Exceptional DBA 2011 Jeff Moden on why you should enter in 2012

My “reign” as the Red Gate Exceptional DBA is almost over and I was asked to say a few words about this wonderful award. Having been one of those folks that shied away from entering the contest during the first 3 years of the award, I thought I’d spend the time encouraging DBAs of all types to enter.

Winning this award has some obvious benefits. You win a trip to PASS including money towards your flight, paid hotel stay, and, of course, paid admission. You win a wonderful bundle of software from Red Gate to make your job as a DBA a whole lot easier. You also win some pretty incredible notoriety for your resume. After all, it’s not everyone who wins a worldwide contest. To date, there are only 4 of us in the world who have won this award.

You could be number 5!

For me, all of that pales in comparison to what I found out during the entry process. I’m very confident in my skills, but I’m also humble. It was suggested to me that I enter the contest when it first started. I just couldn’t bring myself to nominate myself. When the 2011 nomination period opened up, several people again suggested that I enter, so I swallowed hard and asked several co-workers to have a look at the online nomination form and, if they thought me worthy, to write a nomination for me.

I won’t bore you with the details, but what they wrote about me was one of the most incredible rewards that I could ever have hoped to receive. I had no idea of the impact that I’d made on my co-workers. Even if I hadn’t made it to the top 5 for the award, I had already won something very near and dear that no one can ever top.

“Even if I hadn’t made it to the top 5 for the award, I had already won something very near and dear that no one can ever top.”

There’s only one named winner and 4 “runners up” in this competition every year but don’t let that discourage you. Enter this competition. Even if you work in the proverbial “Mom’n’Pop” shop, get your boss and the people you work with directly to nominate you.

Even if you don’t make it to the top 5, you might just find out that you’re more of a winner than you think. If you’re too proud to ask them, then take the time to nominate yourself instead of shying away like I did for the first 3 years. You work hard as a DBA and, as David Poole once said, if you’re the first person that people ask for help rather than one of the last, then you’re probably an Exceptional DBA. It’s time to stand up and be counted! Win or lose, the entry process can be a huge reward in itself. It was for me. Thank you, Red Gate, for giving me such a wonderful opportunity.

Thanks for listening folks and for all that you do as DBAs. As ‘Red Green’ says, “We’re all in this together and I’m pullin’ for ya”.

–Jeff Moden

Red Gate Exceptional DBA 2011