Re: how to prevent DBA burnout?

From: dave <>
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 12:06:45 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Seems a few people are confusing burnout with keeping an employee, specifically a DBA happy.

To keep a DBA happy then a healthy training and software budget would be tops on my list. Would having the diagnostics pack help prevent burnout? No, but it would make me more efficient by being more proactive and able to solve problems faster. If my company chooses not to have a support tool such as that then they'll have to expect it may take a bit longer to solve problems.

The DBA role is constantly evolving, so training is very important. When I started, a DBA strictly worked at the database level (admin, working with devs, etc). In my current position, on top of the database, I support application servers with various custom and Oracle products (SSO, OID, Collaboration Suite, Portal, etc..), Oracle E-Business Suite, legacy applications and most recently the OS admin. Keeping on top of these technologies is very time consuming. Training doesn't have to be formal. It could be dedicated time, books, courses, conferences, user groups, blogs, etc.

To prevent burnout, that to me is a resourcing issue. Unless your environment is pretty low key, then at least 2 DBA's are required.  Nothing will burn a DBA quicker than being on call 24x7x365. I can't express how happy I am that my current place of employment doesn't have a requirement for off hours support (for the time being anyways). To this day, when I am watching TV and hear a pager go off (ER doctors seem to have the same tone as me) I reach for my pager, even if i'm not carrying it. Knowing there is someone to back you up for vacations, sick days, courses, off hours work, etc makes it alot less stressful.

Its managements job to work with you to help manage your workload. If this isn't happening and you are being worked to the bone, then trust me, even in a down economy there are companies looking for good senior DBA's. On average, in my area, a senior DBA req will be open for 6-8 months. In the past couple of years I have been hiring as well as looking, so thats just based on my experience.

Received on Mon Mar 30 2009 - 11:06:45 CDT

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