Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Journey

Since I started this blog a couple of days ago and made my initial request for informtaion, the reponses have been flooding in!
There's been a wide range of comments, both from other Newbies and from seasoned pros.
I'll be incorporating them into my presentation and will also post some of them here, as I believe they are of great benefit and need to be shared.

I've also had some stories on how people became DBA's, it's interesting to hear how many of them arrived in the role by accident!

I thought I'd share my story, it might explain why I still consider myself a Newbie!

I started out as an end-user of the Oracle Financials application at a large Housing Association. I was actually a temp hired for data entry, I was 20 years old, had just returned from working abroad and was desperate for a job!

I was one of these people that liked to 'play' when I thought nobody was looking. So I'd randomly push buttons and do things differently, just to see what happened!
It seemed natural then, that after about a year, I was seconded down to the IT section on a one year contract to assist in the project to upgrade the Financials app.
I got to play around with configuring the app, setting it up and learning some business analysis skills in the process.

After go-live I was offered a permanant job in IT, providing a second line support service to the application. As was usual with me, I kept fiddling and was curious to learn more.
By this time my Boss was practically having a nervous breakdown over me, but he was very supportive and encouraging.

He persuaded me to take up the Company's offer of training and I signed up to do a part time degree in Computer Science. It meant night classes and lots of work, but I wanted to learn. (I graduate this year by the way!)

After about a year as a support analyst I started getting more curious about how everything worked together, I asked a lot of questions (and probably annoyed a heck of a lot of people!) of the unix SA and the DBA. Both were nice people and willing to give me time.

Then the UNIX SA quit, his responsibilities were handed over to the DBA until a replacement could be found.
Then the DBA quit.

And that is how I ended up as a UNIX SA and Oracle DBA!

I covered both roles and it really was a baptism by fire learning experience. In all honesty, the way I learned was generally by doing things wrong and then learning how to put them right! The company took a big gamble on me taking over, but it was done on a temporary basis initially. I carried out the roles for 6 months before the job was officially mine.

I had no formal training before I started the role, and I was the only SA/DBA in the company so I had nobody to teach me or to help me out. They did bring in a contract DBA for an upgrade and he became my mentor over the next 2 years.

I've since moved on from that company, but I'm also the only DBA in my current place of employment.

I'm getting there eventually but I still feel I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.


Blogger jimk said...

On the job training is very powerful. Some people take to it like a duck to water. I majored in English and minored in Math. Now I do DBA work and software development. I remember in the early years staying up all night fiddling with things and figuring it out. (Yes, that was BC - Before Children)

Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:19:00 pm  
Blogger shrek said...

hey, at least you got to ask questions before you got "promoted". i just got a bunch of books dumped on my desk.;-)

and you don't want to know how i became a developer before that.;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2005 4:56:00 pm  
Blogger Thomas Kyte said...

but I still feel I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.

yeahbutt, don't we all?

Friday, July 22, 2005 1:22:00 am  
Anonymous dave said...

sounds like a good company you work for up here, wonder who it is, cant be that many around :-)

Friday, July 22, 2005 12:38:00 pm  
Anonymous Peter K said...

Nothing beats on-the-job, fly-by-the-seats-of-your-pants training.

Good for you. Too many people I know look at educational background and go "Nope. No Comp. Sc. degree" instead of looking at the overall picture.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:54:00 pm  
Blogger JamieF said...

Great idea..

As a newbie myself I will be taking a great interest in this blog.

I'm another of the "fly by the seat of my pants, without a mentor" DBA's

I do find it a little overwhelming sometimes. Up to now it's just been a bit of a firefight, learn about what you need when you need it, but I've found myself jumping from issue to issue without really understanding how things fit in the big picture. Probably "fixing" things that will cause me problems later.

Just to hamper me futher, I have the memory of a goldfish so several weeks after. I have to read up on it again.

I have decided to take a huge step back, going back to the basic concepts and practicing basic skills.

..... so much to learn, but I'm trying to be methodical about it. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005 1:13:00 am  
Blogger Vivek Raj said... the way How you became a DBA. Your willingness to learn and hard work made you to hang in there. I am 24years old and really like the Oracle subject. I have almost completed my course on Oracle and am doing my practicals of installation and creating database. Nice to meet you Lisa.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 9:39:00 pm  

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