You're considering a career in database administration, or an IT support role in general, or perhaps you have just been assigned as the new database administrator at your company. How would you get started in your new role? Where can you go to find information on how to be successful as a DBA?
DBA Survivor is a book written specifically for this purpose.
Congratulations! You have accepted a position as a Database Administrator. What's that? Oh, you were told that you were going to be the new DBA? No worries, I am certain you were carefully selected to be the best...of the best...of the best. Now that you have the job, what's next? What is your action plan? What do you take care of first? Who should you look to make friends with, and fast? And how much more will you get paid?
First off, let's get some basics out of the way. You do not know everything. Sorry to tell you, but better to find out now than later on. Trust me. No one person knows everything; it is a fact of human existence. You are human, right? Because that simple fact will be questioned periodically so you better check again just to make certain. Last thing you want is to find out you are actually a Cylon or something worse.
Another thing you need to know about being a DBA, you will have less friends at work than when you started. Now, that is not necessarily a bad thing. See, you have been placed into a position of responsibility, and with this responsibility you will need to make some decisions, and those decisions will not always be popular. Thus, you may lose some friends at work, but these losses will be more than offset by the gains you have in the overall DBA community. So you have that going for you, which is nice.
And with that responsibility and decisions you will also find that you start getting more blame than credit for your work. I promise you this: no one will ever stop by your desk in the morning and thank you for the fact that everything ran smoothly last night. But you better believe if a batch load took five minutes longer than expected you will have four different people asking you "WTF?"
While being a DBA may not be all unicorns and rainbows it has the potential to be the most rewarding career path you could ever be presented with. Ask around and you will find that most people cherish having a good DBA on hand. It is my hope that this book will give you the tools necessary to be that DBA, the one they decide they cannot live without.
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Article Last Updated: 2010-07-01