HOWTO: So you want to work on production systems? Lessons I’ve learned over the years. Please learn them

1) never implement a change control without ALL the approvals (in writing documented in the change control)
2) always have a minimum of two database thresholds (if your DBMS supports threshold actions)
3) always communicate with the team what is being changed and why (document the sh*t out of it – CYA)
4) always verify the change was implemented correctly (verification should be another person if possible) and exhibits the correct behavior afterwards. Be ready to back out the change
5) production changes should only occur no less than one week after non-prod. Let it bake in and monitor it carefully
6) the change control should have all the steps:

a) explicitly state which systems are effected
b) provide snapshot of the state of the database (database or table backup, options, etc)
c) include any dml/ddl code that will take place and expected results (when performed store the output within the change control if possible)
d) implementor verification (did it work? any issues?)
e) *ANOTHER PERSON* performs another verification
f) include back out steps. How long will the back out take?

7) if the change control goes bad, there should be enough time to back out the change within the maintenance window. *always* get the manager on duty to sign off that the change had to be backed out.

We all have to learn the lessons the hard way it seems.

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Wanted: Technical Support Analyst – WebSphere Linux SQL (2 positions available)

Position Responsibilities

POSITION OVERVIEW

The Technical Support Analyst for SunGard InvestOne’s global clients will be responsible for hands-on technical troubleshooting and support across a variety of platforms for a broad customer client base. This position is part of a global team with local responsibilities from 8am to 8pm.

The Analyst will be responsible for Tier 1 level support, which includes break/fix management and communications to internal stake holders regarding status and problem tracking.

He/She will also be responsible for performance, availability and customer satisfaction for all levels of a series of n-tier distributed web based applications.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

• Monitor error alerts from various systems
• Document incidents as warranted
• Answer client questions relating to technical aspects of the application
• Adhere to change control policies
• Responsible for first level technical system support for multiple customers along with implementation of network connectivity for new and existing customers
• Position is 80% technical and 20% project/customer management
• Participation on an on-call rotation is required
• Occasional weekend work is required

Position Requirements

• Bachelor’s degree, preferably in an IT-related discipline, or the equivalent of education and experience
• Minimum of five years of related, technical experience, preferably in the financial systems industry
• Experience with troubleshooting, diagnosis and resolution of complex technical issues as well as escalation for complex web based applications
• Knowledge of Windows and Linux administration
• Knowledge of WebSphere
• Experience with Transact SQL, preferably Sybase
• Excellent communications skills and ability to translate technical concepts
• Excellent interpersonal, analytical, business and technical judgment, negotiation, problem solving, verbal and written communication skills
• Critical thinking skills and a mature approach to troubleshooting is critical
• Knowledge of investment accounting principles is a big plus
• Previous experience as Java developer is desired
• ITIL certification is desired but not required

Interested? (say I referred you on the application form) or this one

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Wanted: Microsoft SQL Server DBA (Chicago, IL)

Position Responsibilities

Provides DBA services for Production, test, and development databases
Administers and maintains the production, test, and development databases.
Performs SQL code releases
Reviews application designs for compliance with production acceptance requirements.
Complies with IT policies and procedures, especially those for quality and productivity standards
Complies with Information Security policies and procedures. Verifies deliverables meet Information Security requirements.
Participates in special projects and performs other related duties as assigned.
Operations are 24 x 7. May be required to be on call, work beyond normal business hours

Position Requirements

B.S. in computer science
2 to 3 years experience
Strong written and oral communication skills.
Strong analysis and problem solving skills.
Working knowledge of the following DBA practices and concepts: database backup & recovery, database performance & tuning, database monitoring, and maintenance.
Working knowledge of Visual Source Safe
Strong knowledge of database design and administration
Stored procedure and view development and troubleshooting
Database size management (includes volume/disk mgmt., file and filegroup allocations.)
Basic understanding of Microsoft Clustering technology
Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
Entry level knowledge of networking
Entry level skill set of database performance tuning/indexing
SSRS, SSIS, and scripting experience a plus.

Interested? (say I referred you on the application form)

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Wanted: Entry level or Mid-level Oracle DBA (Chicago, IL)

Position Responsibilities

• Manage database configurations, schemas, and space • Manage database and system alerts. • Support new application code releases / builds in various production and non-production environments • Provide performance tuning, problem research/resolution, code reviews and deployments, SQL support, and data movement • Manage database changes for releases and new projects • Provide SQL and application tuning assistance • Build Backups / Recovery and High Availability • Manage disaster recovery support and testing • Monitor database health and alerts • Provide production on-call support on rotational basis • Manage database and product deployments and repeated database maintenance and monitoring tasks • Troubleshooting database issues • Open & follow-up on change request tickets for internal users • Open and follow-up on service requests with Oracle vendor support

Position Requirements

• Degree or equivalent experience in either Oracle or Sybase. • BS in Computer Science or equivalent specializing in Oracle or Sybase • Good understanding of relational methodology • Good understanding of SQL Plus or equivalent • Good communication skills and the ability to work as a team member • Good analytical and problem solving skills. • Self starter with willingness to do independent research and trouble shooting. • Willingness to learn new database skills in a fast paced environment • Education or Experience with Unix shell scripts helpful • Good understanding of relational methodology • Must be comfortable in both self-managed and team driven environment • Experience with Microsoft Office Tools helpful

Interested? (say I referred you on the application form)

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