There are always questions in mail group threads from new graduates, like why should I choose to be DBA? or tell my about pros/cons of DBA job. I asked them the questions below and say them If you have a little hesitation on any of these questions be something else rather than DBA . Here are the questions that must be answered with Yes to give decision to be a DBA.
1- would you like to work when all of the others are on holiday ? (because of SLA’s you can do maintenance only on national holiday times mostly)
2-Would you like to wake up at 4 AM with the voice of the operator who says there is something wrong in the DB ? (no matter when you left the building for going home if you must be called then you will be called). Believe me there will always be something wrong with the DB because database is not an install and forget system.
3- Are you calm enough to work under pressure?? This stress is not like every pressure it is the pressure comes from the distress of a man (usually your boss or his representative) who is loosing a lot money every second because of a DB fault. They can look like a monster in that crisis times.
4- Do you like to work when there are many people especially the boss or general manager (with telephone listening the boss) and his/her flatterers looking at your screen and asking when will it recover or when will the problem be solved ? For example in crisis times when you are a unix admin you will work with you primary manager, when you are a network engineer you will work with your colleagues, when you are a developer you will work with your project leader but if it is something about DB you will work in front of the ones who has great balls.
5- Are you ready not to get of reading ?? Every oracle release has over 10 thousands of pages official documents and zillion articles and as a bad news Oracle announce new releases almost every 3 years.
6- Do you like overtimes ? Due to the fact that DB is at the center of everything (network, system, application etc) many times you will stay at office even if there is someone working on something. If there is a network work you should stay if there is a unix work you should stay if there is an update you should stay because every work can effect the DB.
7 – Would you see the database as a lover or more than a lover? DB is something like a lover or a kid. You have to show your interest every time and look after DB in 7/24 time period. Your lover or kid may thank you with a kiss or hug for your effort but DB wont 🙂 This love and interest to DB is something like unrequited love.
8- Are you ready to stay calm over against meaningless requests of a developer who has a black box approach to DB and who believes that he is only responsible for writing code not performance ? (I want to kill the ones who wrote that is independent from DB pufffffffffff)
9- Are you careful enough?. You will play with real data and it is very easy to drop a database just like the 2 word command “drop database”. A simple where clause could change everything.
10-Are you ready to be blamed every time ? No matter what the problem is you will always be blamed first. Everyone will calumniate the DB and its Administrator because it is at the center of everything.
Again if you have hesitation to answer YES to any of these questions don’t think be a DBA . Be something else because this is the DBA’s life.
Will it worthy enough to stand all those?? I don’t know but i am happy to be an Oracle DBA.