Monday, April 23, 2007

The big leap

In the last 8 months we have cycled through 4 MS SQL Server DBA's at one of our partner/remote sites, 11 servers, 11 databases. We are responsible for the IT services at that site and hiring SQL Server DBA's has become a 4 letter word. The original long term fellow had health problems and had to go on permanent medical at 40, I wish him luck. The first fellow we hired was a complete and utter useless twat who we fired after 2 months. The next fellow we hired was an OK fellow, a little too Microsoft branded, he had pretty much every MS certification known to the universe and made sure you knew it. He only lasted about 3 weeks when it was discovered he lied on his application and had a criminal background. We don't care if you do, just don't lie about it because the position requires being bonded. We also changed our company we use to check things like that because they were a little slow. This last lady, well, lets just say, she fell somewhere in between utterly useless and waste of skin and we let her go 2 weeks ago when 2 of the servers went down hard and it was discovered she hadn't been doing backup's since not long after she started. Her supervisor at the site was give a good dragging over the coals as well.

I was asked if I would like to learn to be a SQL Server DBA right around the timeline of the first replacement. I said "No thank you". When we let Mr. MS go, I was asked again. I said "Do not have time". When the 3rd guy was let go, I was asked again and I said "Starting to look that way isn't it". And now, that the last (and only) lady is gone, I was begged to learn SQL Server, so I said "OK, but only in a backup capacity", of course, if I believe that, I am sure the tooth fairy and Santa are going to come visiting bearing gifts of great winged pigs. I know enough about SQL server to get around, start, stop, run some scripts. Nothing to do with performance or optimization or anything like that.

So, this past weekend, I started to read the documentation for SQL Server, and immediately began to miss Oracle documentation. MS doc's suck. Nothing else to say, than they suck. I read what passes as the concepts guide, and started to wonder why does MS charge for SQL Server? it should be given away for free because it isn't worth any money to anybody at all.

I have put myself completely at the mercy of a company we use for training purposes, and they are coming up with a complete MS certified training course for SQL server with all of the prerequisites needed over the next year. I shudder to think of it. The admin at the site is also making me a VM of the test server so I can play with it on my laptop.


roobaron said...

Forget the doco, it only scratches the surface. Go read some blogs, start with Kimberly Tripp.

Given you are providing similar services, using pythian for just SQLserver DBA stuff is probably out of the question.

ReallyEvilCanine said...

...why does MS charge for SQL Server?

Because they can. Because although it sucks, even untrained chimps can handle most normal tasks via point-and-click. Normal operation requires no knowledge of even the most basic SQL statements.

For many companies, using MS SQL means not having to shell out for a DBA... at least, not until there's a problem.

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