I just read Thomas LaRock's article, How to become an effective database administrator, published on ITProPortal. I like his list of five things database administrators (DBAs) should "understand and embrace" to be effective in today's world of complex databases. These key five objectives are:

1. Gain a full understanding of your organization's business objectives

2. Become a security expert

3. Know how to maintain availability and continuity

4. Understand the cloud

5. Improve response time

I recommend you read the full article for great tips. Others have compiled similar lists. Back in 2005, Joshua Guttman, listed the following 9 Habits of Highly Effective DBAs:

  1. Make a backup
  2. Use transactions
  3. Stop highlighting
  4. Know your connection
  5. Stay out of isolation
  6. Stay on top of your tables
  7. Stay out of Table Designer
  8. Alter, don't destroy
  9. Look before you leap

Here are two more articles on what makes a good DBA. In 8 Traits of Highly Effective DBAs, by Ayman El-Ghazali and published by Infusive Solutions, Inc., he lists the following eight skills needed for effective DBAs:

  1. Know your servers (what they do, what apps they support, their names)
  2. Be proactive with maintenance and disaster recovery
  3. Understand the business needs behind the servers you support
  4. Understand the ecosystem of the computing world
  5. Use business intelligence (BI) tools
  6. Keep your database secure
  7. Know how to do development
  8. Have the ability to do the DBA work without the GUI
  9. Be nice to people (Bonus tip)

In 5 Ways to Be a More Effective DBA Today, John Sansom (aka SQLBrit) says these five things will help you be a more effective DBA:

  1. Know why your role exists
  2. Get organized
  3. Learn something new every day
  4. Improve something
  5. Attend you local SQL Server User Group

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What's missing from these lists? Let me know if you have an idea that hasn't been mentioned that you believe is important to your success as a DBA.