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  • Av Singh

    Great site John!
    Just adding to what you have said-
    do you think that the primary responsibility of SQL database admin is the make the data ‘available’?

    Obviously data loss would be the worst case scenario but perhaps if your sql server has the data but the company can’t use it is almost as bad?

    I write as a DBA Newbie.

    • Peter Maloof


      Thanks for this article. I totally agree that data is the lifeblood of an organization, and exists to help make good business decisions. I think some DBA’s try to ‘protect’ data from the end-users.

      Taking your Primary Responsibility a step further, I believe that my mission as a DBA is to help people use their data reliably, efficiently and securely.

      • Shanavask

         great job..i am trying to be a DBA expert. can you help me , where should i start? reading theory is not good enough i think. i have installed SQL Server and i want to create own test database and to do all the testing and manipulation on that..please help me..  my email  shanavask@ymail.com  

      • Dale

        I just found this web site and reading through the comments, I saw a reference to
        “I think some DBA’s try to ‘protect’ data from the end-users. ”

        If the “end-users” are a threat to the integrity of the data, then YES, that is a responsibility of the DBA, to allow only the access required to provide the end-users with
        their necessary information or to provide a safe input to new data from end-users.

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  • Zach

    Great information here … I am one of those “accidental DBA’s” although Ive always loved dealing with data, I started in the business as a Manager of Technical Support and after 4 years transitioned into a Jr. DBA role on a full scale web application project.

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  • Travis Alltop

    DBAs are the most important and most under appreciated person in an emterprise. I have said this for years. If you don’t have your data you don’r have doodly squat…remember that out there CEO’s when bonus time comes around……

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  • Antony nelson

    I am working as a System analyst – Project Lead (Software Projects on Retail domain) have almost all our applications running with SQL Back end. I am responsible for Database and its backups as well, apart from all new software Projects. Use to Work on minor level tuning to database such as re-indexing etc kind of activities. I always have interest to become a DBA Since I have started working with Applications with SQL Back end. Kindly guide me where should I start and is there any fastest way of learning and getting certifications etc. Is it good/suggested to become a DBA for my kind of profile. Kindly assist me.

  • Joel Wiseheart

    Just to reinforce the topic here, I recently took a college class on SDLC for Database Analysts from an instructor with 28 years of industry experience before he began teaching. He repeatedly mentioned the 5 components of any information system:

    1. Hardware (server, backup, etc.)
    2. Software (SQL Server itself, Windows OS, etc.)
    3. Data
    4. People (DBA’s, Developers, etc.)
    5. Procedures (Documentation, test plans, etc.)

    He also emphasized over and over and over again that of these 5 things, the only one that CANNOT BE REPLACED IF LOST is the DATA. If the database server explodes, killing the DBA in the explosion, the company can hire a new DBA, buy a new server, reinstall SQL Server on it, and re-document every step taken as you go. However, you can’t reenter all the data. If it’s gone, it’s gone forever. So protect it.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Sounds like you had a great instructor there Joel. Thankfully exploding servers and DBA deaths in the field are urm… a rarity but your point stands all the same. Thanks for sharing.

  • shah

    @@ John
    I am also a newbie too, Could you please tell me how to handle the tempdb .. i am having an issue it seems that temp table are not being dropped, but in one SP i have dropped it but after ran that Sp the tempdb is used almost 15gb it didn’t release the space after use …

    I have been told by a friend of mine that run a profiler trace or server side trace.. i havent ran it any time ….

    or any thing do you suggest for me desperately looking for a solution ..

    Thanks in Advance

  • viki

    Hi john

    I came here and found this place very intresting and this left a positive influence on me. I am a database developer and want to be a DBA but dont know where to start from and how to start, so please help me in it.

  • Ravirro Zi

    Wow, thanks. This is awesome. I’m thinking of making a career change and I find the info you’re sharing very encouraging. I will be pretty much self studying so I will most definitely be looking to your site as a resource. <3 <3

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Great! Delighted to learn you have discovered the blog. Self studying is a great way to develop your career and is something most Data Professionals do. Best of luck with it!

  • Shan

    Hi John I am happy to have found your website. Very informative. I am seeking to chart my career in DBA. Question though as it relates to Data loss what can you recommend to best way to recover. Say for instance in an interview I am asked or the best way to prevent data loss.

  • chalapathi


  • Roland

    Hello, I’m currently studying and learning about Database Administration Fundamentals. My questions is, how does a company’s application work with SQL? Does the application have it’s own database built in that syncs with another?