Monday, November 25, 2013

DBA Rules of Thumb - Part 3 (Share)

Knowledge transfer is an important part of being a good DBA - both transfering your knowledge to others and participating in having others' knowledge transferred to you.

So the third DBA rule of thumb is this: Share Your Knowledge!

The more you learn as a DBA, the more you should try to share what you know with other DBAs. Local database user groups typically meet quarterly or monthly to discuss aspects of database management systems. Healthy local scenes exist for DB2, SQL Server, and Oracle: be sure to attend these sessions to learn what your peers are doing.

And when you have some good experiences to share, put together a presentation yourself and help out your peers. Sometimes you can learn far more by presenting at these events than by simply attending because the attendees will likely seek you out to discuss their experiences or question your approach. Technicians appreciate hearing from folks in similar situations... and they will be more likely to share what they have learned once you share your knowledge.

After participating in your local user group you might want to try your hand speaking at (or at least attending) one of the major database industry conferences. There are conferences for each of the Big Three DBMS vendors (IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft), as well as conferences focusing on data management, data warehousing, industry trends (Big Data, NoSQL), and for others too. Keep an eye on these events at The Database Site's database conference page.

Another avenue for sharing your knowledge is using one of the many online database forums. Web portals and web-based publications are constantly seeking out content for their web sites. Working to put together a tip or article for these sites helps you arrange your thoughts and to document your experiences. And you can garner some exposure with your peers by doing so because most web sites list the author of these tips. Sometimes having this type of exposure can help you to land that next coveted job. Or just help you to build your peer network.

Finally, if you have the time, considering publishing your experiences with one of the database-related print magazines. Doing so will take more time than publishing on the web, but it can bring additional exposure. And, of course, some of the journals will pay you for your material.

But the best reason of all to share your knowledge is because you want others to share their knowledge and experiences with you. Only if everyone cooperates by sharing what they know will we be able to maintain the community of DBAs who are willing and eager to provide assistance.

Here are some valuable links for regional and worldwide database user groups:

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