Hanging up my DBA cleats

I’m no accidental DBA. Very shortly after I started working in tech, I realized that I wanted to be a DBA when I grew up. Eventually, I landed that DBA job, and have been a DBA ever since. I talk about my journey when I give my “How to get your dream job” talk (you can watch the recording here).

I love being a DBA. I get a thrill from query performance tuning. I enjoy blogging and speaking about databases. I’m passionate about sharing my experience with others. Very soon, I’ll work my last day of employment as a DBA.

A couple of weeks ago, I finalized that last day as DBA, and my husband and I celebrated with a champagne moment.

If you’re anything like my mother-in-law, you’re probably asking

“If you love being a DBA so much, why are you giving it up?”

Well, dear reader, I’m not giving it up–I’m diving in. Next week, I start my new role as Product Manager at SentryOne. I’ll be focusing on the Data Performance Management (DPM) product portfolio.

It would be an understatement for me to say I’m excited. I’ve been a daily user of SentryOne’s products for years–first of Plan Explorer, then of SQL Sentry. In 2016, I joined the SentryOne Product Advisory Council (PAC). In 2017, I was selected to be a PAC Community Ambassador. Now, in 2018, I’m making the move from customer to employee. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know the company and my new coworkers, and I’m so very excited & proud to be joining the team.

If you’re anything like me (well, me from earlier this year), you’re probably asking

“What the heck does a Product Manager do?”

Product Managers have to maintain roadmaps, and backlogs, and write functional requirements, and other things that sound boring to most DBAs. But it’s more than that.

I’ll be searching for ways to improve the product and make it better. I’ll be looking for pain points that DBAs & Data Professionals face, and working on finding solutions to ease that pain. Performance tuning will still be a huge focus of my job–I’ll be working to take the best Data Performance Management platform for Microsoft technologies and make it even better. I’ll continue to speak, blog, and be involved in the SQL Server & Microsoft communities.

It’s going to be quite different from being a DBA, but I think it’s the next logical step. I’ve often described my career goals as “to manage the technology, not necessarily the team.” Nothing exemplifies this more than being a Product Manager.

“So you won’t be a DBA anymore…what else is changing?”

My public community work won’t be changing–if anything, I’ll be doing more of it! As I start my work as Product Manager next week, I’ll still be blogging here, and you’ll also see occasional posts on SQLPerformance, and the SentryOne Team Blog, and you can keep up with my in-person and online events by watching my event calendar. If you’re a SentryOne customer (or want to be one), feel free to say hi and tell me about your data performance pains. Maybe I can help make your workday easier.


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