Life as a DBA

I rolled off my old project last year. They seemed to be out of money, at least for me. I did a short stint on an analysis gig. Then that job changed its requirements and I was again looking for work. My manager told me I could return to my old project, but in a different capacity. I would be on the DBA team.

So I reported to the lead DBA. He gave me a task. I hit the ground running and we figured out a problem that plagued the team for over a month. Win. My new team lead was going on a long vacation. He put me in charge of a database task. I was ready to make some progress.

Turns out I don't have the privileges to do the things I need to do in the development database. There are some other DBAs that handle that. Okay. I did some prep work for testing. Then I scheduled up a meeting with the DBAs in charge. We went nowhere fast. They apparently would run scripts on our behalf. Ok...

I had another developer write up some scripts. The DBA pulled it up onto the UNIX box and he kept getting Korn shell errors. The file was there. Ksh kept complaining that it could not find the file. I left the DBA to figure out the details. Turns out he uploaded the file in the wrong mode. The lines were terminated incorrectly. Doh.

I decided to take a look at the script files. The author put a tar file on the UNIX box. I grabbed a copy and tried to extract the files. He gave me instructions to extra via a tar -cvf. I tried a couple times. Tar kept giving me errors. This seemed like deja vu. Luckily I stepped back and read up on how tar works. Turns out that command was similar to the compression. I needed a tar -xvf. And I was off to the races.

Certified Network Pro

I talked with a couple guys who interviewed me for an interesting project. They could not tell me the specifics on the applications I would be developing. When pressed, they said learning to be a Certified Ethical Hacker would be of some use to understanding the problem domain. Great. Never heard of it. But my school has a whole cyber security track that leads up to the certification.

So I started at the beginning. Enrolled in a course called Network+. It turns out that this first course  prepares you for a introductory Network+ certification. The more the merrier I guess. There was no traditional textbook for this class. I purchased access to some online TestOut site. Initially I thought that was a rip off. Over $125 for access to a web site?

Turns out the $125 was actually money well spent. The site has detailed simulations for network activities. They simulate office buildings, completed with hardware and Windows operating systems. They even have some Windows Server installations you need to navigate. This is much easier that buying a bunch of hardware and setting up networks in my basement.

The cost of the subscription also gave me a voucher to take a Network Pro certification exam. This is different than the CompTIA Network+ cert. I had not heard of Network Pro before. My instructor says it is more common over in Europe. Okay. The Network Pro emphasizes hands on knowledge of choosing the best hardware and debugging real network problems.