A good database administrator projects confidence – without being a jerk.
This positive yet firm attitude helps the DBA accomplish their job in tough situations:
- A programmer insists their code is fine, and it’s a database problem that the DBA needs to fix
- A manager asks the DBA how much to budget for server hardware next year
- A project team says they want to run a mission-critical app on dilapidated hardware with no plan B
A wishy-washy DBA surrenders in those discussions and the database infrastructure suffers for it.
Managers – when you’re hiring a DBA, take a note of their attitude. Are they selling you on their ideas, their background and their skills? Is it a successful sale? Remember that after they’re hired, they will have similarly small blocks of time in which to sell you on other ideas like database outage windows, purchasing strategies, and T-SQL problems. A DBA has to be positive yet firm in their business relationships.
Candidates – do a shot of Jager before the interview. Okay, maybe not, but act like you did. And yes, I’m posting this because I recently conducted a phone interview with a candidate who was a total yes-man: he had the skills, but he lost his chance because both me and the manager saw that he’d get walked all over.
More DBA Career Articles
- Gaining Experience for a DBA Job – a reader asked how to do it, and I gave a few ways to get started.
- Development DBA or Production DBA? – job duties are different for these two DBA roles. Developers become one kind of DBA, and network administrators or sysadmins become a different kind. I explain why.
- Recommended Books for DBAs – the books that should be on your shopping list.
- Ask for a List of Servers – DBA candidates need to ask as many questions as they answer during the interview.
- Are you a Junior or Senior DBA? – Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but I explain how to gauge DBA experience by the size of databases you’ve worked with.
- So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star – Part 1 and Part 2 – wanna know what it takes to have “SQL Server Expert” on your business card? I explain.
- Becoming a DBA – my list of articles about database administration as a career.