07 Sep Where Have All The Good Managers Gone?

Over the past two weeks I have seen and heard more than a handful of people ask a very simple question: Where are all the SQL Server experts? Many people have offered an answer as to why there is a “shortage” of experts to be found, but none of the explanations I have read seem to get to the root cause of the problem.

There is a dire need for better technical managers in the world.

As a basketball coach I would look at a player as a freshman, evaluate their skills, and then spend the next two years working with them on a specific set of drills so that they would fulfill a role for my team in the future. For example, if I knew I needed them to get rebounds we would focus on those drills primarily. By the time they became seniors they would fill a need for the team to be successful.

How many managers these days have such foresight that they can say “Look, PowerPivot is coming, and some people keep asking about cubes, maybe I should send some people for some BI training”. Very few, because most managers are not in their role to have foresight or to innovate, they are there because they can execute orders given to them by others.

And therein lies the bulk of the problem, poor managers lead to poor quality employees which lead to everyone shaking their head and saying “how do you claim to have five years’ experience as a DBA and not know what a heap is?”

I was very fortunate that when I was taking my first baby steps as a DBA. I had a wonderful manager to watch over me. Let’s call him Vinny, because that’s his name anyway. Vinny was more than just my manager, he was my coach. He encouraged me to be a sponge. He helped me get sent off to conferences like PASS (and even got me to Barcelona once, I have no idea how that happened). And he started to work with me on the necessary soft skills I would need as my career progressed.

I said I was fortunate to have Vinny, but it’s more like I hit the Manager Lotto with him. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky. Including me, because when Vinny retired a few years back none of my subsequent direct managers had the same coaching ability that Vinny did. As I was shuffled from one manager to another over time I found that Vinny was truly a treasure. Without him I doubt I would have progressed as far and as fast as I did.

So, when I see questions about trying to find SQL Server experts I sit right up and yell at my iMac screen and say “WE’RE RIGHT HERE!” But I am also the same guy who likes to yell “I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” every time I hear the neighbor’s dog barking at night.

I have little doubt that many managers are looking at their current staff and thinking “boy, if I only had a guy/gal that could do everything I need, then we’d be making progress. Why can’t I find that expert?” And if I was within reach I would slap them in the back of the head and tell them to wake up.

It’s almost comical that people are sitting around debating the idea about where the SQL Server experts have gone and yet very few people are trying to do something about it. Did they think we all went on strike, emulating a story line from Atlas Shrugged? If you were alone in a forest and couldn’t find food, would you turn to your friend and say “man, why isn’t there a KFC nearby?” No! You roll up your sleeves and take matters into your own hands! You would go find the food you need. So why not go and find the experts?

You want to know where the SQL Server experts have gone? I’ll tell you where they have gone:

They Are Sitting In Front Of You

Unless you don’t have a DBA in your shop then chances are you have an expert right there in front of your face every day. Have you ever tried listening to your DBA when they tell you that the unique constraint that the developer implemented doesn’t scale beyond 100 rows? Or did you simply look their way and say “just make it work and don’t touch the code”.

Vinny would listen to the DBA. So should you.

Chances are you have a DBA that is already a generalist in many areas and a specialist in one or two. Try finding out what areas are their specialty and see if you can complement them with others. Yeah, that’s right, others. Which reminds me…

There Is A Crapload Of Stuff To Know

Check out this list: SQL Server, SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, SQL Server Configuration Manager, SQL Server Profiler, SQL Server Notification Services, T-SQL, and SQL Azure. Noticing anything in common? Yeah, they all have the letters SQL in them. Which means, by default, that your DBA knows all of them inside and out, backwards and forwards, right?


Just because it says SQL doesn’t mean your DBA will know everything well enough to have an immediate answer for whatever problem you need fixed immediately. That doesn’t mean they are not an expert. In fact, the best Senior DBAs are the ones that can open the manual and understand something well enough in a reasonable amount of time that they have a chance at helping you with your problem. So, if they take a few hours to figure out something in SSIS that doesn’t mean you start questioning their skills as if you are thinking about taking away the car keys from grandpa.

