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Future of a Database Profession!

Fellow DBA professionals, I would like to continue this thread in discussing Future of database profession in the current scenario. The fact is most of the database issues should require analysis and information to resolve. I would appreciate your time to share the knowledge in this regard. Satya SKJ
In some ways, SQL Server, expecially versions 7.0 and 2000, have made databases more accessible to IT professionals in general. This is because of its mostly self-tuning and fairly easy-to-use interface. But I think this is false impression, and will become even more false with the advent of Yukon. Databases are becoming more complex, and the DBA not only needs to know SQL Server administration, but hardware, operating system, database design, Transact-SQL, performance tuning, Analysis Services, web technologies, XML, and with Yukon, .NET and one or more of its associated languages. Many DBAs just fall into their position from other related jobs. But with the tremendous amount of information DBAs need to master in order to do a good job, it will require more and more training (formal and informal) and experience. I only know a fraction of what I would like to know, and see that my career as a DBA will never become boring.
Brad M. McGehee
I’ve got what I’d expected from you Brad. Satya SKJ
satya, Not sure what you were looking for but I would agree with Brad’s comments completely. One of the greatest things about MS SQL Server is the ease of operation and lack of REQUIRED maintenance. However, with that being said, that is also its biggest problem in that there are far too many DBA’s who don’t take any time to learn the system as it should be, which brings about a LOT of poorly performing databases. Furthermore I agree with Brad that the complexities with SQL Server are only increasing with each release and the talent pool does not seem to be increasing at the rate of the technology. That is my personal opinion but one that is based on a fairly decent case study. I recently had an open DBA position in a fairly large city where I was only able to find 1 candidate with SQL Server DBA experience, a couple web programmers who have doubled as DBA’s, and a bunch of Oracle guys who only know how to tune indexes or create instances and one Oracle guy who had a similar life to that of a SQL Server DBA. Personally I found it to be concerning. I truly believe that IF MS is going to take the lead as the Number 1 DBMS on the market they are going to have to push hard for some advances and availability in the training of current and future SQL Server DBA’s. Like I stated at the beginning, I wasn’t sure where you were trying to go with the post but based on Brad’s statement and where he was going, there is my follow-up. Let me know if this direction was not the intent of the post and I would be happy to repost. Thanks! David
David, its true on all terms referred by Brad its a fact.
I have started this thread to share ideas and information from other professionals, in turn which may help others who’re wishing to upgrade their career from DBA to further. Like me what I am looking forward to… Thanks. Satya SKJ [8D]Debate is getting better with comments.
In that case….. Can’t say that I want to upgrade my career from DBA (other desires may lead me away from this career but not mine own)… With that being said, I would love to become more knowledgeable with Analysis Services and the whole DW environment. While I already work in that area a good bit, I don’t have the knowledge base that I desire and unfortunately don’t do as good a job as I would like. Additionally, I would love to get some High End SQL Work that would be ultra challenging. Recently saw a post on another SQL site where they were talking about large db environments. That is appealing to me. The .NET / Yukon stuff goes without saying! Hope this is more in line with where you were going. David
I agree with you guys, unfortunately where I work programmers are allowed sysadmin access to SQL Server and my hands are tied on limiting their access. As you guys know, this can result in major problems with stuff going on without my consent or knowledge… on the bright side, though, that may change in the future. I come from a consulting background with the US Air Force where everything was structured and analyzed in every detail. Wish me luck on changing my current desperate predicament. Sorry if I strayed from the original post topic, but I think Brad speaks for all of us on this one. ———-
T Kelley
David, true on part of Yukon and .NET. These technologies leaves us in dark sometimes, but still the current responsibilites of Database Profession is managing the show from all aspects. Multi tasking, analysis and design plays vital role to grow further. Satya SKJ
Does anyone have any updates on Yukon? I haven’t heard anything new for about 3 months, thanks.
"How do you expect to beat me when I am forever?"
Valid link, you can also get latest information from MSSQL site and SQLPASS which is frequently updated and expected to release beta in first quarter of 2003. Satya SKJ

In the light of comments I would like to emphasize quote from my Pal (Kahar)

Current standard for Database Administration like OCP and MCDBA truly do not measure the competence of working professionals in real life situation. This is merely a judgment of a DBA’s knowledge bank. Organizations like VLDB, Warehousing institute are not truly dedicated to DBA profession rather they are focused on their product or technology segment development. Future Definition of DBA:
A) A person who has been in database profession for at least 3 years with at least one prominent product.
B) Expert at least in one product and knowledgeable and workable in one other cross-platform products.
C) Have industry standard tool-box.
D) Have a Bachelor’s degree.
E) Have a universal DBA tool experience
F) Can write a practical work experience THESIS/WHITE-PAPER and defend it in an open conference among peer community forum.

Satya SKJ

Atlast I have seen what I expected from other professionals, and this month’s SQL Server Magazine has this articlehttp://www.sqlmag.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=23240] which mirrors most of the replies to this thread. Thanks for your time folks. Good luck.
Satya SKJ

That is a very good article, and I agree with it. I believe that all good DBAs (or Data Tier Architects – DTAs) should first be good programmers/developers because without the skill set of analyzing and developing applications it would be difficult to normalize a database and understand the complexities of designing a database to work efficiently with your software. Wow, that was long winded.. <img src=’/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif’ alt=’:)‘ /><br /><br /><br /><br />———-<br />T Kelley<br />MS, MCDBA, OCA, CIW<br /><br />
I think it’s the other way around <img src=’/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif’ alt=’:)‘ />. An application developer should first take the time to learn database fundamentals, like how to design and normalize a database before developing applications where he/she also use databases. There are way too many applications (at least in the web area where I work) where developers use the database as a simple storage area. Often with little or no knowledge about relational theory and the importance of data integrity.<br /><br />One thing that will not go away for a long long time is the need for people with good understanding of database fundamentals and the relational model. People that understand how to transform the business rules for the current application or project to a sound database model. Then if you decide to fetch or transform the data with dynamic sql, stored procedures or new .NET code doesn’t matter, you still need a solid database model to work with. This is what protects the integrity of the data in your database.<br /><br />I’m not saying that one should not learn .NET, XML or other new stuff but these things help you very little when it comes to modeling relational databases. That’s one area of "knowledge" I don’t think will change untill there comes a replacement for the relational model, and that’s very far away as I see it.<br /><br />Still it doesn’t hurt to know a lot of the new technologies, for example when troubleshooting data access or data edit performance issues. But then again, many of these issues often comes from the same origin -&gt; a bad database model to begin with. Still it’s never bad to learn new technologies! <img src=’/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif’ alt=’:)‘ /><br /><br />But in my view I think as a DBA (or DBE or DTA whatever <img src=’/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif’ alt=’:)‘ /> ) you first of all need knowledge of database modeling and the theory behind it. First when you have a solid normalized database model, you can begin and truly tune a database with indexes, partitioning data over filegroups etc. and actually apply many of the tips that are available on this site. It doesn’t matter if you are a DBA or an application developer where you at the same time are the one designing the database, you still need this knowledge to do a good job.<br /><br />That’s my 2 cents <img src=’/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif’ alt=’:p‘ /><br /><br />/Argyle
I agree with Argyle that application developers need to learn how design and properly code SQL Server databases. I run into this problem all of the time. Many of the performance problems I have seen that get blamed on SQL Server are actually problems causes by bad database design (designed by the coder) and bad Transact-SQL code.
Brad M. McGehee