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Top Database Administration Myths: #3 DBA Burnout is Normal

Eric Russo | | January 2, 2019

Database technology is advancing quickly and it’s challenging for DBAs and their managers to keep up with the changes—like moving to the cloud, deciding which database to migrate, and building a game plan.

DBA managers also need to find a way to keep mainframe teams staffed in a recruiting environment that has a skills shortage. The systems need to stay up to date on patches, and DBAs need to keep certifications current.

Is DBA Burnout Inevitable?

Many DBAs operate in an environment that has requires on-call hours. The work that your team does often has a mixture of repetitive tasks combined with high-stress outages. Keeping databases up without burning out your team is possible, but it takes careful planning.

Implementing an Effective Support Model

When you develop a support model that acknowledges the reality that DBAs face every day, you can start addressing some of the major causes of burnout. Use a multi-faceted approach to cover all of the angles that make it possible to reduce or eliminate DBA burnout.

Abundant training and professional development programs give DBAs the resources they need to adapt to the latest database challenges. When you make it easy for your team to learn this information, you reduce the chances that they have to waste precious time tracking down their own resources.

When you give your team opportunities to expand their skill sets with the right training material, you can minimize the chances of running into a skills gap for difficult-to-hire positions. Your current team can learn about these in-demand skills as part of their professional development and be ready to fill gaps as needed.

You also need to actively manage priority tasks and ensure that you give DBAs a combination of necessary and interesting tasks that fall within their specialization.

Bringing in External Help

Your team has their limits, so consider working with a database partner agency when your needs exceed the capacity of your in-house staff. You cut down on the burnout-inducing tasks that they have on their to-do list and end up with happier, more productive DBAs.

A database managed services provider can take over on-call shifts so your DBAs get predictable schedules and better work-life balance. When the external partner handles undesirable tasks, your team gets to focus on the projects that interest them the most. This approach also allows your DBAs to take a more strategic view of each task. They’re not as caught up in the front-line, day-to-day operations, so they can find ways to improve the infrastructure and put more efficient systems in place.

Read This Next

DBA burnout doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion.

Learn about the most common misconceptions surrounding database administration by downloading the 7 Myths of Database Administration white paper.

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