Also, when you go looking for help, try to refrain from listing everything under the Sun in your job description. I bet a LOT of people frustrated about the perceived lack of SQL Server experts are the same people that want someone to step in as their DBA/Exchange admin/Sharepoint admin/IIS guru/AD expert. I laugh out loud when I get emails from recruiters telling me that they have my dream job, doing those five things and having over 700 databases under my control. I like to tell them that they are the ones dreaming. Not only don’t I want that job, but neither does anyone else, unless you plan on paying for five salaries as well.

Vinny knew this, and that’s why we set up our team in a manner to have complementary skills, and we would reassess those skills periodically to make certain we had enough bases covered.

So don’t be surprised that the only people showing up to the interview are the ones that aren’t qualified. See, the ones that are qualified are too smart to show up for a nightmare job description. And, quite frankly, if you have to resort to recruiters to find yourself a good DBA then you might as well be ordering brides from Russia. If you want to find where the real SQL Server experts are these days, everyone knows that…

We Are Hanging Out On Twitter

Look, if you want to find the best DBAs, doesn’t it make sense to go to where they are, as opposed to waiting for them to come find you and your craptastic job description? If you are actively interviewing strangers for an open position with your company then you are not doing anything different if you were to place an ad for a date on Craigslist. You have about the same chance at happiness.

If you truly want to find the experts then go to where the experts are. Attend a local user group meeting. Go to a SQL Saturday. Join PASS and attend the PASS Summit. Get hooked on Twitter and use the #sqlhelp hashtag. We are not hiding from anyone. We’re right here, we love to help each other, and we love to talk about new opportunities all the time. It helps us to understand more about where we are, where we are going, and the paths that are available.

Vinny knew this as well. He understood that networking was a key part in my success, mostly because I was working alone in my office and I would need some type of virtual water cooler.

If you want to find the SQL Server experts stop expecting us to show up out of nowhere. We aren’t going to show up to interview for some awful job description. Your best bet to land an expert DBA? Buy us dinner and get to know us a bit before you ask us to go steady. I know you’ve got the money, because you haven’t spent anything on your…

Training Budgets

So, you are standing there, lamenting about how you can’t find any SQL Server expert yet you have people on staff right now, perhaps even a DBA. Or maybe you have someone who is interested in becoming a DBA. Go and send them to a training class! Look ahead to the future, plan what you will need to get done, and send one of your employees to get the necessary training. You can send them to the PASS Summit where they will not only learn technical skills but they will increase their network as well.

Vinny knew this. He not only sent me to the PASS Summit, he had me take a pre-con seminar. He knew that I would learn a lot from the seminar and make a friend or two, and that those friends would serve as a valuable resource when I needed help. Vinny knew all of this, and so should you.

Over the years my network has expanded greatly. And as a SQL MVP I get access to the greatest help support imaginable. Back when I was still a production DBA, if I needed help I could get it in a very short amount of time. It made me very efficient at my job. I didn’t need to spend hours trying sixteen different solutions before deciding on a course of action. I could ask a question, get sixteen answers, and then decide where to focus my efforts.

And all because I had a manager that wasn’t afraid to send me to whatever training I needed. If you are asking about where all the SQL Server experts are, ask yourself if you have been doing all you can to train the people you already have. Chances are you haven’t because you’re no Vinny. That’s OK, few people are. But if you are a manager of a DBA then you should really be able to…

Know The Difference Between Good and Bad

If you have no idea what a DBA does and you find yourself imitating Bob from Office Space by asking them “What, exactly, would you say it is that you do here”, then you shouldn’t be managing the DBA. It’s that simple. If you have no idea if the person reporting to you is doing a good job or not, then they shouldn’t be reporting to you. And you shouldn’t be scratching your head wondering why you can’t find an expert, either, because you have no frakkin idea if they are good or bad.

