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My transition from a single platform DBA to a multi platform DBA (Part 1)

Taco Zoetemelk 15-8-2017 9:56
Categorie├źn: BLOG

Part 1 I chose to be a multiplatform DBA

For many years now I've been an Oracle DBA. I started out as an application manager, but as the application had very close interactions with the database I started to look into this black box that held and served so much data. I really fell in love with databases and in particular the Oracle platform. The main reason I got into the Oracle database, is because there were no other databases used at the company I worked for. After a while the company (or actually the application vendor) introduced Microsoft SQL server as a new database platform for me to manage. At this point I thought of the SQL server as a "point and click" database, so I did the bare minimum I needed to do on this platform. For me Oracle was way better and should have been the only database in the company. So whenever I had the opportunity to learn more about the Oracle database, I dove into it.

Fast forward to a few years later. I was still doing Oracle databases and had sometimes encountered other databases, but I kept as far away from other platforms as possible. When the only SQL server database administrator left the company I was working for at that time, maintenance of the SQL server databases was assigned to me (and my colleagues) because "it's also a database, so you should be able to manage". At first I was reluctant to really get into SQL server databases, but after a while (and some major incidents on both platforms) I started to realize that these database platforms are not that different after all. When newer versions of database platforms are announced, many new features can already be found in another database platform. If one platform announces a great new feature, chances are that other platforms have already started working on the same feature and will implement a similar feature in future releases.

A few months ago I came across a job opening that stated "multiplatform DBA". Immediately I was intrigued. What would this multiplatform DBA job require, is this something I would like to do, am I able to let go of my notion of "one database platform is better than other database platforms", what other database platforms should I have knowledge of? I had lots of questions, but no answers. So I decided to apply for the job. Talking about this job and being assessed about my Oracle and MS SQL knowledge made me realize that I have picked up more on the SQL server platform than I realized, the company was really happy to have me. I've had multiple opportunities to expand my IT knowledge to other areas in IT like storage, operating systems, and network but never had I the chance to expand my knowledge on multiple databases.

That for me was the moment where I decided that I want to be a multiplatform DBA, I chose to be a multiplatform DBA. I want to help companies run the best databases, with the highest performance, the longest uptime, the least downtime. At this moment i believe that there is not one database platform suited for all purposes, so it is up to me to find the best database suited for a specific workload. By expanding my knowledge to multiple database platforms, i am able to manage multiple platforms, but also give advice on what platform to choose.

In this series i will try to take you on my journey from a single platform DBA transitioning to a multiplatform DBA.

Part 2 | My first PG day

Part 3 | My first encounter with MongoDB University

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