Pay Yourself First

Pay Yourself First I’ve done a ton of interviewing in my career, both as the interviewee, and as the interviewer. The biggest problem I see is the huge number of DBAs who have let themselves fall behind. How does this happen?

Middle of the pack

Once you’re a more or less established DBA, you have yourself a job, and you go in every day and you do your duty. You back up what you need, do the restores you need, fix replication, look at a couple bad queries, and set up a new server for the latest project. You’re busy as hell at work, and there’s no end in sight to all the tasks and projects and problems.

That’s the problem with being a DBA these days: you’re always swamped with problems. (The real reason is that companies are absolutely dedicated to not taking data seriously, but that’s another article entirely.)

Losing ground

So you work, and you get further and further behind the learning curve because there’s no time to do anything for yourself: no time to learn anything new, pick up a book, watch a tutorial, or even practice what you already know. You’re always putting out fires!

Then, when it’s time to interview for a new job, you find yourself cramming in the last couple days to try to bone up on your knowledge. Speaking as someone who’s interviewed a lot of DBAs: this definitely shows! Anyone who conducts any amount of interviews at all can tell when you’re just barely recounting something and when you know the topic cold.

Live in interview mode

Okay, I have a radical, two-step plan for your professional development. Here we go:

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