Vinny knew the difference (and yet he still kept me around at the start). That’s why he could give me the necessary course corrections from time to time. Every so often we would talk about some of the latest trends, where I wanted to take a deep dive next, or something that was related to my job. He would match my interests with the needs of the company and keep me on track for growth. And as time went on I would find myself willing to crash through thicker and thicker walls for him.

He never looked at my desk and said “why can’t I find an expert?” He knew he had one in the making, and he was going to coach me all the way there. And he did.

And that’s how I got here. Because of Vinny.

Apparently there are too few Vinny’s in the world, and that’s why there is a perception that there aren’t enough SQL Server experts.

Don’t Kid Yourself

I saw some people mention the possibility that there are simply more open positions available than people to fill them. Don’t kid yourself, the US of A is at about 10% unemployment right now. There is not a glut of open jobs.

What we have is a dearth of people like Vinny that can take someone like me and make them into an expert.

You want more experts? Hire better managers. Hire people that can inspire others. Promote people that can lead and innovate as opposed to just executing orders. You’ll be surprised at the results.

12 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • lp

    I am going through a job transition that required my current manager to write up my job description for my new manager. To help him to kickstart the process, I provided him with a list of my DBA responsibilities. His response? “You do all these things?” Yes, along with my server admin responsibilities, backup responsibilities, virtual server responsibilities. I just wanted to cry. Crossing my fingers that my next manager is slightly more interested in my work….

    • Thomas LaRock

      Yeah, i think we have all been there. It’s sad, but we are also partly to blame for that, especially if we are not able to communicate out (and up) some of the details of our job.

      For example, if there was an issue with the database backups, how many people take the time to notify the managers that there was an issue and what steps are being taken to correct it? It’s little things like that that help to raise your visibility and reduce the number of times you get asked “what is it you do here?”.

  • K. Brian Kelley

    Unfortunately, only the good managers will read this. The ones who need to hear it won’t see it. I know I’m being cynical, but that’s been my experience.

    • Thomas LaRock

      wow, i hadn’t thought of that. now i’m depressed. thanks.

  • Jen McCown

    Wow, this is a truly excellent article.

    The only really distracting thing is that I had a very, very personable and airheaded cat named Vinny. It’s really odd to picture him as a good manager…

    • Thomas LaRock

      OK, would it help if I told you his real name is Vincent, and he’s Irish? Think of that next time instead.

  • Rahul Dhar

    Well this make a lot of sense and reminds me of my x-manager(Anurag Nayar) ….Thanks for posting such an excellent article…. ~RD

    • Thomas LaRock


      Funny, I hadn’t thought of Anurag for a while, but yes it would seem to me that he was the type of person to encourage others.

  • Rahul Dhar

    Oh yeah, he surely was … :)

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  • K. Brian Kelley

    Didn’t mean to depress you, Tom. But yeah, good managers who keep in the loop will see this as validation for what they’re trying to do with their folks. The others, I dunno. Maybe they can get prodded into reading it.

    • Thomas LaRock


      No, that’s fine. I’ll bounce back. But you are right, the good managers didn’t need to hear what I wrote. And the others won’t read it at all. Maybe we can get lucky and some of them will read it and decide to be more of a leader and innovator and not just blindly execute orders when told to do so.

  • Kevin Mckenna @torpne

    Great post. I had a good manager that got me started as a DBA – though there was no money in the budget for attending events or training without begging upper management which wasn’t very successful.. the good manager needs to have access to the budget or another good manager for them

    • Thomas LaRock


      Yeah, there has to be some form of support. I was fortunate to not only have Vinny, but that Vinny could muster up support for what I needed.

  • John Sterrett

    Great post Tom. Hopefully, some managers who need to see your post will find it.

  • Sean Gallardy

    Great post, but what to do if you don’t have one and your manager is in charge of multiple other groups?

