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Any SQL Server DBAs in the house?


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#1 reactionary007

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 19:11

If so - how do you like the job? Anything you would be willing to share regarding job satisfaction - overall enjoyment - etc. would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


#2 tim_s

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 19:19

Do you have any DBA experience?

Like any job depends on the application of the database and the environment. Good starting point as everything is graphical.

#3 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 19:31

Good starting point as everything is graphical.



Er... not entirely I'd agree with that. As part of my job I do some DBA work and as part of shadowing my colleague over the years I've come to learn you're far more effective if you can do a lot of the tasks using T-SQL rather than all through the graphical tools. Just gives you a better understanding of what's happening under the covers.

It seems to me that being a SQL DBA is something you'll never entirely master - it seems to be a bottomless subject, and depending on the scale of the environment you're supporting, potentially quite stressful. Certainly the kind of job to give your mind a workout though!


#4 BGM

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 19:58

I have worked with MS SQL Server for nearly 8 years now, and although i'm not a DBA i do often work with DBAs to diagnose problems and work with them on solutions to things etc.. so, i guess for the most part i see the 'interesting' parts, the exceptions to the rule. I get a phone call whem it's something they can't do, or have not enough experience to tackle on their own.

Day to day, i would imagine it's similar to other jobs. You have the tasks that you must do every day, checking server statuses, ensuring disaster recovery plans are sufficient etc, and generally making sure things tick over so you always know where you stand in the event of disaster, and have your ass covered :D

The fun stuff comes in when you are involved in projects to improve system.. in my experience this is where i engage with DBAs the most. They always wade in wanting to check that any changes i or my team are making to the organisations systems will not screw with their processes etc :)

For me, i could do a DBA job.. i have an MCITP in SQL 2008, but DBAing does not interest me.. depending on your personality you might find it tiresome and really unless you are coming into an organisation that is a complete **** tip in terms of their system management you might not find it engaging. Only you can decide that :D

Oh yeah, and loads of stuff is done with T-SQL, i've never met a DBA that doesn't have their own set of special scripts to get them through the day ;)

Shoot with any questions...

#5 tim_s

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 20:17

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Er... not entirely I'd agree with that. As part of my job I do some DBA work and as part of shadowing my colleague over the years I've come to learn you're far more effective if you can do a lot of the tasks using T-SQL rather than all through the graphical tools. Just gives you a better understanding of what's happening under the covers.

It seems to me that being a SQL DBA is something you'll never entirely master - it seems to be a bottomless subject, and depending on the scale of the environment you're supporting, potentially quite stressful. Certainly the kind of job to give your mind a workout though!


I am not saying it is the most effective method of administrating MS SQL. It is an option for someone new as a DBA.


#6 Original Poster

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 23:45

Good starting point as everything is graphical.


??? noooo ???

everything I do with SQL is command line no graphics what so ever most common way to manage SQL is via command line (for people who are meant to be professionals that is)

#7 tim_s

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 23:53

Ok *CLEARLY* I am referring to someone learning.

I primarily working with UNIX systems but we have some MS SQL SERVERS running but out of the box Microsoft provides GUI tools to assist throughout the learning process.

IF the OP has the capcity to start with command line this is great.

MAIN POINT: MS SERVER is a great database to learn on - do people not agree with me?

#8 Denis W.

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 00:15

I'm working in a position where I support other customers that are almost always DBAs. Just started and technically I do have one DBA cert, but don't really know too much about our database product to handle some of the trickier questions. I deal with the core database engine stuff and not the GUI tools, so a lot of the issues are usually related to crashed or hung servers.

What I will say is that by observing customer conduct, the DBAs in financial institutions are highly stressed and are quite bitter to work with. Rest of the customers are usually good to work with though.

#9 briangw

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 00:50

I am not saying it is the most effective method of administrating MS SQL. It is an option for someone new as a DBA.


Agreed. As a Server/VMware/Exchange/SharePoint Admin, I haven't gotten past the basics of PowerShell and scripting and I've been doing this for some years. Yes, some Exchange stuff can't be done in the GUI anymore, but I haven't had the time to learn and use PowerShell for general tasks. Plus, I'm not a big fan of command line stuff as I first learned using GUI, so getting over that hump will take some time.

#10 libertas83

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:13

If so - how do you like the job? Anything you would be willing to share regarding job satisfaction - overall enjoyment - etc. would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


SQL Server DBA is no different than any other DBA in terms of job satisfaction etc. If you are highly technical, analytical and like to solve problems then you can have fun with it. It just depends on what level you want to explore and do than anything else.

SQL Server has a great GUI that helps with small tasks and quick tasks. The difference in when to to use command line/scripting vs GUI really comes down to the task you are performing. A lot of times it is better to use GUI to explore and understand the database and perform small tasks individually. You get to scripting when you need to do it based on some conditions or have it run across multiple databases or be re-used to perform a common task. That is where SQL Server has an advantage in that you can do both really well when needed.