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James Luetkehoelter

Nearly any SQL topic presented at times in a slightly eclectic manner.

2 cents: Thoughts on TechEd, PASS and the role of the DBA

I recently saw a post on one of the MCT forums asking which conference should be attended - TechEd IT Pro, TechEd Dev or PASS when it comes to SQL education. I posted a reply there favoring TechEd (either). I need to defend that a bit better.

One reply to that post pointed out that SQL Server is considered ITPro by MS when it come to certifications (MCITP: DBA, Developer, BI). A reply pointed out that even though that was the case, there is still a certification with "developer" in the name. As usual, it seems no one knows how to categorize the database. What a surprise.

The simplicity of the situation is that the database is the intersection point between development, IT management and the business. It isn't that a DBA or database professional or whatever you call the role is more important than anyone else - it's just that the DBA ends up with the unenviable job of having to work with just about every group.

There have been some that have argued that there shouldn't be a DBA, a distinct job from development or from normal server systems management. I don't agree with that - I think we need a job role that is an intersection point. Without it, chaos or apathy invariably ensue.

So in my answer on the post I gave the nod to TechEd, even though I'm a speaker at PASS (stupid James...). My reasoning is that a SQL Server professional needs to learn as much about other technologies out there as he does about SQL Server. That won't happen at PASS (which is an excellent source of SQL Server knowledge - but that's it). To be an effective SQL must almost be a sponge for information on intersecting technologies.

At least that's my 2 cents.

Published Monday, December 3, 2007 1:14 PM by James Luetkehoelter
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andyleonard said:

"As usual, it seems no one knows how to categorize the database. What a surprise."

Ha! Good one.

One could argue both conferences have a lot to offer the database admin or developer. I see these as two job titles and two fields, but that's just me...

Good points!

:{> Andy

December 3, 2007 1:43 PM

AllenMWhite said:

James, I left a company back in 1998 because they didn't feel they needed a DBA and wanted me to focus exclusively on development.  The company that manages the application I designed that database for doesn't have a DBA on staff TO THIS DAY.  A lot of companies don't get what we both know - how critical this juncture is to the integrity of their data.

That said, I think that PASS is a great source of information for developers, and have brought a number of developers from my company to PASS.  They've all gotten a lot out of it.  No, there isn't content specifically to raw coding - it's a SQL Server conference, but I think there's better development content specific to SQL Server at PASS.

I mentioned in that same forum that I budget yearly for two conferences - PASS and TechEd, because of the high value I find in both.  Anything else I attend is "on my own dime", as they say.

December 3, 2007 1:52 PM
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About James Luetkehoelter

I am passionate about what I do - which is DBA, development, IT and IT business consulting. If you don't know me, haven't met me or have never heard me speak, I'm a little on the eccentric side. One attendee recently described me as being "over the top". Yup, that about says it - because I only speak on topics that I'm passionate about.
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