    • Thomas LaRock


      If you are aware of this situation then you have two choices. Do nothing, or do something. The “something” in this case is to find a colleague that can serve as a mentor to help guide you along your journey. In your specific case, I believe you will find a lot of support through local user groups and/or networking with members of the SQL Community. By doing so you will at least be able to make the effort to continue to improve yourself.

      You can’t make your company give you a good manager, but you can take control of your own career yourself.

  • Racer X

    I think that instead of focusing on training their DBA(s) there are far more managers exerting energy right now seeking to replace their current DBA(s) for someone that will do the job cheaper via global wage arbitrage (e.g. outsourcing, H1B visas, or converting the role to contract work). When the trend is a race to the bottom to see who will do the job the cheapest, it is not an environment that encourages people to stick their necks out to achieve greatness.

    I don’t see the trend improving.

    • Thomas LaRock


      Interesting viewpoint. But wouldn’t it make more sense to train your people to do more (i.e., more efficient and therefore can handle more work) rather than find someone to do their job cheaper? Outsourcing is not always about replacing jobs that currently exist, sometimes you outsource (or contract) when you need to scale up quickly for specific projects or goals. But I do agree that it is not a trend that is likely to reverse itself soon. I would also point out that outsourcing is not a new concept, it has been around for decades.

      My issue with people sticking their necks out is directed at those managers whose sole purpose is to make sure their phone doesn’t ring. Ever. They don’t want conflict. They don’t want to have to defend a position. They want to go to work, collect their paycheck, and hug their kids at night. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it does have a price elsewhere. If you are not standing up for (or investing time in) the people underneath you then it reduces the overall quality and effectiveness of the group.

      Bad leaders, poor quality. And then people wonder why they can’t find experts?

      Maybe it is a society thing, we tend to blame others for our problems instead of looking at ourselves.

  • Phil CARTER

    Great article … I feel your pain, a good answer is to either become a manager and a great DBA or start your own company and do it the way you want it! The good ones are few and far between…

    • Thomas LaRock


      Thanks for the comment. A good DBA is, indeed, hard to find. But there’s a reason for that. First, it’s because we’re happy where we are. Second, it’s because not enough people are encouraged to become great.

  • DavidStein

    Great article, really inspiring. I’m going to write up a counter point article on it, hopefully later this week and link back to this. The only thing I’m wondering is if I can do your article justice. :)

    • Thomas LaRock

      Counter-point? Sounds good. Do I play the role of Jane Curtain or Dan Aykroyd? I haven’t been called an ignorant slut in a long time.

  • Mark (AjarnMark) Caldwell

    Tom, you ignorant slut. Just kidding, but since you opened the door…

    Actually, GREAT article. And take heart that there are at least some managers who are looking to get better all the time who do read your blog, and appreciate the points you have made. I know what my team does and how important they are, but sometimes I do need to look further down the road to allow enough time for good training to be found on the next set of skills we will need.

    For people wondering what to do if they don’t have a Vinny looking out for them, I suggest investing in your own education. When I was an independent, I not only paid my way to my first couple of PASS Summits, but I also forfeited income (no paid vacation when you’re self-employed). But it was all worth it! Sure, it’s nice when your company will invest in your future, but if they won’t, then do it yourself. And that will put you in a better position to find a better company if you feel the need to change.

  • Mark Shay

    Great Post! This is so very true.. In my 13 years of working at my present company I had about 20 direct managers and only 1 was really good.

    • Thomas LaRock


      Thanks for the comment. I think it is quite common in the financial sector for managers to be rotated in and around whereas people like you and me tend to stay on the front lines where they need people to get some actual work done.

  • Airborne Geek

    Tom, really awesome article.

