Professional Development and Soft Skills Training Books for the SQL Server DBA

16 June,2011 by Jack Vamvas

Soft skills training \ continuing professional development or whatever else you’d like to call it – they are important for the DBA. 

 An interesting challenge by Buck Woody on his post – Head in the Clouds – Eyes on the Books.

 The challenge is to read 12 books in the upcoming year ,relating to Soft skills training \ continuing professional development . One book per month – and post a review.  The books must be relevant to my goals as a DBA.

I must admit most of my  reading as a DBA is blogs, and technically-oriented book about database servers , particularly SQL server and DB2 server. Taking a wider perspective

 Reading the post inspired me to create my own list .

 The Elements of Style by Strunk & White.

 Writing concisely and clearly is important – in all areas of communication , particularly explaing technical information

The Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbable by Nicholas Taleb –

Be aware there always hidden unknowns.All about random events

 Getting things Done by David Allen

Most DBAs are overwhelmed with work. The role is demanding and touches many areas of a large organisation. I have a time-management system in place – but I’m interested in reviewing my system.

 The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully by Gerald Weinberg 

 Giving Advice\Receiving Advice  and how to apply on a daily basis. No one tells how you to do it , but this book looks like it has some quick-fire advice

 The Education of an Accidental CEO: Lessons Learned from the Trailer Park to the Corner Office by David Novak

Keep it simple and clarify your thoughts.

 Oxford Guide to Plain English by Marin Cutts

Probably the single most important skill to possess for a DBA in communicating with managers.

 Becoming a Technical Leader  by  Gerald Weinberg

In an IT organisation , eventually you take on a leadership role.

 The Einstein Theory of Relativity by H.A Lorentz

I’ve always wanted to understand this theory .

 A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B Irvine

If you’re a DBA , then Stoicism is a practical philosophy. I’ve just started reading this book .

 The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt  

 It’s great to know all the theory – but maintaining availability and performance on Production systems  is partly about being pragmatic

 Social Network Analysis: A Handbook by Professor John P Scott

The theoy behind social networking. I’m always looking for books that attempt to describle funadamentals of popular movements .

 The Penguin Guide to Plain English by Harry Blamires –

Express yourself clearly and effectively.

I’m posting my first review in one months time. Soft skills training \ continuing professional development  is not an area I’ve intentionally developed- most of my Soft skills training \ continuing professional development occurs through work .This could be the push I need!

Read More

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Author: Jack Vamvas (


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