IT career inspiration: how to become a database administrator


IT career inspiration: how to become a database administrator

My way to database administrator. Interview with Maria Jeziorna, IT consultant for databases at Red Stack Poland

I would like to present one of the possible ways of entering the professional world for a young person. This is the main purpose for our conversation. I think it might be a compass for those looking for opportunities and perspectives for their professional development in new technologies. Let’s start from the beginning. How did you find your place in the information technology industry?

I graduated from the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, first gaining the title of Engineer in the field of Cybersecurity – on the Faculty of Electronics, then Master’s Degree in the field of Management Engineering – on the Faculty of Management. As you might expect I was one of a few girls on the Faculty of Electronics. That department has always had a significant majority of men. In this man’s world,  I was only once remarked by a professor. During a lecture he said that maybe girls learn better, but guys will get a job faster. Nevertheless I found a job already while I was studying – during my 3rd university year. Actually, a family friend encouraged me and I was recommended by him to Red Stack Poland. I went through the interview successfully and I stayed here.

I have been working here as a database administrator for almost 4 years now. At the beginning, I combined work with studying and writing a thesis, first engineering and then master’s. For the first year I was led by colleagues from the team and also I implemented myself in new things. After less than a year I got afternoon shifts. And after two years of gaining experience I started working on-call, i.e. on telephone night duty. When I was starting the first such a shift, I realized that all the responsibility for matters that may arise during the night are on me at that moment. I’m not afraid of challenges, work and risk-taking – but it all came one by one.

How did you learn to control your emotions? How did you manage with work under pressure? These traits are more often attributed to men and you quickly have worked out your way to deal with them.

During my first job, in a restaurant, I learned how to work with customers. At Red Stack Poland in Global Delivery Center team I started by repeating the first and most important rule that you have to follow the procedures. I’ve learned that one rash click can affect the entire customer system.  At the same time – this one click can lead me to solve the problem. I realized that in the worst scenario I might just have an extra thing to solve along the line. This way I learned to take responsibility, to be able to work under the pressure of this responsibility and also the passing time. I have built confidence in what I can do – just thanks to this. I know that if I click the enter button I will be able to fix the error myself or with support of the team.

So what do you like most about your job? What is your favorite customer?

A dream client, probably for any database specialist is a client who possess a wide range of different technologies in his environment. At Red Stack Poland I like working with the public sector client systems. I like maintenance work more than closed projects. Projects are supposed to be carried out according to a given plan and are supposed to work.

There is always constant traffic with maintenance customers. It means there is also a larger than normal element of risk. It means that solving the problem ends with bigger satisfaction. Especially when it comes to solving unusual problems. In this case there is also a longer way to find the solution: searching on the forums, talking to other consultants, reading case studies. I know that all this will result in a solution to a critical situation. And in this case the satisfaction – that something finally worked thanks to me – is greater.

So what character traits are needed in the role of a database and IT system administrator?

I’ve always liked learning by doing. I have the feeling that when I learn, I do not stand still. I build a sense of responsibility all the time. I realize that working with such a large variety of technologies I will not know everything. And one of the most important skills in this profession is asking for help.  That’s what I learned from my teammates. Instead of thinking alone about the solution for a long time, it is worth asking. We will find the answer faster and finish solving the problem faster – especially when we have a P1 level situation, i.e. a system failure with the highest priority.

I have been working remotely since the beginning of my employment – self-discipline is very important here, next to the desire to develop and look for solutions. You need to remember that there are more distractions at home. You have to mark the rhythm  of work – learn how to separate work from free time, turn off applications after working time and learn yourself to not to look into them. When I look at it now, I think it would be probably easier and faster to ask for help if I started working in the office at the very beginning.

What drives you with each new day?

I have always been very dutiful and I try to always be on time when it comes to work. When I know that something interesting is waiting for me to manage that day, I am more willing to start work and turn on the computer. When I am going out privately – I am a real woman. My partner is always waiting for me.

In general I do not like to be bored. Time passes faster when I have something to do and I can be better and better at what I do. So I am not bored at work and in addition I develop myself beside of work – to not fall into monotony in this profession. That work is certainly not monotonous, it drives me to action. There are still new projects that are interesting. Looking further, thanks to work I have the opportunity to fulfill my dreams – this job allows me to do it.  Last year I fulfilled one such dream – I went to the beach by the ocean.

Well, what about your free time? How do you rest?

I air my head with rollerblades, at the gym and during home activities – I like to have an active break. And I know that home activities are not popular. I’ve been reading crime stories for a long time and I like listening to criminal podcasts. I play with my two cats. I have been hiking in the mountains since I was a child. Recently I was in the Tatras with my sister and we plan to have more such a trips. Besides, I like escape rooms and sometimes I sing karaoke.

What do your friends say when they hear what kind of work you do?

Most of my friends also work in IT, so it is not surprising them. One of my friends only laughs that what I do is “a black magic”.

You are still a raisin in the team. What is the approach of your manager and colleagues to you? I know from my sources that you have a lot of respect and esteem from customers. Guys are not jealous?

They are not to be jealous of anything. They themselves have great respect from customers. They didn’t make me feel that I was worse or better. We all treat each other equally and have respect for each other. We support each other, swap as needed. The atmosphere is good, we are sync in the team. And the team is very importance when you have to trust each other and share responsibility. The boss motivated me from the beginning, asked me what I was doing, what I could already do and encouraged me to make progress. I am very happy that I work with such a talented team.

So are we publishing an interview? May I press the enter button?



Publication: Red Stack Poland