    Unfortunately, since I’m a Negative Poo-Poo Head, I agree with KBK’s sentiment that those who need to read this never will. They’re also probably the ones that even if tactfully pointed in this direction, will take it poorly, get honked off, blah blah blah :-/

    My current boss is almost Vinny. I compare him to what I hear about Tammy’s boss, and I know that I’m in the much better position in that regard. When I have to find a new boss (which will be sooner rather than later because of other areas of crappiness), I’m afraid that I will have to take a step (or three) backwards. …something that I’m not looking forward to.

    Thanks for looking out for us DBAs, as always 😉

    • Thomas LaRock


      You never know about that step backwards. When you make your move to find a new home, do your best to interview them as much as possible. You may be surprised to find that you end up surrounding yourself with the right people.

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  • Paranjai

    Is your manager Vinny from LOTR :)…he is truly a dream come true manager ..

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  • Nigel Sammy

    Great article. This really speaks to alot of people however the problem is that they would think that the article is meant for someone else and not them.

    Funny thing because I could be one of them :)

  • Jian Hou

    Smashing article.
    I think that all of us at one point of time will need to report to a manager whom has no technical background.

    Whenever I proposed a project for security, performance and disaster recovery improvements, my boss would brush it off as one of my pet experiments.

    I think part of our responsibility is to find a way to communicate the importance of what we do in way that they can understand. Come up with metrics that show the improvement and impress upon them how it can avert potential risks.

    Having an internal audit team or risk management in the company helps as they will be better able to push the information we provide to the management.

    • Thomas LaRock


      Thanks for the comment. I agree that having an audit team help push in the same direction as you does help. The sad thing is that they are needed at all. And yes, your communication skills are very important.

  • an infrastructure DBA

    Too often “IT managment” knows little about management, less about IT, and zero about leadership.

    But hey, they got the MBA so they can figure ANYTHING out, right ?


  • Edwin Sarmiento


    First time to comment on your blog. Great blog post on this topic. And quoting Dr. John Maxwell, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Most managers think that having a “title” is what makes them what they are. Leaders are in a totally different league of their own. They inspire, coach, lead, demonstrate, teach, etc. people to be the best that they can. They’re like miners looking for gold in the dirt. They don’t look at the dirt, they seek for the gold. And while I don’t totally agree that they need to have a strong technical background to manage and lead people well, it is a factor to be considered. I have had a great manager in the past who, as a natural born sales guy, tried to learn as much as he can to understand the people he was managing. And that was all that mattered to his subordinates.

    I think the best way to find a good manager is to be one ourselves. You don’t need to have a “title” to be one – just do it. Inspire others, teach, coach, demonstrate, lead, etc. By simply doing, you’ll end up getting the title in the long run. And, when that time comes, you’ll no longer care about the title because you’ve already lived it

    • Thomas LaRock


      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I don’t believe that the manager needs to have a strong technical background. But they should (1) never have to ask the question “what is it you do here” to someone that reports to them and (2) they should be someone who has the ability to inspire others to become better.

      I had Vinny and I was lucky. After Vinny my luck ran out. Most people never get a chance at having Vinny. And I think that is part of the reason we see so many people complain that they can’t find an “expert”. Not only are people not inspired to become better, but the people looking for the experts wouldn’t know one if they found one.

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  • Brian Davis

    Great post Tom! I agree completely.
    Some of the best managers I’ve talked to/worked for are the one’s who started out doing the same work as the people they now manage. Usually they are the one’s have a passion for what the people they manage do and the experience to help guide them from being good to being great.
    The other issue I’ve seen is with organizations that feel a manager is a manager and can manage any area that the organization wants to put them in.

    • Thomas LaRock

      Great feedback Brian, thanks.

      It has been my experience that most organizations go from top down and find managers that they know will execute their orders without question. And those managers are often more worried about having to defend their position should they ever deviate from the course that has been dictated from above than they are trying to lead, innovate, and develop the people that report to them.

      A good manager needs to inspire others, not just give orders or flex their authority whenever they feel the need.

