If you could give an aspiring DBA just one piece of advice what would it be?

Probably the best advise that I could someone entering the field of Database Administration would be to keep learning. If you think that you know everything that their is about this product that we deal with day in and day out called Microsoft SQL Server, you are wrong. There are so many little pieces to learn about how the engine works with data, how statistics work, how memory is managed, how data is read and written, and most importantly how all of these pieces fit together just so to make a SQL Server that runs fast.

Just to make our lives supporting this software called Microsoft SQL Server that much harder Microsoft has decided that they are going to release a new version every 2 years or so. So instead of just having to manage one or two versions like we did back in the SQL 7 and SQL 2000 timeframe, we now have to support 4 or 5 versions (I’ve got clients with SQL 2000 up through SQL 2012, and some will move to SQL 2014 right when it comes out).

Just because SQL Server does the same thing in the new versions (stores data) doesn’t mean that things are different in the new versions. This is especially true in SQL Server 2014. There are a bunch of new features and changes to existing features that will change how some very low level pieces of the database engine, so we are back to reading and learning more so that we can keep up with the changes to the platform.

Denny

P.S. This post is part of a series of posts being written by people from all parts of the SQL Server community and was coordinated by John Sansom who will be gathering up all the posts and making them available via a download which I’ll link to when I’ve got the URL.

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