Up as a DBA?

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    You know you'd miss me 😉

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119675

    Very good stuff in this one.

  • rcrouch3

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 140

    Where do Senior DBAs end up? Where ever they do go, it's always a change - not necessarily for the money, or the prestige, but often the challenge of something new. After my last DBA gig for 18 years, where I was the primary (and sometimes the only) DBA supporting 30+ MSSQL, MySQL, Oracle, and Progress servers, and associated Web servers and application servers, and being on call 24/7/365 (that includes being able to respond while on "vacation"), I suddenly became too expensive to keep - and found myself wondering if it was time to pack it in and retire, go back to consulting (had done that for 20 years prior), or find another DBA position. Opportunities sometimes just present themselves - after numerous interviews for DBA positions that I just couldn't get excited about, and where they were looking for someone a lot younger , I ended up taking a position with the local University, in Medical IT, as a "Applications Consultant". Pretty much, I am taking requests that staff cannot figure out how to do, and creating applications, reports, and dashboards to meet needs for patient care. The money isn't great, but the people are; the work is interesting and (mostly) challenging; support is only during working hours - AND there are a lot of persons in my age group (Senior Citizens!) - experience is valued. The DBAs even ask for my help, and all seem to work together as a team. There IS life after layoff!

  • dma-669038

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2713

    I did 17 years of carrying pagers and fixing maint jobs, backups and so on. Got down to the MCM when it promptly went away. I wish I had Steve's wise counsel back then - complex databases are few and harder to come by and the lack of challenge is frustrating. I can't do much travel so consulting is hard for me, although the increase in tele commute is hopeful. I took a architect type of role where I am where I deal with many kinds of software, mostly database end of it but am able to have more insight into various models of software and how it is engineered - hopefully it will help. Also doing a diploma in data analytics. and keeping up with the sQL Certs. Something will work out, hopefully. People are important to me, like Steve says, which is why am at the same gig. I think the wise folks are those who branched into BI and Data Analytics early on. There is lot more scope for creativity and growth there than there is with being a pager carrying DBA.

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    Where do they land? Good question, but the answer is a question really. Where do you want to land? You make the decision. You gather information, get advice from those you see as wise, evaluate your skills, talents, and interests and set sail for the "island of your dreams". Pirates along the way might waylay you, or you might face some rough seas, but you are the captain of your ship. Sail with determination and wisdom or go home!

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • logitestus

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2816

    I would like to echo an agreement of the comments stating that "balance is key". All of the suggestions I have read, I find interesting and good ideas but I couldn't find the option I took: create you own company/product (not consultancy). With a group of colleagues, I am working on commercial product that pushes my technical database boundaries as well as reinvigorates my love for technology. Dare I say, I am having fun again? 🙂

  • SQLBill

    SSC Guru

    Points: 51440

    I have seen some high-level DBAs make some interesting career/pay decisions....

    One chose to reduce his work days....he worked four days a week. Having the three day weekend every week was worth not getting a pay raise. He, like a lot of DBAs, was working more than 8 hours each day anyways.

    Another one asked for a small refrigerator at their desk....they got it.

    I've seen another one ask for their own personal coffee machine....and got it.

    I once asked for a server that I could load Linux onto and learn how to be a Linux admin (the company was considering going to Linux for some stuff). I got it (they had a few unused servers available) and they even threw in some training classes. I ended up moving out of state about a year later, so I never got to use the Linux training - oh well.... (I wasn't even a Sr. DBA...just at the top of my pay range and there wasn't money in the budget to promote me at the time).

    If you really enjoy where you work and what you are doing, but feel underpaid, there's always other types of compensation. You just have to decide what has value to you and see if the company is willing to provide it.

    -SQLBill

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124993

    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    So, where does an Entity Framework developer land when you toss them out of a 10 story window?

    Call the shot before they hit the parking lot: heads or tails?

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

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    Gary Varga (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    You know you'd miss me 😉

    Old programmers never die.

    They just decompile.

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    Eric M Russell (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    So, where does an Entity Framework developer land when you toss them out of a 10 story window?

    Call the shot before they hit the parking lot: heads or tails?

    I wouldn't care.

    It's much ADO about nothing.

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286957

    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Eric M Russell (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    So, where does an Entity Framework developer land when you toss them out of a 10 story window?

    Call the shot before they hit the parking lot: heads or tails?

    I wouldn't care.

    It's much ADO about nothing.

    They'd probably pick the longest and most inefficient way down. The fall might impact the resources available in the whole building. :w00t:

  • brannanliz

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 138

    Where do you end up? In my company when I was hired no one new what a DBA was so I got a really great title. I am the Coordinator of Information Systems. That always makes me laugh. I am more of a security over money person so that is what I have chosen. It gets boring for a short time then there will be a new project. My biggest grip is when the upper bosses buy something new that the salesman told them would integrate with our existing systems without realizing I am the integration. But it is both job security and challenge.

  • Matt Miller (4)

    SSC Guru

    Points: 124173

    Ed Wagner (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Eric M Russell (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    So, where does an Entity Framework developer land when you toss them out of a 10 story window?

    Call the shot before they hit the parking lot: heads or tails?

    I wouldn't care.

    It's much ADO about nothing.

    They'd probably pick the longest and most inefficient way down. The fall might impact the resources available in the whole building. :w00t:

    It's actually a recursive function:

    Toss(n) = Height(n)*Velcity(n) + Toss(n-1).

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286957

    Matt Miller (#4) (2/20/2015)


    Ed Wagner (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Eric M Russell (2/20/2015)


    GoofyGuy (2/20/2015)


    Where do you think Senior DBAs end up?

    In the grave, as far away from deceased programmers as is possible.

    So, where does an Entity Framework developer land when you toss them out of a 10 story window?

    Call the shot before they hit the parking lot: heads or tails?

    I wouldn't care.

    It's much ADO about nothing.

    They'd probably pick the longest and most inefficient way down. The fall might impact the resources available in the whole building. :w00t:

    It's actually a recursive function:

    Toss(n) = Height(n)*Velcity(n) + Toss(n-1).

    That's cool, as long as you process the return values one at a time. 😉

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715104

    Miles Neale (2/20/2015)


    You gather information, get advice from those you see as wise, evaluate your skills, talents, and interests and set sail for the "island of your dreams". Pirates along the way might waylay you, or you might face some rough seas, but you are the captain of your ship. Sail with determination and wisdom or go home!

    well said

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