SQL Server 2012 Certifications Revamped

Reprinted from my Database Weekly editorial.

Forget what you thought you knew about SQL Server certification, as Microsoft has completely redesigned the SQL Server 2012 certification program, making is more difficult, costly, and time-consuming to attain. In addition, whether you like it or not, not only will you need to know how to administer SQL Server (which is of course fully expected), you will also have to become familiar with how SQL Server interacts with the Cloud (Microsoft’s Cloud) and Data Warehousing. If you are not up on the Cloud or Data Warehousing, you will have a lot of preparation work ahead of you. The new exams will become available starting in June 2012.

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Enter the 2012 Exceptional DBA of the Year Awards


I was just at SQLRally in Dallas, and I was speaking to a DBA friend of mine over lunch. He made the comment that his manager thought he spent too much time at work taking care of the organization’s data. He told me that he spent so much time at his job because he wanted to ensure that the data was properly cared for. Now that is what I call an exceptional DBA. Here is a DBA that thinks protecting the organization’s data is more important than does his manager. And on top of this, this particular DBA donates a lot of his free time to the SQL Serve community. When I asked why he spent so much time helping out with the community, he said it was to help pay back for all of the help he had received from the SQL Server community over the years. What a DBA!

It is exceptional DBAs like this who need to be recognized by their peers, and they can by entering the 2012 Exceptional DBA of the Year Awards. These awards are hosted by SQLServerCentral.com, and sponsored by Red Gate Software.

If you think you are an exceptional DBA, you can nominate yourself for the award. Or if you know of an exceptional DBA, you can nominate them. Either way, to be recognized as an exceptional DBA, you must enter.

Once you are nominated (by yourself or another), your application will be reviewed by four judges: Steve Jones, Grant Fritchey, Rodney Landrum, and Brad McGehee. The judges will then select five finalists. Then these five finalists will be voted on by the SQL Server community, and the judges, to select the 2012 Exceptional DBA of the Year Award.

The award includes:

  • An award plaque
  • Being featured on the Simple-Talk website
  • Full conference registration for the 2012 PASS Summit
  • Four nights hotel accommodations
  • $300 towards travel expenses
  • A license for the SQL DBA Bundle with 36 months of support and upgrades.

For more information on the award, and to nominate yourself or another, check out www.exceptionaldba.com.

DBAs and the Career-Life Balance

Reprinted from my editorial in Database Weekly.

I know a lot of DBAs who make SQL Server the focus of their life. In many ways, if you want to be an exceptional DBA, and stand out from the crowd, you don’t have a lot of choice about devoting a lot of time to your career. There are many reasons for this. For example, the nature of the DBA’s job often requires working long hours, working weekends, and being on call 24/7. Then there is the need to continually increase your knowledge, especially as SQL Server continues to become more bloated with features with every new release. And if you are involved in volunteering for the SQL Server community, time commitments can be huge.

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A DBA is a Data Professional

By Grant Fritchey

A DBA (Database Administrator) is a Data Professional tasked with managing an organization’s data using some sort of database software, such as Microsoft SQL Server. They are concerned with gathering, storing and presenting data to data consumers, which includes virtually anyone in the modern world. For example, managers use data to plan for the future, employees use data to make daily decisions, and Internet users (virtually anyone who uses a computer or smartphone) use data they find to comparison shop, learn new skills, listen to music, and keep up with the news. No matter where you look, virtually all the data that exists anywhere is managed by Data Professionals.

Here’s a quick break down of the various jobs that fall under the umbrella of Data Professional. While exact job titles will vary from organization to organization, most Data Professionals fall into one of the following disciplines.

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