Five years ago today, I officially became a DBA:
Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to extend to you our offer of employment for the position of Database Administrator
I got my first job at a software company in 2003. I had no degree, I had no experience, and I had no idea what SQL Server was. The company was in start-up phase, and I was a warm body with low salary requirements and high ambition. It was a match made in heaven.
It didn’t take long before I was installing SQL Server 2000 on an NT4 server to test our application on that configuration. I learned how log shipping worked, and configured DR for our clients. I did a lot of DBA work, but I wasn’t a DBA.
I did software installations, client upgrades, training, and tech support. I wanted to be a DBA, but didn’t know how to get there.
When I was at that first software startup, I was an accidental DBA…I just didn’t realize it. As odd as it sounds, I longed to be a DBA, not realizing that I already was a Junior DBA.
I worked hard to learn SQL–I read books, blogs, and magazine. I dug into system stored procedures to find out how things work. I learned how to use a bunch of different features, and I learned that sometimes I shouldn’t use them.
I spent the next 8 years working in a few different tech support jobs. Every job was more database-focused than the last. By the time I got my first DBA job title, I was already a good DBA. It wasn’t until I was in that job for a while that I finally realized I had been a DBA for years. Classic impostor syndrome.
The last five years
This topic really deserves a full blog post of itself, so I’ll keep it brief today.
I have a really awesome job and a really great employer. Aside from work, I’ve gotten involved in my local user group. I’ve started speaking at SQL Saturday events. I help organize SQL Saturday in Boston. I blog. I’ve become friends with the MVPs and authors who I look up to, and who I learn from.
I’ve put in lots of hard work, and made lots of mistakes. I’ve had great jobs, and I’ve had terrible jobs. I don’t regret any of it, because I’m happy with where I am now.
I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings.