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  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Unanswered: Database Administrator

    I've got an interview for a position of junior Database Administrator. I have mainly worked in the programming field, and have a bit of experience but not any in depth knowledge in databases. E.g. I know enough to get by.

    Basically I want to know what a Database Administrator does. And what to swot up on. What are the dat to day duties of a Database Administrator.

    They have said they want someone to "manage medium-sized databases and complex spreadsheet based systems." What does this mean, practically I mean.

    Cause I can't help thinking me producing daft queries and reports will cut it. Or is it not as complicated as it sounds.

    Any advice would be appreciated. They work with access databases.

  2. #2
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    "Database administrator" means different things to different people. Do you know if your prospective client/employer seperates "administrator" from "developer"? In general, "administration" involves backup schemes, patching, routine maintenance, and misc troubleshooting. Developers do the actual data modelling and implementations.
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daviiie
    And what to swot up on.
    Chris Dates' "Introduction to Database Systems". Go to DBDebunk.com and buy the whole Foundations series as well. (Note: I'm not endorsing that site's political views, just that when it comes to the math they've done their homework.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daviiie
    I've got an interview for a position of junior Database Administrator. I have mainly worked in the programming field, and have a bit of experience but not any in depth knowledge in databases. E.g. I know enough to get by.

    Basically I want to know what a Database Administrator does. And what to swot up on. What are the dat to day duties of a Database Administrator.

    They have said they want someone to "manage medium-sized databases and complex spreadsheet based systems." What does this mean, practically I mean.

    Cause I can't help thinking me producing daft queries and reports will cut it. Or is it not as complicated as it sounds.

    Any advice would be appreciated. They work with access databases.
    It depends on what your new employer expect from you and what your duties and responsibilities are as explained to you. So I'm just going to tell you what I do as a Database Administrator for medium size database.

    I made sure that the server database are always available for users to access from their front-end applications in the corporate network.
    I install database applications in network workstations.
    I back up database periodically.
    I repair and compact.
    I provide security level to specific users.
    I maintained records integrity and consistency by designing interface applications to mandate vital data entries.
    I design interface for certain groups of users to limit access to certain fields.
    I design custom reports.
    I archive and clean up old records.
    I design web-based interface.
    I design standalone programs to do my routine or repair task on database, so that when I'm out there enjoyng my vacation, I can just designate someone in the office to click on the icons to execute the tasks.
    I coordinate with network engineers to troubleshoot problems when performance is suffering.
    I initiate hardware recommendatios before performing database upgrades.
    I trained end users.

    Most managers and MS Office users like to manipulate data in Spreadsheet format. So if they ask you to pull out certain records from your database, they would prefer spreadsheet format when you send it to them.

    Most importantly is to be familiar immediately with the database structure assigned to you so that you can perform your SQL accurately.

    Programmers are better candidates to be Database Administrator, because they can drill down and manipulate records by programming codes. For example doing global changes on records across the linked tables from a source. You'll discover this if you inherited a not-so-clean database.

    Good luck

  5. #5
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    fredservillon That sound like my job
    also
    I change the daily backup Tapes.

    Look after 124 computers

    Man the help desk


    my job title is 'Systems Support Analyst'

    Good luck
    hope this help

    See clear as mud


    StePhan McKillen
    the aim is store once, not store multiple times
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  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Database Adminstrator

    My role as Database Administrator is a little different:

    1. I manage everything with our SQL Server to include, db creation, field changes, triggers, stored procedures, backups, security, etc.
    2. I manage 3 developers, assigning program tasks, priorities, etc.
    3. I work with other managers to set priorities.
    4. I train new developers, a data analyst, and some end users.
    5. I do a fair amount of programming, keeping up-to-date on the latest technologies and what languages and tools we use.
    6. I monitor and create high-end totals for users as well as documentation.
    7. I'm held accountable for all exports to our evaluators, DOA, totals, and checks created from our database.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005
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    Duplicate disregard
    Last edited by fredservillon; 01-31-06 at 21:59.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2005
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    It's very interesting that a DBA wears different hats at all times. I guess the bottom line is "Whatever it takes to get the job done" and everything you do is an opportunity to challenge your versatilities If your attitude is "I can do it" you'll find it self-rewarding and self-satisfying and it's good to feel good and guess what? you're always sharpening yourself.
    Last edited by fredservillon; 01-31-06 at 21:58.

  9. #9
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    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by Daviiie
    Basically I want to know what a Database Administrator does. And what to swot up on. What are the dat to day duties of a Database Administrator.
    As noted, DBA is a very fluid term. Teddy hit the nail on the head - find out what it means to them. If you can't find out directly, consider the size of the company, team, the purpose of the systems (are they business critical, internal\ external facing, highly transactional or predominantly for reporting) etc.. This will give you some idea. If the team is 50 strong then it is probably quite a narrow responsibility. If there will be two of you then expect to have a much wider remit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daviiie
    They have said they want someone to "manage medium-sized databases and complex spreadsheet based systems." What does this mean, practically I mean.
    I would suggest that a pure DBA role on medium sized Access dbs would perhaps take up a few hours a week assuming they are not in a complete state - remember that a large Access db is only ~2gig.
    I "administrate" access databases that I will tinker with maybe a couple of times a year. As such, I suspect the role will be much wider than the narrow confines of database administration.

    Read up on database design and normalisation (I'm sure I've seen a link round here somewhere....). The Black Books edition of ...(can't remember the precise name - perhaps The Access Developers Handbook)... is execlent as it covers relational theory (even some theory that doesn't make it into Access) as well as the product itself. Start thinking in terms of sets rather than iterative code - you can do a lot in SQL a lot faster than looping through recordsets\ cursors.

    Ultimately - the more you can find out what they are looking for and tailor your study around that the better.

    HTH
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  10. #10
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    Ah yes - here it is

    Quote Originally Posted by Daviiie
    They have said they want someone to "manage .... complex spreadsheet based systems."
    Uh oh - I would want to know a lot more about that too.
    Last edited by pootle flump; 01-31-06 at 15:00.
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