UK Oracle User Group

Sarah Cleaver

Sarah CleaverName: Sarah Cleaver

Job Title: Oracle DBA

Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences: 
Mainly production DBA, some project work, lots of new builds, much script writing to automate tasks, backups etc, looking at stats and performance of applications and SQL tuning. It's very diverse and it keeps it interesting.

Why did you first get into IT?: 

Nobody else in the office would hoover the printer out, because I did it I became the 'support person.' I asked for training and finally built up enough skills to be recruited as a unix admin but I didn't enjoy 2ams on the machine hall floor trying to replace server parts so I lent towards database admin and now I spend 2ams trying to fix data parts!!

What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT? 

Challenge any sexist attitudes head on, women are just as capable as men in this industry. In fact the hours can be amazingly flexible but be prepared to work some very long ones.

Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT? 

I think it is still quite a sexist industry. It hasn't been confronted head on in the way it has in engineering or construction, so I regularly feel the 'wonderful suggestion Miss Jones, now if one of the men would like to make it...' moments. At conferences and user groups I will head count women and the numbers are increasing slowly. Once there is a better balance I expect the sexism will fade.

Any final comments?

I really like my job, it interests me and I enjoy chasing the solutions. Somedays feel like playdays when you are trying out new features and learning new ways to do things. The IT industry is so varied, there are so many different types of work and different types of company, if one doesn't suit you try another. I'd encourage anyone to take it up as a career.

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