I’m Julie. I’m a Datachix.

The Reluctant Production DBA—or I’m a Big Girl Now.

I’m a Big Girl now.  Not in the Christina-Hendricks- from- Mad- Men sort of way (well maybe in that way too, but I digress), but in the Not –afraid- of- Servers- Networking- and –Maintenance-Tasks sort of way.

You see, I’ve been doing ETLS and programming for databases for ten years now, but I’ve always been much more comfortable inside the query tools rather than outside of them.  Outside is the scary realm of consoles, networking, users and permissions.  I didn’t completely avoid them.  I knew enough to do my job, but I must admit I was EXTREMELY grateful that the disks, logs, backups and maintenance tasks were not my responsibility.  Although this made me happy in the sense of “avoiding that which makes us uncomfortable” it did leave me with a bit of a Pinocchio complex.   I was convinced, and rightly so, that I would never flourish as a DBA until I sucked up my fears and did some learning.

So five months ago I took a leap into a job where I would be the first and only DBA.   Google, SQLServerCentral, and MSDN all became my lifelines as I forced myself through the transformation from  a “Development DBA”  to a “Development DBA Who Doesn’t Suck at Production Work Either”.

And I’ve learned some awesome stuff.  Installations?  Bring it.  Disk Configurations? I’m not scared.  Maintenance and Backups?  Sure.  Reindexing and Updating Statistics?  Whatever it takes.  Transaction Logs?  They’re my bitches.  SANs?  I’ll never be without one again.  Virtualizing a SQL Server?  I’ll get back to you.   Niedermeyer?  He’s a dead man.  (sorry that last one is not really relevant, but I was rolling).

So here we go.  I’ve got more to blog about now than I ever did.  I’m a big girl now.  Where’s my lollipop?

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Julie Smith

One half of the Datachix.com. ETL person. This picture is the best of me ever taken. Don't be too sad when you meet me for real :)

5 thoughts on “I’m Julie. I’m a Datachix.”

  1. Julie, I’m thinking we’re going to need a post entitled, “How I Made Transaction Logs my Bitches”. I’ll counter with, “That Time I Pimp-Slapped a GUID”. It’ll be riveting!

    –Audrey

  2. Yes bring on the transaction logs post.

    At heart I’m a developer and love to live in the Dev world. However I did spend a recent weekend on doing a go-live, replacing a production system so time was critical. I worked 30 hours out of 32. I solved a couple of problems that popped up. In the end we got it up and live and none of the last minute crises took us out. It was “fun” in that “OMG, I can believe the human body can tolerate such abuse and the mind still function” sort of way.

    But at the end of the day, send me back to the Dev server where I can crank out the next feature.

    1. Tim, I think it’s important for every dba to go through a marathon migration weekend of some sort. Congrats on surviving yours; and I will work on that post about transaction logs.
      –Julie

    1. Yes Ben, Christina Hendricks is hot. She has also been called “big” by some, creating a conflagration of controversy, because those calling her big are waify, anemic, fashionista types. Sane people just think she’s hot. Congratulations on passing the sanity check.
      –Julie

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