One DBA's Ongoing Search for Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere


Yet Another Andy Writing About SQL Server

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Going to PASS 2012!

As I have previously written about in this space, I have recently moved to House of Brick Technologies.  Part of the draw for me to make this move was their emphasis on professional development and training; the owners of House of Brick acknowledge that part of being a good Technical Consultant (my new job title) is keeping current on the technologies we work with *and* learning about new technologies that are on the way.  We are a mainly a database on VM's consulting company, and they hired me as a SQL Server DBA with the intent to teach me VMWare.  Lo and behold, the week after Thanksgiving I am headed to a VSphere 5.0 Boot Camp training class in San Francisco.

I have attended PASS Summits in the past (although not for several years for financial reasons) and I always have discarded the emails that come in October/November that say "Save Big on Next Year if You Register Now!" because I knew the companies I worked for would not consider spending money this year for training that was 11-12 months away in the next fiscal year.

...but a few days ago I stopped and considered...I wonder...

A quick question to my boss and -BOOM- we signed two of our team (including me!) up at the $1395 discount rate for the summit plus two pre-cons (that ends today!)

I often fall back on my first boss at the University of Nebraska (at least he was my first real IT boss) and his strategies for business and dealing with employees at all levels of the chain; one of his favorite things to say was "If you don't ask, you won't get anything."

...and he was right.  All of you reading - if you haven't already asked - do so - the worst they can do is say no....but maybe they'll say yes!  {-:

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Industry Problem according to @Way0utWest

Steve Jones (blog/@way0utwest) from SQLServerCentral posted his daily editorial today titled "The Industry Problem" in which he describes an article he found regarding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates and their preparation for jobs in the "real world."

I know when I was in college (15+ years ago) CS degrees were meant for one thing - programmers. (There weren't "software developers" way back then. {-;)  If you were interested in anything else computer-related (server support, etc.) then a CS degree was not for you, because it was all COBOL, FORTRAN, early BASIC, and math.

At that time I asked myself what would be broadly useful, and I decided to get a Business degree (this was also before many schools had MIS, so I just got a general Management degree) - some people wondered about it at the time, but I came out of college knowing a lot more about businesses - all businesses - and how they work than did my CS or Engineering counterparts who were laser-focussed on their specific areas.

Some of the best speakers I see on technology/being a DBA/etc. these days talk about it the same way my second boss did - let me help you think and work like a DBA - learning the specific technology isn't as important because the technology will change every two to three years anyway.

This is the same thing I look for when I am participating in an interview - do you think like a DBA?  Do you ask the right questions?  Are you interested in learning new things?  All of this is much more important to me than "Have you ever set up transactional replication before?"