Over my career I have seen many articles on what it takes to be a DBA. I always enjoy reading other viewpoints on the topic; so much so I’ve wanted to share my mentality on how I attack being a DBA. Every person is different and unique in their own way; however some of the principles, I believe, can remain the same.
How does a DBA stay on top of his/her game?
For those that know me individually know that I enjoy playing the game of basketball. I grew up with it; played up through college and once college was over still delve in it for fun. I can remember putting in countless hours in the gym shooting thousands of jump shots, running hundreds of laps, waking up at 4 in the morning to work out then going to class, then back to practice after classes. The reason I trained so hard was to be the best that I could be and squeeze the best out of my potential.
The other day as I was driving down the road i thought about my career as a DBA really is no different. In order for me to reach my goals and to stay on top of my game and enhance my skill set is to condition myself in the realm of DBA expertise. How do I become a better DBA? To me I need to take my conditioning mentality and make that into a SQL conditioning mentality. As I stated before each person is unique so your goals might be different than my goals but the underlying base is similar in many ways.
In any training program you have to continually work at it. My jump shot didn’t just happen over night; I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many hours I put in at the gym to where it became second nature to me. It was no longer thinking of the mechanics “Step, Bend, Follow-Thru” it became automatic. To me why would my SQL training be any different? I took 5 (my magic number, yours may be different) and looked at those 5 in ways that I can improve them. Then guess what; training begins! Train yourself and keep training. Just because you train for a day here or a day there means you will improve. You have to keep at it and train regularly just like you would when you train for a race, lifting weights, or in my case putting a ball through a hoop.
Part of my training consisted of eating healthy, and eating certain foods before big games to maximize my energy. Same thing goes for my SQL Skill sets. You will see on this blog many various bloggers who I look up to. To name a few of them:
The list could go on but these guys who I look up to I try to gain as much knowledge as I can from them and be like a sponge. They provide a plethora of information and you know what….I found that all of them are as eager to help as I am eager to learn. The SQL Community is abundant with tips and resolutions from such sites as:
To grow in this industry take advantage of what is at your disposal. Chances are issues or questions that you may have will be answered by someone or some form of partition in the SQL Community. That is why I enjoy the SQL Community so much; it is one big family. Eat knowledge regularly; grow your knowledge just like an infant eats and grows as he or she gets bigger.
Maximize Your Abilities ~ Fourth Quarter!
In high school (4th quarter) and in college (second half) I had this thing mentally I would do. I’d come out and slap both hands on my chest and then smack the floor. By this time I was dog dead tired; I had pushed myself as hard as I could the whole game and then I had to find the strength (where conditioning comes in) to make it through this quarter or half and stay focused when I was tired.
Have you ever pushed your limits with SQL? If not then how are you growing? I challenged myself and I will challenge you; push your limits and get out of your comfort zone. Learn something you didn’t know before; add some skill sets to your arsenal. You can’t expect to go out and knock out every inch of transactional replication if you’ve never seen it. Think of it in terms of taking small baby steps, but keep moving forward.
I could chalk this up to getting older, the longer I’m in the SQL industry the more I enjoy helping others along their way achieve their goals. Take advantage of the many forums out there; share your knowledge; who knows maybe one day you can help others as they have helped me. I think a lot of times it is easy for us in the industry to take for granted the ones who are at the forefront such as the Grant Fritchey’s, the Paul Randal’s, the Glenn Barry’s, the Chris Shaw’s, the Brent Ozars, and the list could go on and on. These guys get it and have worked hard so that people like you and I could also get it.
As I close this thought, I recently read a post from Paul Randal. I can’t find it now but in essence it spoke of a request he received for advice and the request didn’t even say please or a thank you. I implore you to not only challenge yourself but also remember that a lot of times these guys help us for free. A simple please and thank you can go along way. Take the time to thank them for what they do. You may have others that you follow or mentors ~ have you thanked them lately for their advice or for being a sounding board as you maneuver through your career. If not think about it.