The Real Scary DBAs

I ran into someone recently that told me they were scared at their job. This person had built a number of ETL jobs to move data around between systems. They were trained as a developer, but had a little experience, got sucked into working with SQL Server, and had made a career without really considering themselves a DBA. They seemed a bit bewildered that they hadn’t messed up the data in any of their employer’s systems.

I’ve met quite a few people like that, who seem amazed to be trusted to accomplish the work they do on a regular basis. It’s good that many people can go through a career in SQL Server and successfully accomplish the things their employer needs done. However there’s no shortage of “scary DBAs” out there that are in over their heads and do cause damage to data and systems.

I see questions at SQLServerCentral on a regular basis that scare me. Not because the question is particularly hard, but because the person asking the question seems to be trusted with way more responsibility than they are capable of handling. I’m glad they’re asking questions, but often the additional questions they ask, or the lack of understanding they display about the answers have me worried. It’s not that these people are stupid, but often they don’t have the experience to do the job they’re assigned.

All of us have things to learn. Many of us continue to learn on the job, often as we’re getting work done. I think that’s a valid way of going through your technology career and I hope most of you continue to improve your skills on a regular basis. However there are quite a few people that have little aptitude for their chosen field, learn the barest minimum to get by, and often implement code and configurations without understanding what they are doing.

Those are the really scary DBAs and I’m amazed that so many of them are trusted by their employers to actively manage organizational data.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 2.2MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and LibSyn. feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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