Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8

    Unanswered: Changing Careers - Software Developer to Database Developer

    Hello all. I'm giving serious thought on changing gears withing the IT world. For several years I have been a software developer who has been fortunate enough to have been involved in the needed databases. From just sketching out tables for the DBA to doing the database from the ground up and maintaining it during production. Along the way I've known that I didn't do as quality of a job as a knowledgeable DBA would do but given the situations I made do just fine.

    I am considering switching gears to the database side only, coding as secondary. Since I am basically familier with most aspects of SQL Server in a general way, I am looking to take that knowledge and become a "Professional". What I am looking for is a few books to help out. Maybe a "Become a DBA for Software Developers" or something. I know that mining these and other forums are very valuble but I'd like some other training materials as well.

    Have I been clear enough on what I am looking for? I don't quite feel like I have.

    Basically, what would you recommend for a good software developer who is looking on switching to becoming a good database person?

    I'd like to stay in SQL Server for now, since that is what they use here and it would give me an opportunity to practice.

    Also, do you see value in the studying process for certifications in this area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,799
    Provided Answers: 11
    As for certifications, you may want to check this thread:
    http://www.dbforums.com/showthread.php?t=1604836

    I do not know of any books like the one you describe. If you are looking to become an architect, and you are comfortable with SQL as a language, then you would probably want to look into some data modeling books. If you are looking for more of an administration career, then Kalen Delaney's "Inside SQL Server 2000" seems to be the book of choice (second only to BOL, naturally).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by MCrowley
    As for certifications, you may want to check this thread:
    http://www.dbforums.com/showthread.php?t=1604836

    I do not know of any books like the one you describe. If you are looking to become an architect, and you are comfortable with SQL as a language, then you would probably want to look into some data modeling books. If you are looking for more of an administration career, then Kalen Delaney's "Inside SQL Server 2000" seems to be the book of choice (second only to BOL, naturally).
    Thanks, I'll go look at that thread and check out that book. What is "BOL"? I assume "Books Online"? I'm sure that is what you mean but want to be sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,799
    Provided Answers: 11
    You are correct. Books OnLine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    Don't do it. I did it. Thinking about going back the other way. Maybe trying to be that architect guy. Sometimes I feel like the dba gets treated like the second class software guy even though I think the average dba makes a little more than the average developer and I get the feeling that good dbas are in shorter supply. When I was a web\software developer, I felt like I got more institutional recognition and glory. Now it seems, even though I am still involved in the development process, I get pulled in to solve the bad situations when the chips are really down and the client is already pissed. Nobody at the company meeting wants to talk about how I put humpty dumpty back together from some mess the developers created. They would rather forget humpty fell off the wall and talk about the new and improved dumpty.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus
    Don't do it. I did it. Thinking about going back the other way. Maybe trying to be that architect guy. Sometimes I feel like the dba gets treated like the second class software guy even though I think the average dba makes a little more than the average developer and I get the feeling that good dbas are in shorter supply. When I was a web\software developer, I felt like I got more institutional recognition and glory. Now it seems, even though I am still involved in the development process, I get pulled in to solve the bad situations when the chips are really down and the client is already pissed. Nobody at the company meeting wants to talk about how I put humpty dumpty back together from some mess the developers created. They would rather forget humpty fell off the wall and talk about the new and improved dumpty.
    Why did you make the switch in the first place? And when you decided to make the switch how did you go about doing it?

    I wonder if your negative experiences come from your place of work of the industry in general?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    How did I do it? A CIO came along and changed my job title and for a few years I did both app development and dba stuff at the same time. The .Net came and outdated my development skills and my dba skills got stronger.

    But think about it. When the developer has a big nasty db problem they can't solve, where does it go? The dba. Data corruption? dba. Application timing out? dba.

    My current shop is OK. Not the best plave I have been. Not the worst. I have actually seen it mature since I have been here.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    When you made the change did you just use the web and such to learn more or just dive in and had at it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1

    changing gears

    I am too a developer in a county planning role. Yes, its true that you can get a lot of WOW's when you develop something that people cannot even imagine of for next few years, but the bottom line is, they won't pay you much. While on the other side I see the SQL guys, get more pay. so I thinking of changing gears to be a SQL guy with development as a bonus

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey
    When you made the change did you just use the web and such to learn more or just dive in and had at it?
    Read books online. Read the better books. Participate in the forums. Always push yourself to create the best code\solution possible.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    Provided Answers: 54
    I'll throw my nickle's worth (two cents, adjusted for inflation) into this discussion.

    Being a developer has a lot to recommend it... I remember when I was just a developer, and could work a forty hour week. We got recogntion, and enough sleep.

    My transition to DBA was more of an evolution than a job change. I simply started to assume more an more responsibilities, learned more about what made the various software / wetware (people) needed, etc.

    The DBA is in many ways the "digital plumber". They end up being the "the buck stops here" for most kinds of software issues, the go between for the end users, the application developers, the net-weenies, and management. You tend to disappear deep inside the organization.

    You do loose something... I've never heard anyone introduced as "our star DBA", and you get very little public recognition. However, when people (inside or outside the organization) have a problem, you're often near the top of the list that they'll call for help.

    For the folks that want nice, neat, 40 hour weeks and get public recognition, a DBA is the last thing that I'd recommend. If you want to make a real difference, find out who are the real "movers and shakers" and become valuable to them, then being a DBA is a great gig.

    I've been a pure DBA for about 15 years, and have been in the cross over state for probably 25. While I grouse about things at times, I can't imagine doing anything else that I'd like better!

    -PatP

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus
    Read books online. Read the better books. Participate in the forums. Always push yourself to create the best code\solution possible.
    No problems there. I study/explore all the time, even though I've been doing it for quite a while.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan
    I'll throw my nickle's worth (two cents, adjusted for inflation) into this discussion.

    Being a developer has a lot to recommend it... I remember when I was just a developer, and could work a forty hour week. We got recogntion, and enough sleep.
    There is a difference to me. As a developer I've rarely worked just a 40 hour week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan
    My transition to DBA was more of an evolution than a job change. I simply started to assume more an more responsibilities, learned more about what made the various software / wetware (people) needed, etc.
    I've been involved in the database side for a while, and even been the "database guy" on small projects but it's always been just enough to get the project rolling or off the ground. I never felt like I had enough time to really learn what I was doing to make a solid database.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Phelan
    For the folks that want nice, neat, 40 hour weeks and get public recognition, a DBA is the last thing that I'd recommend. If you want to make a real difference, find out who are the real "movers and shakers" and become valuable to them, then being a DBA is a great gig.
    I'm more just looking for a change. I'm a bit burned out by what I am doing. I'd like to stay in what I am doing but with a different view. I am exploring database to do that. Also it would allow me to become a more complete developer.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    on the wrong server
    Posts
    8,835
    Provided Answers: 6
    Pat's pretty dead on about this. I think just need somen time off. It's been a year since I had a whole week off and maybe I am just feeling a little burned out myself.
    “If one brings so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Earnest Hemingway, A Farewell To Arms.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    8
    That could be my problem as well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •