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How to create a DBA skills matrix

12 March,2016 by Tom Collins

A DBA skills matrix is a summary of specific DBA skills with an associated rank. The purpose of a skills matrix is to immediately assess in-depth or lack of skills of an individual.

Is it worth maintaining a DBA skills matrix? It can be useful to focus an individual to reflect on their strengths and areas in which they could improve. Quite  often you’ll hear a DBA talk about all their incredible skills and years of experience, but that doesn’t mean they are an expert in every area. For example, having years of query tuning experience, doesn’t make you an SSIS expert or a database corruption expert. 

If I’m working with a new team, I get them to complete a self- assessment on their skills. It’s interesting to observe how individuals rate their own skills. But then again it is a self-assessment ,  and an individual should have enough experience to recognise if they have the confidence to deal with certain problem sets.

A skills matrix can be subjective. I’ve seen individuals rank themselves a 4/5 on a certain skill such as backup and restore, but if you asked them to complete a redirected restore without SSMS , they would flounder.

Here is an example of a list of SQL Server DBA skills. Customise to add new skills such as Cloud methodologies - the learning curve required for obtaining Cloud skills is steep. To maximise the efficiencies and cost optimisations requires a good level of detailed knowledge - Terraform , Python & SQL Server to  PostgreSQL  migration are just some of the skills you may want to dive into 

Compentencies Notes Senior DBA  
    Current Target
SQL Server      
Analysis Services (OLAP Services)   4 5
Backup/Recovery   5 5
Batch processing   4 5
BCP/Export/Import   4 5
Capacity planning   5 5
redundancy design   4 5
Clustering (AlwaysOn,Clustering )   4 5
Daily maintenance   5 5
Database maintenance plans, scheduling, alerts   4 5
Devices, databases and logs – design, creation, and updating   4 5
Disaster Recovery   5 5
Documentation - policies and procedures   5 5
DTS (Data Transformation Services)   4 5
Hardware/RAID   5 5
Indexing, index statistics updating and index optimization   5 5
Install/Configure/Upgrade   5 5
Load balancing   4 5
Logical design (schema)   5 5
Migration   4 5
Monitoring, including DBCC (Database Consistency Checking)   5 5
Network/Windows OS   4 5
OLAP (Data warehousing)   4 5
OLTP   4 5
Performance Tuning (Optimization)   5 5
Physical design   5 5
Powershell   5 5
Query Optimization   5 5
Reporting Services (SSRS)   4 5
Scripting (VBScript, command, batch,WSH)   4 5
Security Management   5 5
SSIS   4 5
SQL (T-SQL)   5 5
SQL Server architecture (2-tier, 2½-tier, 3-tier & other n-tier)   5 5
SQL Server vendor relations   4 5
Stored procedures, triggers, constraints, views   4 5
Troubleshooting   5 5


0 No training required.
1 No exposure or Knowledge
2 Low Exposure and Experience , Requires Training
3 Competent
4 Technical Lead Able to Mentor and Coach Colleagues
5 Expert in Field




Read More on developing DBA skills

 Career in DBA - SQL Server DBA

Professional Development and Soft Skills Training Books for the ...

How to go from New DBA to Advanced DBA - SQL Server DBA




Author: Tom Collins (


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