      • John Cisco

        Total Necro resurrecting here.. However that is the desired nature of businesses that Utilize Command and Control structures with top down single direction single Channel Orders based systems. It is a poor system for everyone concerned even the guys at the top,.

        And really no manager should deviate from set orders, unless they have discussed the issue with their particular set of bosses. Unless of course they prescribe to the its better to ask for forgiveness rather than permission school of thought.

        I get the point you are trying to make, but you have to recognize workplaces stuck with this and avoid them. Innovation does not usually come from the top down except in the broadest sense or the very domain specific product sense. So developing value for the business by innovating in your own job or team space is a completely nuts idea to those in the position to make it happen in said CNC structure :(

        • ThomasLaRock


          Yes, I do understand that some workplaces are stuck with this system. Many of them are legacy places…large corporations with roots that go back decades, even centuries.

          Thanks for the comment.


  • Ian Massi

    Another interesting and well written post. The soft skills development certainly shows here. I particularly enjoyed how you pointed out that skilled people won’t interview for nightmare jobs. I’ve been fortunate to have decent coaching through my career so far and have earned my chops. I get invitations to interview at these every now and again but I have a great manager so why give that up?

    • Thomas LaRock


      Yes, you are one of the lucky ones, and also the reason why people can’t find an expert, because you are in no hurry to leave anytime soon.

  • DBAdmin

    I really enjoyed this article. There’s a lot of great points. I would not say the real SQL Server experts are (all) hanging out on Twitter. I presume there may be many SQL Server experts on Twitter, but I believe there are many SQL Server experts who do not spend time using social networking services. I know, I know, some will say one could not be an effective DBA without a “social networking” personality. BS! A person can easily exhibit effective business communication skills without being inclined to use social networking services. A person can be an expert at building and supporting solid database foundations without being of a personality type which enjoys promoting himself/herself through various forums.

    • Thomas LaRock

      I agree, there are more experts not hanging out on Twitter than there are experts on Twitter. No question about that in my mind.

      So, if you were a person (or company) in need of finding yourself an expert…how would you propose telling them where to find people who would rather not be known? The reason I wrote that piece was because I am tired of hearing about how there is a shortage of SQL Server experts. BS! There are plenty of us around, and Twitter happens to be one place where you can find quite a few.

      Also, Twitter is not solely about promoting yourself. Many people use the #sqlhelp tag to ask questions and rarely use Twitter for much else. In many ways Twitter is being used as an alternative to forums for getting technical help. So if you needed a DBA…and DBAs are using Twitter to help one another…why not tell people to get on Twitter in order to find some good DBAs? If you want to meet a specific group of people then it just makes sense to go to where those people are likely to be.

  • DBAdmin

    I agree that it’s bogus to say there’s a shortage of SQL Server experts. As you suggest in your article there’s a shortage of companies and managers who know how to recognize and employ SQL Server experts.

    I think the article implies that *all* the “real SQL Server experts” and the “best DBAs” are on Twitter. I believe the most vocal, and in some cases the most boastful, are regular contributors on Twitter and the forums. The “real” and the “best” are widely scattered and many of them do not participate in public exchanges. They are not any less talented or any less valuable because they choose to be a bit more subdued and modest.

    I agree with your opinions (expressed here and elsewhere) about employers who use third-party recruiters. I agree with your opinions (expressed here and elsewhere) about job postings and job descriptions. I agree with your opinions (expressed here and elsewhere) on almost every topic in the area of hiring a SQL Server professional. If we disagree on anything we disagree that it’s necessarily desirable to hire those people who regularly promote themselves as being among the “real SQL Server experts” and the “best DBAs”, no matter where they are found. My personal experience over the last nine years indicates otherwise.

    There is no easy way to find a good SQL Server professional. Personally, I believe things would be a lot better if both parties (employers and candidates) were much more forthright.

