So, you’ve decided that you want to enter into the glorious field of Database Administration. You want to live, eat, and breath the SQL engine while slaying the monsters (Developers) that attempt to kill your system each and every day. Well, I can say from experience that it doesn’t come easily as one would think. While I won’t bore you with my life story, I will provide some of the things that have led to my success in my career.

Mentors

Finding a mentor or mentors within the community to me has always been pivotal in the overall success I’ve obtained in my career. These can be professionals from within your company or from the community. For me, one example was someone within the company I worked for years ago. He was a developer, like myself, that had started in an operations role. However, while working, he applied himself after hours to learn the skills necessary to move into a development role within IT. To this day, I’m not sure why he decided to take me under his wing. But I do know that I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for his guidance.

Blogs and Resources

You’re not the first person to go down this path, and because of this, there are resources within the community that can help you in your quest to becoming a DBA. Below, I’ve listed some of the blogs and resources that I’ve used in the past when I’ve ran into challenges.

  • Brent Ozar Unlimited: https://www.BrentOzar.com/blog/
  • PASS: https://www.pass.org/
  • Brad McGehee: https://www.red-gate.com/library/how-to-become-an-exceptional-dba-2nd-edition
  • Twitter: Live inside of #SQLHelp, you’ll thank me later!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Asking for help from your peers or from the community is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of maturity as a data professional. We’ve all been there and we’ve all had that experience we like to talk about when we toss back a couple drinks and exchange war stories. I, for one, know I’ve had plenty of those RUEs (Resume updating events) throughout my career.

Have Some Fun

If, in the end, all you take away from this post is this last section, then I’d call it a win. There are so many ways that you can work within the instance that you’ll never stop learning. This, to me, makes being a DBA (by title or by methodology) one of the best career choices. So, just have fun with it. Tear down some instances (Preferably in Test) and build them back up. You can be both the creator and destroyer of your own little world, and that makes this process so much more enjoyable. :)