I have been the Community Liaison and a Senior DBA at PalominoDB for 15 months, and doing remote DBA work for 4 years. In that time I have learned that “consultant” need not be a dirty word, and that in the DBA world it is actually extremely valuable to have a remote DBA with lots of outside experience, and a team of remote DBAs for when your primary contact is sick or goes on holiday.
As with everything, there are downsides to remote database management. Even though there is a lot of architecture experience among the remote DBAs I know, we are not often invited to architecture meetings. This is because time is the unit of currency, and while sitting in an hour-long meeting to give 5 minutes of feedback can save hours down the road, it’s hard to see that. Many clients have gotten around this by having all DDL checked and performed by remote DBAs, and that helps a lot.
There is also no ownership – we can recommend solutions and technologies, but the client makes the actual decision about whether something needs to be done or not. I look forward to actually owning architecture after 4 years of making “strong recommendations”.
Since folks will ask, I have taken a job as a Senior DBA/Architect with Mozilla, starting Monday. A former co-worker told me about the job; I was not particularly looking for anything, but I was intrigued.
I have said before that it is hard to find a good in-house DBA if you are not a huge company like Facebook or Google or Yahoo, and that is still true. At Mozilla, they are 100% open and public about their ideas, and they do a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Sound familiar?
They also allow their developers to develop on whatever platforms work best. Their biggest database is their crash reporting database (and they do read it, so do submit your crashes). They have MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB, and are starting to move some applications around, as developers are not always aware of what platforms will work best. There is another DBA, so I will not be alone, but I expect to be just as challenged at Mozilla as I have been at PalominoDB and Pythian.
So, to keep up with PalominoDB, you can:
– like the PalominoDB page on Facebook
– follow @palominodb on Twitter
– connect with Laine on LinkedIn
– follow PalominoDB on LinkedIn
– continue to read PalominoDB’s blog and Planet MySQL
To keep up with me, you can:
– follow @sheeri on Twitter
– subscribe to the OurSQL podcast (details at http://www.oursql.com/?page_id=2)