Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Extra DBA Rule of Thumb

Last year on the blog I posted a series of 12 DBA Rules of Thumb. As a quick reminder, these Rules of Thumb - or ROTS, are some general rules of the road that apply to the management discipline of Database Administration that I have collected over the years. These ROTs are broadly applicable to all DBAs, even though this is a DB2-focused blog.

Please click on the link in the paragraph above if you need a refresher on the DBA ROTs from last year.

The purpose of today's blog post is to suggest an additional Rule of Thumb... and that is to Diversify!  A good DBA is a Jack-of-All-Trades. 

You can’t just master one thing and be successful in this day-and-age. The DBA maintains production, QA and test environments, monitors application development projects, attends strategy and design meetings, selects and evaluates new products, and connects legacy systems to the Web.
And if all of that is not enough, to add to the chaos, DBAs are expected to know everything about everything. From technical and business jargon to the latest management and technology fads and trends, the DBA is expected to be “in the know.” For example, the DBA must be up on trends like Big Data and Analytics.
And do not expect any private time: A DBA must be prepared for interruptions at any time to answer any type of question… and not just about databases, either.
When application problems occur, the database environment is frequently the first thing blamed. The database is “guilty until proven innocent.” And the DBA is expected to be there to fix things. That means the DBA is often forced to prove that the database is not the source of the problem. The DBA must know enough about all aspects of IT to track down errors and exonerate the DBMS and database structures he has designed. So he must be an expert in database technology, but also have semi-expert knowledge of the IT components with which the DBMS interacts: application programming languages, operating systems, network protocols and products, transaction processors, every type of computer hardware imaginable, and more. The need to understand such diverse elements makes the DBA a very valuable resource. It also makes the job interesting and challenging.
To summarize, the DBA must be a Jack-of-all-Trades... and a master of several!!!

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