Do You Have Value?

Many DBAs struggle when it comes to demonstrating their true value to their company. In many cases this is due to the fact that many people have no idea what it is a DBA does (except stand in the way, of course!) Most of the time you are going to be judged by two things: how fast you get something done, and how many people you pissed off while doing it. If you get things done fast and everyone is happy then people will think you are a wonderful DBA. But the minute you cannot be Superman and tell someone that you cannot make whatever deadline they have imposed then you will have failed on both. That person will most likely not understand a damn thing you are saying and will just complain up the chain that you are “being difficult”.

If you want to show your value then you need to be comfortable with the idea of self promotion. This type of promotion does not have to be flashy, but it must exist to some degree. One of the easiest ways to get this done is to produce weekly summaries of the progress you have made. Even if people don’t understand what it is you do exactly, they can understand things like “reduce overall CPU utilization from 37% down to 22% by tuning this one query”.

Given enough time people will understand that having you around is a lot like having your own private mechanic. You can life the hood and make things go faster. And the more times you lift the hood the fewer times you will have people complaining about overall performance.

You can show your value, but you need to be the one promoting your work. No one else is going to do that for you.

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