A Day in the life of: Me – A DBA Team lead

After reading through Erin Stellato’s (blog | twitter) TSQL2SDAY topic & reponses I was inspired to log one of my days. I decided that July 30, 2012 would be that day. Here’s how that day evolved:

5:30ish – Wake up, take dog outside for a walk, shower, pack meals for day @ work and head out

7:30 – Arrive at work after about 1 hr and 40 miles with surprisingly light and mostly sane traffic. Normally everything is crazy and hectic which is not a big deal to many, but I do drive a Smart car. Eat breakfast of dry cereal, biscuits & yoghurt at desk.

8:00 – Download the New SQL 2008 R2 service pack and install on my local test machine. Email rest of team that they can update their test machines, but to NOT place the SP on any of the servers just yet. Let us get through our review first.

8:45 – Compress and send log files from some testing I’ve been doing of a third party tool. I uncovered a memory leak and some other issues with the import tool we are going to be required to use. Vendor requested log files to see if they help troubleshoot the issues.

9:00 – Review the master migration Project I developed last week and configure a new test environment for it.

10:00 – Send email to production DBA on team to ensure current licensing has been properly configured on the servers and to ensure that all the SQL developers on the team get the properly licensed developer edition installed.

10:20 – Begin testing master migration project again.

10:30 – Learn that Sys team wants to physically relocate servers this evening. Begin copying extra backups “Just in case”

11:00 – Discuss connectivity issues with servers that sys team physically moved over the weekend. DNS is not updating properly. Some connect by name, some by new IP address, and some with old IP address.

11:30 – Converse with 3rd party vendor via Email. Not allow them to hide the error messages filling the logs.

12:00 – Hear rumor of new team to phase out the 3rd party loading tool. Stop working on it until further confirmation.

12:30 – Build another test environment for master migration process

12:45 – Manager calls me in to discuss email she received about one of team members systems being caught as non-compliant in network scan. We read through accusation together, realize it is minor (they just used big ‘scary’ words) and work on email response together before sending it on.

13:00 – Lunch break – nuked Spaghetti, Rainier cherries and watermelon

13:15 – Back to testing master migration project

13:30 – Receive email that I am now in a meeting regarding some migration validation reports, continue testing master migration until meeting time

14:30 – Attend meeting, get tasked with ‘helping’ SQL developer with validation reports. Review what needs to be done, got told not much, but required by end of week.. Team member comes by stating “There’s only one of me on the team!” Before he can say anything more I respond with “Thank God for that!”. He then explains how he was in a meeting for over 1 hr in which they discussed the formatting of the specs, not the actual coding to be done. I welcome him to my world.

15:00 – back at desk, review report requirements, learn that none are completed and there is about 3 – 4 weeks of work to be done in 4 days. Not going to look into anymore until tomorrow.

15:30 – Get authorized for overtime to ‘do whatever it takes’ to get reports completed on time.

16:30 – Finish successful test of master migration process. Leave laptop locked at desk and head home

18:00 – Get home. Get slobbered on by dog (he’s a Newf, they do that) text wife to bring home Japanese since too tired to cook. Sit down and start watching some TV and playing with the dog.

19:00 – post update to blog that I am going to post this post once I get it pulled together

19:30 – Send emails to few people re: SQL Saturday DC 2013 requirements to make happen

22:00 – Finish TV, dog play and online stuff (reviewing excursions for SQL Cruise in Jan.) and finally head up to bed to read a little before falling asleep

23:30 – Finish reading for night, confirm alarm set for 4:45 am to be able to get into work early to get those reports started and turn out the lights to try to sleep.

As I wrote this I thought about how this was an exceptional day, but upon deeper reflection I realized this actually touches on my average day pretty well. I tend to try to plan my day, but usually I plan more in respect to what I can push off because inevitably something else comes up and pushes its way to the front of the line. I am gradually getting better and better and prioritizing and scheduling my time out, but it never seems to end. I have read about some other people’s days, and actually long to have a day like that. I never seem to find anyone that wants to live one of my days. At least none of my work days it seems.

I enjoyed writing this down and getting an idea of what I go through, and as noted before will do this some other times. I’ll wake up someday and randomly decide “I’m going to record this day” or if you leave a date below in the comments I’ll do my best to capture that day as well. Feel free to leave a comment of what your day is like too. I find it interesting to see what others experience through the day. Honestly sometimes it helps to see someone else live their life so you can see just how green the grass on your side of the fence really is.

Edit: fix month in first paragraph.

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