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This week, WellData caught up with Luke from the SQL Server DBA team to find out more about his personal life, obtain some on-the-job insights and reveal some top tips for database management.
Luke joined WellData in December 2018, following his success in several internal database administrative roles and a further 12 years of experience in SQL query writing. Luke had explored the depths of how SQL server work during his experience writing queries, which led him into performance tuning, providing SQL server support.
What is Luke’s proudest career moment?
WellData asked Luke about his proudest career moments, and he recalled how as a junior DBA, having just started in the role, he was tasked with investigating performance issues on a well-known system – Teamcenter. He proposed a change which his senior colleague recognised as an insightful idea and one that hadn’t already been thought of. External DBA consultants agreed with Luke’s suggestion too, which assured confidence in his knowledge.
How does Luke occupy himself during his spare time?
During his spare time, Luke enjoys playing board games, attending the gym and volunteering for the Fire Service. Like many employees at WellData, Luke has a soft spot for furry friends and told us of his involvement with a Dog Rescue Centre, time at an Animal Farm Sanctuary, as well as, caring for his rescue animals which live at home with him, in Wiltshire. He also recently volunteered at Bath Cats & Dogs Home, as part of WellData’s Employee Perks, which allows for an additional two days’ of annual leave to participate as a voluntary helper with a chosen charity. Here’s some of the pictures which Luke captured, while offering his photography skills to the charity rescue centre.
What does a typical day look like at WellData?
Jumping into a typical day with WellData, Luke shared his routine (although with so much variance, no day looks alike – which is one talking point that employees really enjoy). Luke explained that he starts his daily checks ahead of client working hours, from 6:45am – this is to ensure issues are dealt with before the rest of the clients’ team arrive. This is a huge advantage for those who choose to employ external support, as WellData continuously work behind-the-scenes to avoid disturbance and create an efficient working environment for both parties.
Once Luke is satisfied with the health of databases, he takes a break for some exercise to power the brain before diving into execution of client scripts, or investigating performance issues. Luke will also answer general enquiries to support with the expansion of internal knowledge and training of new DBA’s, to keep us on our toes and refresh ourselves on the fundamentals.
What’s the best part of working as a senior database administrator?
For Luke, the most interesting part of his career as a senior database administrator is getting stuck in with problem-solving and dealing with performance issues, as it allows him to focus entirely on a single project. Dealing with performance issues are few and far between for individual clients, as a result of the proactive and preventive methodology that WellData instil, however some performance issues are beyond the control of preventive actions, and therefore WellData is always available to investigate and implement remedial actions.
What issue do clients face the most, and how can they prevent it?
Assisting clients with infrastructure-based problems is a massive part of Luke’s role. One of the largest problems that Luke has witnessed involves the CPU cores assigned to a SQL Server. The Standard Edition of SQL Server has a limitation on the number of sockets that can be used. You are unable to use more than 4 sockets, but many clients assign more to their VM’s, and unknowingly effect the performance levels while wasting money on licensing a system which is unable to function at full capacity. This is a repeat offender and a leading challenge which has led us to introduce SQL Server Health Checks, to ensure optimum configuration for performance, reliability and security.
Internal database administrators can rectify this issue quite simply by understanding software limitations, installing the correct SQL server edition for their workloads and configured servers/VM’s with CPU cores and sockets within edition limitations.
What is the most crucial skill set for being a DBA?
Luke believes that the most crucial skills to becoming a DBA starts with a strong background in IT systems, to provide a better understanding of how SQL Server can integrate with and interact with other parts of a system. WellData asked Luke about how attentive or observant a database administrator needs to be, with patience and attention-to-detail, when responding to issues.
For those who are wishing to enter a role as a DBA, most companies will focus their stock on official qualifications, but Luke believes anyone can pass an exam, and it takes more to prove yourself, a view shared by all at WellData. Becoming a good DBA requires experience across a variety of systems and cannot be outweighed by several years of experience with a single application.
Are you looking for a role as a DBA?
Luke enjoys the flexibility and trust that WellData gives to employees – you can experience this too. If you’re looking to join a team of specialists in database management and consulting, WellData is ready to welcome you.<< Back to resources