I still remember walking into that classroom at Washington State University. I was a graduate student and Teaching Assistant and was about to teach my very first pre-calculus class. I had never been a teacher before (except as a substitute) and really had no idea what to expect. We had been given some training in the days before classes were to begin, but nothing could have prepared me completely for what I was to experience. The training consisted mostly of practicing some basic lectures in front of our peers. I do not recall there being a lot of formal instruction written down, it was mostly group discussions.
Likewise, I still remember the first days that I took over as the database administrator. Any time anything went wrong with the mystery that is a database I was called upon to provide an immediate answer. And if I didn’t have the answer I was expected to stay at my desk until one could be found. Well, OK, that was the pressure I put upon myself because I was foolish enough to think that each and every database administrator already knew everything there is to know. Yes, I was that foolish.
And how I wish that someone could have handed me a book that would outline what to expect over the coming weeks, months, and years. A book that would help me to be successful as a database administrator and outline my career growth from day one.
And that is why I wrote this book. I wanted to write a book that I wish someone would have written and handed to me on my first day. I have been a database administrator for over six years now, but the learning curve during those first two was steep. I always seemed to be behind, always needing to react to a situation or need and rarely finding time to be proactive. Over time I learned how to get ahead and I hope that the information in the preceding chapters allows for you to do the same.