All you unhappy DBAs out there who have been flooding our comment box — take note. Our management and career expert Michael Hillenbrand just wrote a great article, “DBA 102: Beyond the basics,” which might just contain the advice you need to get out of your job slump.
Michael doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for bitter DBAs whining about how unappreciated they are:
Having managed dozens of DBAs for over 15 years now, I can authoritatively say this — if you feel your manager does not understand you, chances are you need look no further than a mirror to place blame. In other words, if your manager does not understand you or the importance of your role, then you (and only you) need to change this. When was the last time you actually communicated with your boss? Do you provide weekly or even daily status reports? Do you explain difficult terms in easily understandable terminology? Do you provide charts and graphs showing how the databases are performing? Can you speak intelligently about the financial or business impact of downtime or poor performance?
Read on to find out exactly how you can do this. Michael provides some great examples of how you can translate your typical DBA-speak into language that your manager can understand (Hint: Talk money, and use pictures!).
The article also covers some of the hard (technical) and soft (non-technical) skills you need to go beyond the basics of database administration and ensure that you’re indispensable to your company.