Summit Submission Feedback Response

I’m It Survival Tips for the Lone DBA – Level 100

(Not Accepted: Higher rated session selected)

Track: Professional Development

As others have done I also will share my feedback from my submission to speak at PASS Summit in hopes it will lend some more insight into the process.


Are you the only database person at your company? Are you both the DBA and the Developer? Being the only data professional in an environment can seem overwhelming, daunting, and darn near impossible sometimes. However, it can also be extremely rewarding and empowering. This session will cover how you can keep your sanity, get stuff done, and still love your job. We’ll cover how I have survived and thrived being a Lone DBA for 15 years and how you can too. When you finish this session, you’ll know what you can do to make your job easier, where to find help, and how to still be able to advance and enrich your career.

Topic: Handling High Stress Situations



  • Show how to manage the people you work with (boss, developers, etc) to control expectations around your life and environment.
  • The importance of tools and how to build out the best tool set to support you in your job.
  • Discuss tips on building out your support resources (people, blogs, etc) to help you get through your day.


  • This is more related to dba track rather than prodev. Also is survival really career development? Many would say that working 15 years as a lone dba could equate to failure in some peoples eye’s and I would struggle to want to see this session based upon info provided.
  • Interesting topic; 1st/2nd/3rd person tense shift -bad. Borderline PD topic.
  • I like the title. Good topic and goals. I’d like to have more details in the abstract of what content to expect.
  • Well written abstract with clear goals and a well-developed outline. The topic is one that should appeal to a large audience. The title and abstract are catchy. Overall a really good abstract. Sounds like a session I would enjoy attending.

My Thoughts:
Honestly, I was a little taken a back at the first comment. I found it insulting and not helpful. I am not sure how telling someone working as a Lone DBA for 15 years is seen as a failure. Especially when those of us that do it, manage to do the work load of multiple people by ourselves.  After considering it, I forwarded the comment on to PASS as being inappropriate and unconstructive. I was pleasantly surprised at their response. I give kudos to all the hard work that goes into reviewing the comments before they send them out.

Secondly, I fully understand how some would feel that this is not a Professional Development session, maybe I should have put in under Database Administration. I still have mixed views on that. In any case, I have found this session to be well received and always have 15-25 in attendance at SQL Saturday’s. Regardless of the feedback I will continue to submit it to SQL Saturdays and Summit next year. There are many Lone DBA’s out there and I will to continue to lend them a hand by sharing my 15 years’ experience with them.


8 thoughts on “Summit Submission Feedback Response

  1. Being in the position I am in I’ve seen first hand data professionals across the country who have benefited from the session you are providing. I do believe this type of session is needed and merited. I am not a loan DBA, but have many friends who are. As an AVP and Database Manager who leads a talented group of individuals I would not look at an individual who has 15 yrs experience being a loan DBA as a failure.

    The premise of the session is a good one; keep doing what your doing and use that to fuel the fire within.

  2. Wearing more than hat at work and still doing it after 15 years is anything but a failure. It may be a context where others would have just fled the ship and the fact that you stayed shows a good number of qualities really sought after: determination, passion, ambition and a sheer desire to make things work. So, if it counts for anything, my hat’s off to you. Well done in reporting it and well done in your lone DBA career.

  3. I would definitely have attended this session as I am not only a lone DBA in an organization of over 600 employees but also a lone BI developer and data architect (using the term super, super loosely). This sounds like it is right up my alley.

  4. Having been to your training in Louisville, I can say that it is definitely a Professional Development session, not only for DBAs and Developers but for anyone in any field with an open mind for opportunities to develop themselves. The fact that you happened to be a DBA was really the only thing DBA-related about it, IMHO. Keep up the great work!

  5. FWIW: I agree that the first comment is way out of line. I’ll add that I attended your presentation on this topic at the Nashville user group meeting and I think it has Summit potential.

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