There has been quite a bit of activity this past week in the SQL Server community regarding how to secure a role as a Junior DBA. Brent Ozar has posted a number of articles here and @SQLBatman has also been busy posting Junior DBA Questions.
Both authors make some excellent points but what if you are already an established SQL Server professional? What can you do in order to raise your game even further?
There is more to being a DBA than just technical know how
If you truly wish to become an outstanding technology professional you simply cannot be just one dimensional. Absolutely your core foundation should be a thorough understanding of your chosen technology area but that is only the beginning.
To be an outstanding technology professional you must be versatile and develop a variety of additional attributes, some of which may not come naturally to IT professionals.
Building a good foundation
The attributes that I consider set the top technology professionals apart from the rest and in no particular order are:
- Business savvy
- Effective Communication
- An appreciation of Marketing and The Whuffie Factor (see below)
It is important that you understand how your actions as a database professional and the deliverables that you produce impact the business that you work/are working for. This will allow you to focus your energy and prioritise the tasks that are most important to achieving the businesses goals.
The more you understand about business and economics, the more versatile you will be as a database professional. The economy and global markets are a hot topic right now after all, so what better time to learn about how they work.
It is imperative that you can communicate your message/concepts/ideas in a clear and understandable fashion that is appropriate for your audience.
You may posses an immense knowledge of SQL Server and an abundance of technical wizardry but it will be of limited use to you if you cannot communicate the concepts to others. Why on earth would your boss agree to invest in upgrading to SQL Server 2008 or purchasing new hardware, if you cannot communicate the advantages of doing so?
The Whuffie Factor
Brent Ozar has an excellent post containing some incredibly powerful yet subtle points regarding a topic that is becoming more prominent and in my opinion is now of vital importance to us all, irrespective of profession. The so called Whuffie Factor
There are definitely more attributes that could be added to this list however these are what I believe together constitute a good foundation. What are the qualities that you look for in an outstanding Database Administrator?