Give Me Reason, Take Me Higher

Dec 23, 2010 / By Fahd Mirza

Tags: ,

Give Me Freedom, Give Me Fire
Give Me Reason, Take Me Higher

Database administrators can get rusty pretty much quickly, and then they fall in a routine. In a typical company, they install and manage the same set of database servers. Soon they know the ins and outs of those databases. They know the pulse of their databases. They know what to ignore and what to fix and what not to fix. They then start loving the status quo. The same alert logs, backup logs, traces, error messages, and so and so. Soon the time comes, when they even stop looking at the logs and traces and backup verifications. They stop reviewing their system. Worst, they stop learning new things. They start hating upgrades and introducing new features and optimizing the existing data stores.

If their company goes out of business, or they are fired, or replaced, these DBAs find it very hard to find another opportunity. That is the problem with database administration jobs. Database software is the same in every company, but the data, requirements, expectations, applications, users are different in every company with their own problems and quirks.

Many of the best of the DBAs die this way.

Pythian, a cluster of passionate DBAs, gives freedom to their DBAs to act. Here, with many companies, and with many databases of a different nature with varying requirements the DBAs are kept on fire. DBAs find reasons to come to their job every day, and when they do and learn new things every day, they rise to new heights. With new heights comes sense of achievements which generates happiness and when the DBAs are happy, databases under them touch new heights of mirth and perform beautifully. That is what Pythian is all about in my opinion.

When I get older, I will be stronger
They’ll call me freedom, just like a Waving Flag
And then it goes back, and then it goes back
And then it goes back

3 Responses to “Give Me Reason, Take Me Higher”

  • Gennadiy says:

    Hi Fahd,
    strong disagree with you.

    Learn or not learn, monitor or not monitor depends on personality and not on environment. BTW good DBA doesn’t look each day into logs and verifications, he just write a scripts which notificate him if something wrong.

    Ones again – DBA defines environment. If he will but can’t do that he just changes the company/project/whatever.

    yes,I hate upgrades as well, because the quality of software (you know which I mean) and support on lowest level since at least 10 years. As corporate DBA I can’t tolerant any problem in Production environment, but it doesn’t have anything common with conservatism.

    I think it’s just your declaration of love to Pythian.

    Regards,
    Gennadiy.

  • shapira says:

    @Gennadiy

    First, nothing wrong with a DBA claiming that he loves his work place. I wish that on everyone!

    Second, DBAs define the environment, but sometimes we do that by moving to an environment that suits us better. In some corporate environments its nearly impossible to introduce new technologies (Even if the “new” technology is rman), so we look for a place where we can make more difference.

    Third, I’m with you at writing notification scripts for everything. Except backup verifications which should be checked manually every few month, because you don’t want to take the risk of losing data due to faulty scripts (call me conservative if you want).

  • Marko Sutic says:

    Excellent article Fahd. Phythian is a great company for DBA’s to develop themselves. I strongly believe that it is very important to work in various environments and to learn new stuff every day but some DBA’s can’t get that opportunity due to the nature of their company.

    But still if DBA is eager to learn and to try/test new stuff constantly I think that he can do that no matter where he/she works. We all have our testing environment where we can learn/test new stuff every day. It is not the same as real life experience, but you will build your knowledge and prepare yourself for future challenges.

    You certainly won’t “die” as DBA :)

    Best regards,
    Marko

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