Sludder's MCSA SQL Thread: Learning How to be a DBA

SludderSludder Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Very recently our company formed a team for Data Management. It consisted of 3 highly experienced people. A DBA, a Developer, and a BI person. I have been working my butt off at the help desk for the last year and have some basic SQL experience from a previous job and a huge interest in data ever since I went back to school to complete my degree in Economics. Thankfully our company rewards hard work and I was brought on to their new team as a junior DBA just a week or so ago, despite having no actual DBA experience and no certs.

Almost immediately after moving me over our DBA has resigned so he can run off and get married. Happy for him, and there is another DBA at the company who is now in a SysAdmin role so I will have help. But now its time to learn from the beginning, and to learn fast. Right now I am looking at the 764 and 765 DBA Admin Path for the MCSA cert, and I hope to log my progress here as I go once a week or so. Fortunately I have lots of time to study at work, but I am going to have to learn a bit of everything. I get to be part of implementing a new Data Warehouse on a Nutanix cluster we have here, as well as implementing and administering Cognos BI. I am going to also have to learn how to use SSIS and SSRS. Being productive quickly is more important than the cert.

So Primary Cert Goal:
MCSA DBA Path 764 and 765 (Subject to change since I will be learning how to implement a Data warehouse (BI Path), and will be having to learn T-SQL far more in depth than I used it before (Dev Path)) We are still using SQL server 2012 so if yall think I should focus on the 460s cert path let me know.

Secondary Goals:
A+ (I was studying for this before I got brought over. Would be a shame not to go ahead and get it)
IBM Cognos certs since work will pay for them

What I have done so far has mainly been BI and development related:
25 hours of labbing Cognos Administration and Setup
About half way through Beginning T-SQL by Scott Shaw and Kathi Kellenberger (Like I said, starting from the beginning)
Lots of youtube videos on Data Management

A really awesome company who will provide pretty much anything I need.
(Anything else yall suggest)

Anyway, I am nervous and excited, and want to keep my self motivated. As fast as this bank is growing who knows where this could lead. Any advise or suggestions you can give would be much appreciated. Thanks.


  • nachodbanachodba USMember Posts: 201 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My recommendation, again, only my recommendation, is to skip the A+, it won't add any value as a DBA. Instead, Add the MCSA Server 2012 or 2016 to your resume after your MCSA DBA (Should only need two exams at that point if going for the MCSA SQL 2012 and MCSA Server 2012) then read the Nutanix bible and to get a high level overview of the way Nutanix works. We use Nutanix at our environment and it's pretty great, as long as the admins for it know what they are doing.

    As far as t-sql books, Databasehead recommended a great one for 2016....I can't think of the name of it now, i'll check when I get home but you should be able to find it.

    Good luck on the career as a DBA, it's challenging and stressful, but it's a great long-term career that will pay off well.
    2020 Goals
    work-life balance
  • SludderSludder Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks nachodba. I like your suggestion about dropping the A+, and I will definitely consider the Server MCSA.

    Its been a busy week. Our BI person has been out and I have gotten a lot of practice with some things. I probably could have done all of this easier in excel, but I created a bunch of tables in SQL server with the data I had so I could get a lot of practice with joins, unions, subqueries, and a number of functions while creating a large number of reports through SSRS. I am trying to use the GUI in SSMS as little as possible and primarily do everything with T-SQL. I also finally was able start a beginner's book on Administration and am starting to slowly learn Powershell.

    Ultimately, while I learned a lot, I didn't make a whole lot of progress towards certification. I am going to try and spend more time outside of work on that.

    It also looks like we are going to be using Melissa for our data quality. Any of yall have experience with that?
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