Senior Development DBA
You’ve now likely reached the last stop in your career as a Development DBA. You have arrived at the Senior level. What skills do you have or should you be working on as a Senior Development DBA? I’m glad you asked. Let’s find out.
Senior Development DBA – 7+ years of experience
- Most competencies from the previous levels.
- Advanced analysis of SQL Server Performance issues using advanced techniques to increase performance and/or stability. This could involve server level monitoring and analysis to identify issues or concerns.
- Makes decisions regarding SQL Server architecture, development strategies and overarching performance considerations, often in tandem with Development team or even the Infrastructure team.
- Regularly participates in code reviews of mid-level to Senior Devs and other DBAs, offering best practices and guidance and may assist in implementation.
- Fosters and protects healthy development environment, including Source control, controlled or automated migrations, and advanced development/QA Data curation via data masking technologies and potentially other methods.
- Makes significant contributions to the design of migrations and upgrades for SQL Server and may provide assistance to other, more junior members of the team, when it comes to implementation.
- Leads knowledge sharing in four or more areas.
- May contain competencies from Production DBA levels up to level 2 or 3.
- Regularly demonstrates good self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management skills (emotional intelligence
Automating SQL Server Processes
Remember the washing machine example from an earlier post? You wouldn’t want to use a tub and washboard to clean your clothes. You use a washing machine right? It’s faster and more efficient than doing things manually. Yeah, you’re going to be building a lot of washing machines at this stage of your career.
You will be guiding and contributing to efforts to automate processes. This will certainly show up in work efforts for migrations and upgrades as well because the Senior Development DBA will be a person who automates as much as possible. You may be doing this exclusively through PowerShell but you may also be using a variety of DevOps software to automate processes as well.
At this level, you will also be guiding implementation of and answering questions related to things like Dynamic Data Masking, cell level encryption and row-level security. You may be doing advanced data analysis using temporal tables. You will certainly be deciding which of these technologies, and others, should be used and when.
There is also likely going to be some skill overlap with the production DBA. This Senior level person is likely going to need to know quite a few things about production support and troubleshooting. You’re going to need to be able to support SQL Server Agent jobs and be able to troubleshoot job failures. Using a third party monitoring software will likely be needed as well. Many of the skills discussed in earlier posts regarding production DBA skills up level 2 or 3 will be needed at this level.
As with the Senior Production DBA, knowledge sharing and emotional intelligence will be key at this point in your career. You have to be able to work with others, have patience and keep your cool when things don’t go well.
Next Steps to Take
- Check out DevOps software that helps you automate tasks.
- Check out migration tools like the Database Migration Assistant.
- Get comfortable sharing your knowledge with other people. You’re going to need presentation skills and the commensurate people skills that go along with that.
- If you would like help with anything in this post, or with something else related to SQL Server, reach out to me here, or on Twitter, and I’ll be glad to offer assistance.