I have been a dba from 1994 and yes, there are some ups and downs in the job. You may have to be on call and sure you get called at odd times (hey, that is part of the job we agreed when we took the job!!! If we did not, we should look at other avenues).
Being a DBA is lot of responsibilities. I have seen DBA’s who are exclusively happy in looking at the db performance, backup and recovery, storage management and work on how increasing the shared pool size has increase the db performance.
What I have understood (my humble 2 cents is) we are here to support not only the database admin stuff which i mentioned before but the main activity is to understand what the business needs are and build the soft skills around it such as listening to the users and providing support when they need and not when you want to do it. That makes a big difference.
I still learn lot of stuff from the db perspective about oracle streams, application express but what makes my job interesting is the happy faces of users who come to me all the time hoping that I will help alleviate their db issues and once I do that, they do come again with new requests all the time.
Also, being pro-active and automating repeated tasks helps in spending less time on routine activities and focus on fun activities such as testing high availability, tuning rman performance, monitoring streams etc.
Yes, I agree there may be good bosses (or) bad ones but what makes you unique is by doing the very best you can in whatever you do and always document what you do. It saves you when you need the most (either for the performance review where they ask what did you do the whole year??? (or) when you want to check what rman commands you did last time to fix the same issue).
It does not matter whether you want to be a DBA (or) you want to be a doctor / lawyer. The same issues do exist. I have seen doctors who are called at 1am (i myself did call a doctor when my kid was sick). So working odd hours is an accepted fact in these jobs. It is not going to change just because you got tired of it. Either you promote yourself to higher levels so that you don’t need to do it and delegate others (or) find jobs which are less taxing.]]>
I would like to add that it’s also for people who really like to be at
work all the time and on call all the time. Working 40 hours
NON-stop is not unusual. You don’t really NEED sleep do you?
After all if the system is not working the company does not either.
(No it was not my fault – the SAN was upgraded by an outsouced company and went pop)
Geting a phone call at 5am on a Sunday is not unusual even
if you are not on call. Having a grumpy wife due to call outs
is not unusual.
Want a social life? Well sorry you are a computer geek. You guys are
not allowed to see the sun.
And because your boss probably has no idea what you do and probably
thinks of you as a nessassary evil. The rewards can be mininimal.
At least a developer can point at something and say I did that.
What can a DBA point too?
Looking back I think an accountant or laywer would have been a better
carrier path. After all if you have been doing that for 20 years you
get a bit of respect. If you have been in IT for 20 years you are
seen as over the hill and out of date and ready to be replaced by a
16 year old know it all.
Maybe John was right. IT is for suckers.]]>