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There are lots of skills and attributes that a good database administrator needs to bring to the table, so if you are looking to up your game and make yourself more appealing to employers, there are a few ways to go about this.
Here are some handy tips that will give you the edge over the competition and also allow you to maximize your effectiveness in your current role, as well as any future position you secure.
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Even if you have lots of relevant experience under your belt and you think that you are the right person for a prospective DBA job, unless you are adequately prepared to talk about your abilities and achievements, you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Of course being able to speak fluidly and engagingly about your skill set is only half the challenge; you also need to have an idea of what kinds of questions you will be asked by interviewers so that you can mould your responses beforehand and make sure that they get to see your best side. Checking out sample DBA interview questions is a good way to prepare, and if possible speaking with others who have applied for similar roles in the past could also give you a better idea of what to expect.
Sharpen your abilities
An exceptional DBA is not just a jack of all trades, but rather a specialist in their field who can be relied upon to keep complex database infrastructures running smoothly while also being able to troubleshoot serious issues calmly and competently as and when they arise.
Even if you eventually intend to move into a slightly different area in data management and analysis, such as business intelligence, it is still work focusing your attention on honing your attributes as a DBA while this is your main responsibility.
Arguably the best way to do this is to simply work as a DBA full time and leverage all that you learn while on the job to better yourself. In addition to any formal education and training you have acquired prior to becoming a database professional, your employer may also offer additional learning opportunities, which you should aim to take advantage of, even if this means you have more work to do outside of office hours. In the long run all of this will be worthwhile.
Perfect your people skills
It may seem like DBAs are mainly concerned with the digital affairs of the databases they manage, but to be seriously good at this job you also need to be a team player and an efficient, effective communicator.
Engaging with others is essential and being able to translate the ins and outs of your unavoidably technical role to people with non-technical backgrounds will stand you in good stead.
Once again, if you are not naturally endowed with people skills there are ways to go about improving them, including formal training courses. Practice makes perfect and choosing to make the effort to interact with colleagues, pinpoint your inadequacies and act to remedy them will work wonders for your prospects as a DBA.
Pay attention to hardware
While optimizing SQL queries and generally tinkering with the software side of the database is at the core of what a good DBA does, a truly great DBA will also be the master of the hardware side of this equation.
Developing an in-depth understanding of how the nuts and bolts of server hardware impact performance will make you much better equipped to cope with any complications that will inevitably arise. Most importantly of all, never stop learning and being inquisitive about database management.