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Fixing Impostor Syndrome

Voice of the DBA

Release Date: 09/08/2022

Am I Good At My Job? show art Am I Good At My Job?

Voice of the DBA

I was talking with a friend recently about some of their co-workers. In this case, they were complaining that another person couldn't do some tasks that my friend considered relatively easy things. Deal with an unusual restore situation, write some PowerShell to reconfigure servers, build somewhat complex (to them) queries, etc. Things that my friend thinks most database people should be able to do after a year of experience. However, my friend questioned whether they were evaluating co-workers appropriately. How can one tell? I might be able to tell if a coworker is better or worse at a task,...

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This is Why You Use Git for Scripts show art This is Why You Use Git for Scripts

Voice of the DBA

Git has become a fantastic tool for me, and many other technologists, over the last ten years. It's almost ubiquitous in most of my clients, and so many people are comfortable with it. Many others aren't, which is why I started a (and other Ops people) on my blog. Quite a few people asked me why I recommend git over a file share for storing code that a team of Ops people or DBAs might use. Why isn't a global file share a better choice in an organization? I think I have a few good reasons, but if you disagree, let me know in the discussion for this piece. Read the rest of

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Un-Stable Teams show art Un-Stable Teams

Voice of the DBA

I've always valued having a team of people I know and can work with. While I haven't had a lot of long-term jobs before Redgate, I have had a few positions that lasted more than a year and appreciated working with the same group for a long time. We might gain or lose a person, but overall, the structure of the team was the same day after day. This was a comfortable atmosphere, and I liked knowing who I was working with each day. At Redgate, we have had some stable teams of people, but in our engineering area, we move teams around. There is each December/January where engineers can choose to...

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Do You Have a Jeff? show art Do You Have a Jeff?

Voice of the DBA

In the (worth a read), there is a character called Brent, who is to go-to person for everything in IT. I don't know if this character was modeled after , but I always picture him when I re-read the book, and I suspect he was that person in previous positions. I've been that person as well, and it's both exciting, fulfilling, and very stressful. At , that person has been Robert C, who is my go-to person for many questions. In the DBA world, I think of . He's been a prolific and incredible author over the years on many things SQL-related and is a huge proponent of others learning to write...

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Ranomware vs. AI show art Ranomware vs. AI

Voice of the DBA

Ransomware has been a growing and shrinking problem in the modern world. Every time I think that some new defenses and protections are preventing ransomware from being a problem, I see another issue. Recently, I saw with an attack and a few friends have recently noted their companies were restoring systems after a portion of their network was locked down. With the advent of Rasnsomware-as-a-service, where criminals deploy software and then sell access to others, better detection and protection become more important. As with any software, criminal human operators will use the ransomware...

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Serious Software Glitches show art Serious Software Glitches

Voice of the DBA

Recently pointed out a podcast to me. , but it's for the Journal, which is on other platforms (I listened on Spotify). It's the story of a computer glitch in UK post office software, which resulted in quite a few local postmasters being criminally prosecuted, many convicted, and even a few committing suicide. It's a sad story, and it's complex, but there are some technology-related elements. First, the overall story is Fujitsu sold the UK a point-of-sale system for post offices. There was a computer glitch here, which incorrectly calculated lots of totals and showed postmasters owing more...

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How Often Do You Update SSMS? show art How Often Do You Update SSMS?

Voice of the DBA

I got a message recently that SSM S19.3 is out. I am wary of major versions, especially with a few add-in tools, but I have tended to try and update SSMS regularly when it patches, which is about once a quarter. As I checked my desktop, I saw I was still on 19.1 (my laptop was 19.2), so I downloaded and updated both machines. I wonder what the rest of you do. I know many of you have corporate rules and restrictions and you may not be able to update regularly, but in many places, I've worked, once software was installed, I could update it. Are you doing the same thing out there? Let us know in...

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Mind Over Milkshake (Thoughts Matter) show art Mind Over Milkshake (Thoughts Matter)

Voice of the DBA

Last year I went to in Wisconsin. It was a fun event, very community and family-friendly, and I enjoyed it. So much so that I recently went back to the Texas event in January. It's more developer-focused, but it does have some data related sessions. I recommend this conference if you're looking for some fun training and want to combine that with a family vacation. Your kids will love it. In any case, I watched a keynote talk that referenced an NPR article, called . It's an interesting look at how the food labels affected people's bodies. It's not definitive and I wouldn't make any drastic...

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A Great Place to Work show art A Great Place to Work

Voice of the DBA

I have had quite a few employers in my career. Of the ones that paid me for computer work, I'll say that there were 3 great ones (1 I owned), 2 average ones, and 3 poor ones. I've had a few other minor times or contract situations where I didn't really judge or care one way or the other. A lot of time is spent at work, but if it's days/week/(few months), I can deal with most situations. That being said, even at the poor places, I learned a lot and I grew, so I don't regret them or wouldn't want them removed from my past. There are always good and bad things about any job. As I tell my kids,...

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Take A Vote and Accept Your Loss show art Take A Vote and Accept Your Loss

Voice of the DBA

I feel differently today than in the past about many of the things I've seen technical people argue about. I've written about and , and others have debated commas before or after among other topics. While these might be interesting sidebars at lunch, I see them sometimes devolve into time sinks with teams revisiting the issues over and over during their daily work. These stifle a lot of productivity and often can linger for years. However, in many cases what I see is debate across weeks or months and then time spent to shift the way that large groups of people work inside of a company. In...

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I think that most of us feel like an impostor at some time in our lives.  We will get asked to do something we've never done, with others expressing confidence in us. We may tackle the task, or we may not. We may succeed or we may not In any of those cases, we may still feel like an impostor, someone that isn't really qualified to do this thing. Many of us continue to feel this way in our careers, suffering from impostor's syndrome.

While I know that I'm good at my job, good at working with SQL Server and teaching others to do so, I still suffer from impostor syndrome at times. There are periods where my mind wonders if I've just gotten lucky and slipped through some evaluation process. Maybe my knowledge hasn't been well tested. Will someone like my boss, or their boss, question my skills at some point and get rid of me? Will I be able to find another job if that happens? Can I really compete with others out there? This isn't a constant or regular feeling, but I do experience it at times.

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