It’s always nice to know that your hard work has been a positive influence on at least one other person.

Recently I was contacted by someone who wanted to thank me for writing my book DBA Survivor. They had been hired as a full time DBA and were re-reading Chapter 2 (“Now What Do I Do?”).

They were thankful that someone had taken the time to explain how much a DBA has in common with the President of the United States:

Do you really have anything in common with the President? Yes. More than you probably realize. First, about half of the people around you doubt whether you are qualified to actually hold the job you have been given. Second, every time you make a decision or plot a course of action you will constantly be criticized even by your supporters. And third you are going to be judged by what you accomplish in your first one hundred days, good or bad, even if it was something not in your control.

Every four years we elect a new President, and the person in office is always subject to approval ratings. You will have your own version of this fact of life; it is called your annual performance review. Come review time, you want your approvals ratings to be as high as possible.

Sound awful? Perhaps, but it really is not all that bad as long as you are aware of these things when you start. The most important objective for you is your plan of action for when you first arrive. If you think you can show up, grab a cup of coffee, and ease into your new position then you are mistaken. Your cup of coffee can wait until after you start gathering the information you need in order to do your new job effectively.

And what information is that? How about some of the basics first, such as: what servers are you responsible for? What applications are you expected to support? What time of day are the applications used? Who are your customers? Are the databases being backed up properly right now? How would you know if the backups were failing? With so many items to check, it can become very overwhelming, very fast. That is why you need to put together a checklist of the bare essentials and get started. Then, after you are able to get a handle on your environment you can start making some short term plans for improvements. Before you know it your first one hundred days will be behind you and you will be able to look back and see just how far you have come in a short amount of time.

Trust me, it is easier than it sounds, you just need to be organized.

That chapter goes on to explain how to put together your initial checklist, how to gather details on your environment, the groups you need to meet with, how to manage alerts, how to become more proactive, and how to track your progress.

My book is on sale through Noon ET tomorrow (November 27th) over at Apress, you can get the e-book for only $15 USD.

And you can also check out other books I have listed in my library.