PASS’s newest Virtual Chapter aims to answer two primary questions for those new to the DBA world or considering a career as a SQL Server administrator: How do I become a successful DBA? And what do I need to learn first?

The idea for the DBA Fundamentals VC came from questions VC co-leader Mark Swofford received from DBAs he’s managed and college students he’s talked to. “Students are confused about the path to become a DBA, and new DBAs many times have basic conceptual ideology, but have yet to see it firsthand,” he notes. “Neither of these groups needs a deep dive into transactional replication, but they do need to understand what an index is.”

Mark, who led the PASS Virtualization VC for a few years, contacted PASS HQ with a proposal for a VC that addresses the needs of people in their first year or so of employment as database administrators, as well as those who aspire to be DBAs. Then he recruited DBAs Michael Brumley and Steve Cantrell to help lead the group.

“To be a successful DBA, it takes a solid foundation of general concepts, career development, training, fearlessness, confidence, and mentorship from more experienced professionals,” Mark adds. “This Virtual Chapter will host regular novice-level presentations on a wide variety of topics: the basics, skills for sure, concepts, career development, and the importance of getting involved in the community early on.”

The DBA Fundamentals VC kicks off its lineup of free webcasts July 10 with David Smithey’s “DBA 101”, and has already launched a forum for DBA basics questions and answers. The team is also busy scheduling future speakers – including Scott Shaw, Adam Belebczuk, and Jes Schultz Borland – and coordinating some special events, such as an upcoming day-long online DBA Boot Camp.

The VC is looking for professionals who’d like to give 100-level presentations on a wide variety of DBA topics – if you’re interested in speaking, just email And to make sure you get the latest meeting details, join the VC and follow @DBAFundVC on Twitter.