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They were thankful that someone had taken the time to explain how much a DBA has in common with the President of the United States:. More than you probably realize. First, about half of the people around you doubt whether you are qualified to actually hold the job you have been given.

Second, every time you make a decision or plot a course of action you will constantly be criticized even by your supporters. And third you are going to be judged by what you accomplish in your first one hundred days, good or bad, even if it was something not in your control. Every four years we elect a new President, and the person in office is always subject to approval ratings. You will have your own version of this fact of life; it is called your annual performance review.

Come review time, you want your approvals ratings to be as high as possible. Sound awful? Perhaps, but it really is not all that bad as long as you are aware of these things when you start.

The most important objective for you is your plan of action for when you first arrive. If you think you can show up, grab a cup of coffee, and ease into your new position then you are mistaken. Your cup of coffee can wait until after you start gathering the information you need in order to do your new job effectively. And what information is that? How about some of the basics first, such as: what servers are you responsible for?

What applications are you expected to support? What time of day are the applications used? Who are your customers? Are the databases being backed up properly right now?

How would you know if the backups were failing? With so many items to check, it can become very overwhelming, very fast.

That is why you need to put together a checklist of the bare essentials and get started. Then, after you are able to get a handle on your environment you can start making some short term plans for improvements. Before you know it your first one hundred days will be behind you and you will be able to look back and see just how far you have come in a short amount of time. That chapter goes on to explain how to put together your initial checklist, how to gather details on your environment, the groups you need to meet with, how to manage alerts, how to become more proactive, and how to track your progress.

I am often sought out for advice on being a DBA, or getting into a job role that involves data. The post gives a rough idea about the variety that exists. It also points out the shift I have seen over the past 15 years in IT. There used to be a time that every company had their own group of developers or systems teams that were responsible for creating, updating, and maintaining existing code.

Over the past 15 years a lot of those systems have been replaced with third party software. Lots of those jobs were lost. But they were replaced by folks that knew how to move data, how to integrate systems together. So, fewer designers and developers perhaps, but an increase in Manufacturing, which includes ETL, reporting, and business analytics.

This video is an hour-long but well worth sharing with you today. One of the main takeaways from this video I want you to have is the fact that troubleshooting performance is not always rocket surgery. When you watch this video and listen to Conor Cunningham talk about some of the real world examples he has faced you will see what I mean. It goes something like this:. If all queries are having performance issues then you will want to examine settings that affect the entire instance, such as memory settings, or high CPU utilization.

You will want to do this first before trying to examine any one particular query. If it is only a subset of queries or users, or a particular application then you will want to focus your efforts on those queries first. Otherwise you will be wasting time trying to fix one query without addressing the root cause of the performance issue affecting all queries.

Better to spend five minutes talking to your server admins about the memory for your guest than to waste time trying to get a query to suddenly run faster with less memory available.

Set aside some time this week to watch this video and learn more. If you could give just one thing to a person you know is starting out as a DBA, what would it be?

I bet if you ordered it today you would still have time to give it as a gift. And thanks to everyone that has contacted me in with so many kind words regarding the book. Most DBAs have their performance review given by someone that has little to no understanding of what it means to be a DBA. Most managers not only have little value when it comes to career advice but they offer little value when it comes to motivating the people that work underneath them.

So, who do you turn to? I hope the answer is a mentor. Find someone that knows what it is like to be a DBA and can offer you some advice. Most likely this will be someone outside your office, but sometimes you can get lucky and find a coworker to fill this role. It seems that benchmarking is a lost art these days. People tend to expect a query to return results in three seconds or less, no matter how much data they are asking to be returned or processed.

Such results are required no matter where the end user happens to be. They could be in the server room, at their desk, at home, or using their iPad on a train. And as a DBA, you are going to be responsible for performance.

It will be on your shoulders should any one user have a bad experience. Email is a great way to say yes to something, or someone. Which would you prefer?

Most people would prefer to be liked rather than right. Most DBAs I know would rather be right and could care less about being liked. It is a delicate balance, however, and one you come across as a DBA frequently.

Not everything is as black and white as I presented here, but you get the idea I hope. There are times when you need to make this choice. Most DBAs are towards the bottom of any organizational chart. And yet our role and function is no less important than anyone else, and in many cases I would argue even more important than most. We guard data, we keep things running smoothly as possible, and we are there to recover in the event of a disaster. And we all know what flows downhill: everything does.

We often have to prioritize how we handle tasks simply by whoever is yelling the loudest. This is not the way we want to function. Trust me, it is easier than it sounds, you just need to be organized. And those roles continue to be in demand. Expert Query Performance Troubleshooting April 23rd, This video is an hour-long but well worth sharing with you today.

Thanks Mike. Just go get one, and soon. Benchmarking July 25th, It seems that benchmarking is a lost art these days. People who treat DBAs with respect are in a far greater shortage. Click to order! Recent Posts. DBA Survivor Uncategorized.


Becoming a DBA Rockstar!

In preparation for upcoming work and projects on SQL server I have created a starting learning plan. My exposure to SQL and SQL server has been fairly limited so I am looking to put in some considerable time reading and practicing over the next few weeks and months. Here is my study plan so far. The best part is it manages deliver this information very concisely. For good measure the authors and contributors have sprinkled in many personal experiences in the above areas beyond the regular chapter outlines. Amazon Book Link. I have found Microsoft Training Kit books to generally be a good starting point when learning a new technology for their wide coverage of concepts and some really good hands on lab guides.


DBA Survivor

This book injects some humor into helping you understand how to hit the ground running, and most importantly how to survive as a DBA. Skip to main content. Start your free trial. Show and hide more. Table of Contents Product Information. How Did I Get Here?

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