The Full Stack DBA

The last couple of years have seen the job title “full stack developer” posted quite often. With the popularity of DevOps, companies are hoping to hire a developer that can work on the database, understand some networking, and continue to build front end applications. In my career, I’ve done all of this while being just titled a programmer, but apparently with more specialization these days, some want to differentiate themselves as being able to do it all.

I saw this tweet from Erin Stellato, asking if people manage multiple items. Specifically, she asks about “the virtualization, the server admin, the storage, and system security”. No networking, firewalls, etc. in there, but I’ll add those in as well. This week, can you answer this question:

Are there any of you full-stack DBAs? 

By that I mean you work on more than the database. Do you manage storage at all? Are you a domain admin with AD responsibilities? Do you manage applications or perform some development? Is there any networking in your daily work?

I’ve actually done all of these before. At one startup, my primary responsibility was a database developer and administrator, but I had AD rights and needed to help our sysadmin with Exchange and various other servers. I setup and configured our T-1 line to the co-location facility, and explained how to get two NICs in our SQL Server working so that backups and office access didn’t interfere with application access from our web site. I even had to help build new network cables one day.

In a few jobs, I’ve actually been a domain admin, even though I was primarily a DBA. That was because we shared responsibilities and on-call on the team. Even though my primary work was with databases, I ended up helping work on other systems at times. To me, these were welcome distractions and also chances to build knowledge that was useful in troubleshooting and narrowing down the scope of problems.

Are any of you still doing that today? Whether you are or not, let us know what types of responsibilities you have at work.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcast

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