Future of the DBA
I have been wondering about the future of the plain vanilla DBA. I remember back when DBA jobs would appear that had a bunch of extreme skill requirements attached to them. Those seem to be the norm now. I changed jobs from DBA to the nebulous title of Systems Integrator. This translates to "run the databases and hardware but make all the apps for them too." Fewer and fewer of my friends seem to be just running DBs. Are we going to a future where (in small to medium organizations at least) there are just "tech guys" who do it all from hardware up through transactional web front-ends? I haven't decided if I should burrow deeper into straight database work or keep up this diversification.
As someone new to Oracle, and having seen the job advertisements requiring the candidate to be knowledgable in many areas, I too wonder if I should bite the bullet and learn Java, .net, c++ and the like on top of what I'm trying to put into real world experience. I have some VB6 experience, but that is only on the client side.
Would it be wise for me to go and become learned at Linux...?, I have thought about that as well.
The DBA is dead! Long live the DBA!
I think I may go back to growing my hair, smokin dope and playing guitar again. Now I got a right to sing da blues!
We have been over this lot times. Be ready to change hats when market goes bad or your manager starts thinking why do I need this guy/girl anymore in our shop?
If you are new to Oracle, I suggest getting a firm grip on the DBA skills (if you enjoy that kind of work). Once you have a solid core talent then you could branch off. You may find, as I did, that the "branching off" will be forced upon you. I started having to repair apps whose developers had departed because nobody was available to do the work. Later, I was handier enough to write the apps myself. It would be a shame to be a dabbler in many things but have no solid background in anything.
I myself have deleved deep into the scary world of peoplesh*t apps.
Add this to my Oracle repetoire and I'm a serious threat again.
I don't know how many pure dba jobs there are out there, hmm well, lemme think here, smells like a survey to me.
I agree with you that I should get my DBA skills to expert level, but I think that would only apply if I were in the "real world" work force. The only DBA experience I'm getting at this time is working with a personal(family) database on my system, at home.
This database is small, only one table and 6 fields, it is not critical at all.
I've incorporated MS Access as the front end, and using Access's forms and reports for whatever print outs I may need.
As for the Oracle part of this database, I query different, applicable views and tales, but I don't see what I'm gaining by doing this, I can't update the system and monitor it at the same time, as in a real world situation. I'm the data entry clerk and the DBA. I really don't know how to use what opportunities I do have to get me to a higher level of skills, advice is always welcome here.
OS: LInux, Windows(Get a hang of one the other is not that hard to pick up). Yes Linux will help.
DB: Oracle,SQL Server, MYSql, Postgres etc Gather as much info as you can. My Transition from Oracle to SQL Server was a good one. I am sitting with a far better and comfortable job.(Because I prefer to also do SA/Web Admin jobs, they just found it great)
Web Development : ASP, JSP, PHP. Start with one and you'll get a hang of the other 2 or more.
Languages: You'll learn along the way. VB6 experience is great to start off. You'll come across stuff like perl,tcl,python, and ofcourse C, C#,C++, not to mention java.
This is a modern DBA. A jack of all and master of none. All I do is try to make my database important, an excellent repository to not only store data but also present it somewhere else. Also gather system statistics of the domain/ldap etc and try to help out my SA colleagues.(Actually helping myself).
One problem however will remain is the job role and try to jump off from that to a more decision making position where you can "also" implement the changes you suggest.(Thus proving to be more useful than previously thought.)
Hope that helps...