What Personality Types Are DBAs?

Part 15 of 20 in the Series: Career Paths for Database Professionals
What Personality Types Are DBAs?
What Personality Types Are DBAs?

This post about the personality types of database administrators (DBAs) is in response to Sandra’s question.

Sandra, thank you for taking the time to tweet a number of my posts, I appreciate you 🙂

Personality types like the Jung Myers-Briggs Type are used to describe the psychological characteristics of an individual.

For example, the famous Myers-Briggs has 16 personality types grouped as: Extroversion vs. Introversion, Intuiting vs. Sensing, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving.

In this post, I will describe some of the personality types of database administrators (DBAs).

  • Detail Oriented

    DBAs need to pay detailed attention to the performance of all their databases.

    This attention is required because production databases need to be monitored constantly for changes in performance, security holes and reliability.

    For example, if a DBA publishes a script without reviewing its performance, the production database may slow down unacceptably or even crash!

  • Reliable

    DBAs have well-established work habits. They typically come to work early and leave late.They often support the production system on evenings and weekends.

    The entire organization may depend on the DBA to support and keep their databases running at all times, so DBAs have to be reliable and available especially when they are on call.

    Finally, DBAs are timely or punctual and they plan their work out into the week because they often have a routines or a series of tasks to perform on a daily or weekly basis.

  • Protective

    DBAs are protective of their charge and they dislike other non-DBAS running scripts directly on their databases without their supervision.

    DBAs will go to lengths to protect the integrity of their data. They will execute manual scripts in transactions, carefully verify the results before they commit results or rollback their database operation.

    DBAs may get quite upset if someone performs an unauthorized action on their database even when that action is harmless. In other words, their database systems is protected turf or off-limits!

    DBAs take the view that if anything that can go wrong, it will go wrong … so they are always taking extra precautions or backups before making changes just in case something goes wrong on their database!

  • Analytical & Handson

    DBAs are very handson and pragmatic folks who are not afraid to get their hands dirty by any chance.

    In answer to a problem, challenge or threat facing the database systems, they will often roll up their sleeves, formulate a hypotheses and start researching causes by querying log files, executing sql scripts, restoring and analyzing backups etc.

    DBAs typically review all the stored procedures or sql scripts submitted by database developers or computer programmers for compliance, performance or safety considerations.

    Imagine poring over the equivalent of 90 pages of printed stored procedure scripts on a daily basis?

  • Strong Technical Mastery

    DBAs have strong technical mastery and are highly skilled at relational database design, database development, database maintenance or administration, server or network administration and programming.

    DBAs frequently have to write custom database stored procedures or scripts using languages like C/C++, Perl, Python, C# or VBScript!

While these are not all of the personality traits of a DBA, it is time to an informed guess as to the personality type of a DBA using Myers-Briggs.

The personality type of a DBA is: ISTJ Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging).

Let’s take a look at what this means on the Myers-Briggs scale:

  1. Introverted – likes to work alone, seeks to understand the world, prefers depth over breadth
  2. Sensing – trusts facts and data, accepts the world as it is, prefers practicality
  3. Thinking – is detached, logical, factual, causal, consistent and follows a given set of rules
  4. Judging – gains control through planning, focuses on results

If you are interested, click here to take the Myers-Briggs personality test.

What is your personality type on the Myers-Briggs scale or any other?




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