The Multifunctioning DBA

Feb 12 2010   3:42PM GMT

The Money will come

Colin Smith Colin Smith Profile: Colin Smith

Mr, Denny Recently wrote a post called Do what you love, love what you do, or let someone who does, do.

I thin that he hits it all right on the head. Before I got into IT I did a job that I loved for a while. I know that you will all laugh at me but it was at McDonalds. I was an assistant Store Manager and I met my wife my first day on the job. I had a great time but did not make much money. While working at McDonalds I found myself getting into computers after my personal machine broke. I had a friend that had some computer knowledge and he helped me tear it down and build it back up. I was in love with it after that first time. Ever since that day I reall hated going into work because it was no longer what I liked. I still liked all the people and enjoyed hanging out with them at work but I no longer enjoyed the job.

My computer geek friend was graduating HighSchool and asked if I would like to head back to school with him. I did and I love it. I graduated with my computer Engineering Degree. I thought that the world was mine and that I would be making no less than $60,000.00 right out of school. Man was I wrong. That may happen to a select few and good for them, but I think that Mr. Denny is correct when he talks about that being a disservice to them in the long run.

I have had to work hard and start at the bottom of the IT ladder and work my way up to where I am. I have loved every step and I am thankful for my first Operations/Helpdesk job. it really gave me a good understanding of how the company has the infrastructure set up, the common issues that people have, how things comminicate, and many other things. Then I moved into our workstations department and worked on PC’s, and Macs. I learned a ton doing that and I just added to the knowledge about how things work at my company. Now I know the infrastructure, and the way the apps are setup and configured and work on the client machines that users are using every day. Next it was on to a Windows Admin, and oh man I thought that was the best it would ever get. I loved it and still do love doing Windows Admin work. AD, Managing Servers, filesystem backups and recovery, helping application teams troubleshoot and so much more….AWSOME stuff. Learned a ton of great things as a Windows Admin. At this point the money was better but not great. But I did not really care I just loved walking to my desk and preparing for what may happen that day.

Then the opportunity was given to me to be a DBA. I was not sure about it and I thought long and hard about it. I thought it would be great to do something new and learn some new skills but I was not sure if I would enjoy it as much as I did an Windows Admin. The money was a bit better but the career possibilities, I thought were better so I said what the hell. I took the job and loved it for a while and then started to feel like maybe I had made the wrong choice. I was not eager to learn and just did not really care about it. I missed the Windows work to be honest.

Then my job changed big time. I was moved to our parent company as a DBA and I was really worried about it at that point. But that turned out to be a great thing for me. Now I am the only one responsible for our entire SQL Server environment and man it is a lot. Now I feel even more in love with my job than I did as a Windows Admin. I love to read new things and practice them. I am getting my certifications and i never even thought about it as a Windows Admin. I love to watch webcasts, I am going to the SQL PASS SUMMIT. I absolutley love it now that I am the only one and now that I have so much to do with just one platform instead of three. I can not wait to get to work in the morning and now I stay late just to read, or try something with a specific feature of SQL Server.

The money is still not the best and not what I thought I would be making at this time in my career, but when I had those thoughts I was young and naive. I have only been in IT for about 6 years now and I think that I have moved up pretty quickly and I think I have had some luck in that. After you do some job you hate for just a little while you will realize that no matter what you do you need to LOVE it. You spend more time working than doing just about anything else in life other than sleeping, Maybe. It does not matter if you love something that pays just enough to get by or something that you can make millions. Just do what you love and that is the bottom line.


Thanks MR. Denny for your post.

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