Things You Know Now

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Michelle Ufford (aka SQLFool) tagged me in her blog post, Things You Know Now…, and asked, “It doesn’t have to be DBA skills, but what do you wish you knew when you were starting?”

As a side note I love these threads, if that is what you want to call them. I think there is a lot to be said with the Social Networking the way that it is now that we look back, I started one a few months ago about the biggest mistakes, and talk about great response. It was awesome to see that I was not alone in some of the mistakes that I made, and to top it off to see that many people that I have looked up to have made mistakes. This thread is very similar but with a different question, I think it’s the whole if I could go back 10 years or 20 years what would I change…. Well here we go:

Education – The more that I learn the more I realize I need to learn more. I know it sounds weird, but SQL Server is such a big product that it’s almost impossible to get your arms around the whole thing. Many times I will run into something that I was not aware of, and that leads me down a path where I see I need to learn a lot more about that area of SQL Server. Even as a speaker at events I find that the attendees can bring with them some great areas of knowledge, their experiences are not mine. Along the same lines the best way to learn a subject or an area is to teach that to someone else.

Don’t take it personal – DBA’s are not on the lets give them an award list. We have one of those jobs where if we are doing it right people are not going to nominate you for an award. Think about it this way, when was the last time you called your telephone company and thanked them for keeping the telephone lines up and running for you? If we are doing our job we are not in the spotlight. When we are in the spot light and are there for a good reason its short lived. So the next time they are handing out the best employee award or the best customer service award and if you don’t get it, maybe that means that you are doing your job right.

Mistakes – Well there are many ads’ out there now that give us the impressions that we are not human, remember you are. And you will make mistakes. The problem with mistakes as a DBA is that many of them have potential to be big mistakes; a great DBA has the ability to pay attention to details. Learn from your mistakes, wear them like a badge of honor, and don’t let them get to far away from you because you can say I learned something that I will try to never do again. Mistakes are one of those things that you know you will do it’s a matter of time. Those who try to hide them may end up with bigger mistakes.


So that is it. If I were to go back 20 years, this is what I wish I knew then that I know now. I am sure there are other things that I could list if I sat here a while and kept on it, but these are the first that come to mind.

Tag! You’re It.

I’m calling these guys out to post their own responses to Mike’s question:

  1. tjaybelt says:

    great list of items. so true.

  2. […] we’d give SQL n00bs (which also includes Kevin Kline, Mike Walsh, Michelle Ufford (the SQL Fool), Chris Shaw, John "El Magnifico" Magnabosco, and Tim Mitchell).  As I said, cool […]

  3. […] was tagged by Jimmy May here. Jimmy was tagged by Kevin Kline here. Kevin was tagged by Chris Shaw here. Chris was tagged by Michelle Uford here. And, Michelle was tagged by Mike Walsh […]

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