I was tagged by Denis in hopes I could actually remember back far enough to talk briefly on how I got started in SQL Server. So here it is…
Quiet often DBAs are accidentally created. There have been dozens of blogs and articles written about how that happens in some peoples careers in IT. My story is basically the same as most of the other accidental DBAs out there. Every time I think of it I’m reminded of a sign posted near some bluffs here in WI I visit often.
Basically I didn’t listen to the sign when it came to falling into the DBA role…
I started off with a company in the systems side of things with roles in administration and programming. That was primarily for system integration and anything it took to get what we needed out of the servers to make our job easier. Well, as many groups can attest to, there were a few SQL Servers hanging around that were being used for fairly critical applications but no one really cared about them. Sense the company was based on SAP running in front of Oracle, SQL Server was basically the red headed step child of the database servers. That meant no one took care of it. Needless to say as many Oracle DBAs will agree with, they think SQL Server is level with Excel and not worth managing. That in my experience is the reason any database server runs like **** and performs as if hamsters are entering the data into the fields as it goes. Yes, even Oracle will act that way if you ignore her.
Basically no one was managing any of them. I noticed this and basically that’s when I fell over the cliff. At some points I wish I had a rope to climb back up but all in all I’d still probably cut the rope half way back up.
So this all lead me to basically take over the SQL Server instances there. Even knowing my knowledge of SQL Server was based around making queries go faster, I felt I could take on the database servers and make them actually work to the point the company could rely on them. Needless to say I didn’t know anything. Indexing, I/O optimizing, memory management, data services configuration in general and on were all things I didn’t realize until I took them on. Luckily this brought me to find people like Denis, Denny and many others from the SQL Server community in which I could suck the knowledge out of and put it into my own daily tasks.
This was all building while working in various roles at with the company and being branded as a person they could turn to for SQL Server help. When I finally left that company I had some experience I could really rely on for where I wanted to go next. Unfortunately development had worn out its welcome for me. I think the user community at certain positions and the lack of ambition from co-workers ruined me for wanting to stay in development. This pushed me to look for a 100% full-time DBA position working on SQL Server. Given my experience in already being the, “accidental DBA” and all of the development and systems experience, it was easy for me to jump in. Easy meaning, I was able to find a company that would take me into a mid-level DBA position. Easy is a farfetched concept for going into database base administration and actually wanting to succeed at it and be more than the guy that just says no to every change request.
So I took on a position with a company to tear the SQL Server landscape apart and put in a new a one. That alone gave me some great experience and much ended push into digging deeper into what it means to be a DBA. Given the group of people I’ve attached myself to in the SQL Server community; I feel my skills are where they need to be for the tasks I’m handed day to day. Blogging about what I’ve learned, failures and the trials of being a DBA have also brought me to the level I am at. The best thing about being a DBA is, even knowing you may think database server are running in a static mode there really is never a dull day and you truly do have a lot to learn and keep you going. With SQL Server the fact the services provided like SSIS, SSAS, SSRS and SQL Server data service itself, you have a great chance to always better yourself or keep you interest in what you are doing.
So there is how and why I managed to fall into SQL Server. Probably boring and you may not even be reading this closing line. Next time I’ll tell you the truth of how aliens abducted me and forced me to fix their SQL Server instance that was always getting blocking events when they tried to shoot their ray guns at the evil and dreaded sister planet. Damn aliens!!!
Late tag on Wendy Pastrick even if it’s against the rules.