Breaking into the DBA space


By:   |   Updated: 2009-12-21   |   Comments   |   Related: More > Professional Development Career Planning

I love helping people, I love to teach and I really love hearing about success stories from people in my past whom I've interacted with, had the chance to help out through eith a course, tutorial or just a few helpful hints to get them started in the SQL space.

I've been a lot of places and very recently was awarded MVP for SQL Server, and it looks like this is re-igniting some very old friendships and contacts, which to me is as valuable as if not more that the recent awards.

Interestingly, people have asked me why I teach, especially when I do it through PASS's volunteer efforts (non-paid) or as 1:1 training to colleagues or Technical Enthusiasts (also for free). The most honest reason I've received for people asking this is "It seems strange that in such a closed technical community you're giving away such valueable information.". That's true, and yes from that perspective, I can understnd that it would seem strange.

The reason I do this is because of a few things:

  1. I come from a very community based background (Church based) which was extremely selfless. It was through living and serving in this community that I truly understood and lived the idea of everybody gives, everybody wins.
  2. I love challenging mainstream selfish thinking :o)
  3. I believe that the one way to really open yourself up to being the best you can be is to give of yourself always.
  4. When you're in front of a large crowd presenting or doing a focussed 1:1 technical upskill, you need to make sure you're prepared. With my memory, any excuse to revise is a gift.

So now I present and teach when I can, serve clients like I'm doing it for church, grow communities when they're needed, and try to help anyone who asks genuinely if I have the skills or experience to do so.

PASS Germany look to me to follow some of thee principles as well, and they've recognised that its harder than expected to break into the technology space of SQL Server than most believe. They've been running an organised bootcamp-style syllabus yearly for a number of years now. SQL Server's extremely broad and deep, and they're running 3 focus areas during their 3 day hands on "PASS Camp" in January 2010.

  • DBA: Branded "DBA 101 to 401 - From Spring Board to Deep Wreck Dives" which I have the honour of preparing and delivering this time round;
  • BI Middle and Back-End: Branded "Advanced BI Concepts based on the MS BI stack" delivered by the dynamic duo Oliver Engels & Markus Fischer, and;
  • BI Front-End: Branded "BI FrontEnd: Self-Service BI" delivered by the renouned Rushabh Mehta.

If you're new to the game or a professional looking to cross skill or add depth to your repetoire then I'd strongly suggest going to this. Its generally sold out very quickly and its held in a beautiful location which looks to me to be a citadel rather than a conference centre.

It'll be one of the many places I'll be teaching and presenting at over the next months, but you'll rarely be able to get me in 1 placed focussed on 1 track for 3 days straight. I'm going to really enjoy it, and I'm sure you'll leave far better off than when you came in.

See you there, or contact me for help or an event listing ;o) but don't shy away from learning or giving when it comes to your skills and experience.



Last Updated: 2009-12-21


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MSSQLTips author Charley Hanania Charley Hanania is based in Zurich and is a Principle Consultant at QS2 Quality Software Solutions.

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