Certifications are important for your skill, vision and profile. In every field of IT technologies are changing rapidly and skills are required to be updated every day. To cope with such challenges certifications play an important role. One may join some classes for preparation on go on with self training. Several interactive help material is available for solo training. In both ways purpose should be to improve the vision and skill rather than to just get a tag of certification for your profile. Certifications are some what costly and those who get certifications expenses by their organizations are lucky enough. So while evaluating any company for your next job, you may consider this aspect that either they offer certifications or not. Here is a useful link for list of Microsoft certifications by name
In my previous post i talked about the importance of sense of responsibility for new DBAs. After a DBA has took charge and now he has several tasks waiting for him. He needs reliable resources of help, from where he could get help for his tasks along with polishing the skills.
During all my career as SQL Server DBA, i have used various on line community resources and learned a lot from those.
Following is a list of resources that i keep in touch with
- MSSQL Tips
- SQL Server Central
- SQL Team
- SQL Server Performance
- SQL Authority
- SQL Server 2005 BOL
- SQL Server 2008 BOL
- SQL Server 2005 Solution Center
- SQL Server on MSDN
- SQL Server 2008 White Papers
- Simple Talk
All above are some of many resources of SQL Server where experts are always ready to share what they know. New DBA may consult these resources for solution of any problems and also they may stay in touch with forums/blogs/articles on these forums for skill grooming.
I have seen many people including my self that they turned to a DBA in mid career. The reason may be that a good DBA must have some part of skills of a software engineer/ technical writer/ developer/ system admin. Database Administration is a job with high responsibilities and demands an attitude of care and respects of professional ethics. Many students get chance to start their career as Database Administrator. First thing they should realize is sensitivity and responsibility of their job as a DBA.
Database with dozens or thousands of tables means a lot to its owner organization and organizations expects that their DBA will keep all the data reliable and secure. So the most important point for a new DBA is to correctly assess the degree of its responsibility and power.
Depending upon company environment and size a SQL Server Database Administrator (DBA) may have single or multiple types of roles/duties. A SQL Server DBA may have a very specific duty for a very large database or set of databases. Or SQL Server DBA may have a variety of duties in his organization covering the responsibilities of system administrator and database developers also. Following is a list of major kinds of SQL Server Database Administrators
- Production DBA
- Development DBA
- Architect DBA
- ETL DBA
- OLAP DBA
Basic duties of a SQL Server DBA
In any organization Database Administrator (DBA) has a long list of important duties and tasks to be performed. Following is a summarized list of duties and tasks for SQL Server Database Administrator (DBA).
- Installation and Configuration
o OS installation
o SQL Server installation
o Patches and service packs installation
o RAID configuration
o Memory configuration
o User Accounts
o User permissions
o Server security
o Security auditing
o Backup and restore
o Change management
- Service Levels
- System Monitoring
- Performance Tuning
- Routine Maintenance
o Index rebuilds
o Compressing data files
o Updating statistics
o Database consistency checks
- Disaster Recovery
o Log shipping
o Database mirroring
- Planning and scheduling downtime
- Capacity Planning
o Configuration documentation
o Design documents
o Operational information
- Development and design
o Database design
o Data modeling
o Procedure and SSIS development
In the lower ranks of the MIS world, sorting out job titles is a nearly impossible task. Some folks are called Analysts. Some are called Programmers. Some are called Engineers. None of them has an office with an window.
So I have listed — from lowest to highest in order of prestige — and described the 10 most commonly used job titles in a data processing shop.
A truly experienced high-tech professional has held five or even six of these positions…usually all at the same time.
This person holds the lowest rank in the DP field. Manages no one. Answers to everyone. Approximately 50% of the Programmer’s time is scheduled for testing. Another 50% is spent filling out time cards and progress reports. Any time left over is spent attending classes on technologies that will never be used in the shop. The Programmer is appraised on code quality and reliability. Never has time to write any. Hopes to, someday, be promoted to Systems Analyst.
9. Systems Analyst:
The Systems Analyst refuses to code anymore. Designs new systems. Writes specs for new systems. Devises procedures and work flows for new systems but ends up training users on how to get by with the old ones. Next in line for Team Leader position.
8. Team Leader:
A Team Leader manages one project. Doesn’t know why he’s not called Project Leader; that’s what he has on his resume.
7. Project Leader:
Manages several projects at once. Analyzes Gantt charts from the Team Leaders’ projects. Coordinates schedules from the Team Leaders’ projects. Monitors deliverables from the Team Leaders’ projects. Has absolutely no idea what any of the Team Leaders’ projects are about. Wants to be a programmer again.
The Operator wields powers that the Project Leader can only dream about. Makes Programmers beg for tape drives. Makes Analysts beg for disk space. Makes Team Leaders beg for printouts. Has an uncanny understanding of career potential in the data processing industry. Going to law school at night.
5. Systems Programmer:
Even an Operator wants to be a Systems Programmer. A Systems Programmer has the authority to wipe out disk packs without warning. Crash the system during user demos. Make new releases appear, then disappear, then reappear again, especially during month-end processing.
No one really knows what the Database Administrator does, and no one is smart enough to know if the DBA is doing it or not. But every shop must have one DBA, because no place can afford two of them.
The Manager is sometimes called a Director. Or an Assistant Vice-President. Or an Account Manager. Has completely lost touch with any facsimile of technology. Wants to finish next year’s budget. Wants to finish last year’s appraisals. Wants to learn the names of some of the Programmers. But instead, only has time to interview job applicants, especially DBAs.
2. Department Secretary:
The Programmers have word processing. The Managers have electronic mail. Everyone has automatic phone messaging. This leaves the Department Secretary with all kinds of time to manipulate, control and dispense the three most basic employee needs: paychecks, rumors, and supplies. Can make copier self-destruct just by going to lunch.
1. Contract Programmer:
A Contract Programmer doesn’t have to wear a nice suit. Or go to meetings. Or fill out time cards. Or keep complaints to himself. He can make all the mistakes he wants. He doesn’t get benefits. He doesn’t get training. He doesn’t get respect. But after years in the trenches, the Contract Programmer will finally achieve the ultimate goal in the profession: He will be able to make impossible deadlines with inadequate resources for desperate managers by putting in all kinds of extra hours… and will be paid overtime for every one of them.