My start at Agio

After being in the Coast Guard, I went on to get my BA through the University of Oklahoma’s Management Information Systems (MIS).  Towards the tail end of my degree, a professor of mine shot a note out to our class advertising that Agio was looking for interns for their End-User team.  I had experience in this exact line of work so I was confident, but my first interview was no joke – I met with 6 people, which indicated to me that Agio took hiring very seriously.  About a month later, I was hired as an intern until I became a full-time employee about 6 months later.

Becoming a Database Administrator (DBA)

I was a part of the End-User team for a little over a year, during which time I began studying to become a Windows engineer.  I wanted to keep increasing my skill-set.  Then all of a sudden, Steve Foster, Director of Service Delivery, circulated an internal memo that he was looking for a Database Administrator (DBA) to join the DBA team.  I did a little research, and was convinced this was the right move for me.

Even though I had no DBA experience, Steve interviewed me and gave me a shot.  I spent the first 4 months studying, taking tests, and shadowing my fellow DBAs, who were super supportive throughout the entire process.  In total, it took me about a year to pass all the exams; the challenge kept me engaged and hungry for more…so much so that 4 years later, after mastering my craft, I was promoted to Team Lead.

My Day-to-Day

Today, we have 13 DBAs on the team, and we begin every morning at 7AM ET, when we receive the Agio Daily Health Report (DHR) for each of our clients.  The process then looks like this:

  • We receive a report for each server we monitor.
  • We review each report to check for any issues that might have occurred since the previous DHR. Concerns include failed jobs, low drive space and failed backups.
  • We then notify our clients of any issues.
    • A typical issue requires logging into the client’s environment to correct the issue (if possible), and investigating the root cause.
    • If the problem is with the client’s custom job or script, we send them the details of the error and offer immediate assistance, if required.
  • A summary report of all issues is sent to our client and the entire Agio DBA team.
  • Issues are then reviewed, holistically, by our team to generate ideas for possible preventative/proactive tasks.

Additionally, the Oracle DBA logs in and checks Oracle Enterprise Manager for any alerts or issues that may not have sent emails overnight.

We also have certain clients with particular checklists that can include:

  • Verifying replication, log shipping, and that any other DR processes are running and up-to-date
  • Checking error logs for moderate/severe issues
  • Reviewing client-specific processes and third-party tools to ensure no action is needed

What’s next for me

My goal is to go back part-time and get my Master’s Degree; I want to keep growing, learning, and moving forward.  Ideally, then, I’ll be ready for a management position.  I know no matter what the future holds, Agio will work with me to make sure I have the right seat on the bus.

I love it here. I love how we’re structured, and I love the challenges. Management gives me a lot of leeway to make my own mistakes, which is critical. I’m an Agio lifer, for sure.

Michael McGurgan
Team Lead, Database Administration