Just like many of us I started out as that guy that monitors the backups and the network. That was back in 1998 (gasp!) Because I have always been the curious type I started checking out this thing called MS Sql Server that our website used. A little at a time I took on more and more of the tasks surrounding keeping the Sql Server running and the data humming.
My curiosity lead me from that position to my first “real” DBA job at a small e-commerce company and a significant raise. I spent the first two weeks at my new job reading a book on how to be a DBA. I still have that book as a reminder that we all had to start somewhere. Even now it still has a lot of good advice for the basics of what does a DBA do and what “should” they be doing.
These days I manage a small team and collaborate with our partner company on various enterprise issues. I still use the knowledge I gained working on the systems admin side of the house in order to ensure our infrastructure will support the required loads on it and to help troubleshoot our systems when they aren’t performing as we want them to. I have always maintained that if you don’t know how the data engine interacts with the various parts of the operating system, the hardware and the network that you are not a “Database Administrator”. You are an application user (SSMS) or a developer. That said, everyone, even I must be somewhat of a developer in this complex and fascinating world we work in.
So, to answer my own question, I am an Infrastructure Database Administrator. I work with the underpinnings of our applications and the things that make them perform… or not. What type of DBA are you?