    I wish employers would have the honesty to ask for the kind of person they really want. If they want an automaton they should ask for an automaton. If they want a DBA who will be submissive to application developers on database matters they should make it clear. If they are willing to pay for two years of SQL Server experience they should not ask for 10 years of SQL Server experience. If they want an administrative DBA they should not ask for a development DBA, and vice versa. If they want a maintenance person they should not ask for an architect, and vice versa. If they have difficulty retaining SQL Server professionals they should let us know and tell us why. These things would dramatically reduce the huge number of applicants of which employers often complain.

    I wish candidates would have the honesty and humility to convey their skills accurately. I realize one has to sell himself/herself to an employer, but a humble person is at a disadvantage in a crowded field because a boastful person may look better at first glance. The disadvantage is only getting worse with so much automated filtering of applicants. I think employers often end up hiring the best fit from among the least modest and then they wonder why they have issues with competency and dedication. Gosh, employers may even begin to think there’s a shortage of SQL Server experts.

    • Thomas LaRock

      Thanks for the great feedback. I don’t think you and I disagree about much at all, really.

  • Jun Reyes

    Thanks for this post Tom. I like your writing style. Pragmatic and engaging.
    I haven’t had the privilege to work with a manager as good as Vinny. So for DBAs like me, don’t get frustrated or discouraged. Keep on learning not just the technical skills but most specifically management skills. Who knows, we might just become like Vinny to our future subordinates.

  • jbsdba

    Thanks for the post Tom. My former manager kept introducing me as a developer. Now, luckily, I have a manager like Vinny.

  • Steve Stout

    Great article! Your points about good and bad managers is spot on! I’ve had all types over the years, and I’m lucky enough to have a great one right now.

    Now to just get him to send me to some training like he keeps saying he will … :)

  • Colleen Wilson

    Hey, I’ve been doing QA for 8 years, taking all database related projects along the way. It’s a TOUGH NUT TO CRACK! My dream job is an SQL expert, though my experience involves testing. If a manager wants to train me, I’m interested. Yesterday I had a job interview in QA. When I was asked what a simple query was, what like meant and what % represented, I answered each correctly, to which the manager replied that I’m the only person he interviewed who answered the % question correctly. I was ready for more, but I didn’t get any more. My husband laughed when I told him & said, crazy, I knew a lot more about databases than I thought! Haha Move to Utah, folks. We have the best talent & the best jobs.

  • mdba

    Thanks for the great article Tom. My experience with this unfortunately is that ‘bad is better than the worse’ – most ‘managers’ are people who are confused on where to draw the line between dbas making their own calls and doing what their manager bids them. They are even more confused on how to add value to the process when they have good dbas who make right decisions, many actually undo right decisions because they didn’t think of it themselves. They want simplistic direct answers, hate ‘it depends’ and think it is below them to read books online or blog entries. The one I have now after several years is the best i have had, wish i could say he was great, he isn’t. He simply doesn’t bother us and we work as a great team that is all. He doesn’t micro manage and is considerate of personal time. That is the best i have been able to get so far. I really envy those of you who have had ‘Vinny’ like bosses, have no idea how that feels like.

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  • Jason Roberson

    Once again Thomas, excellent post! Can we please get the University of Vinny founded and require all manager to attend. Bring back Vinny!

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  • Adam Mikolaj

    Wow, great article. Too bad more DBAs than managers will be reading it.

    Twice I have been under development managers. It’s frustrating because as a DBA I rarely develop things. Sure, SSIS packages, reports here and there, but most of my time is administration.

    Love the part about the job descriptions. Have you read this –

  • Vinny

    Thanks Tom.I am glad to see you grow.Keep up the good work!

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  • Russ Thomas

    Was recently asked to take leadership of the DBA team at my company. I came up through the ranks of DB dev, to DBA, now to IT Manager. Thanks for posting this. Some excellent things to remember here as I put on my new hat each day.

    • ThomasLaRock

      You’re welcome Russ, thanks for reading!