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  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Becoming a DBA over-time (or not)

    Hello everyone.

    As I progress in my carreer I find myself dealing with databases more and more. In particular, I've been developing a keen interest in the Business Intelligence area. Not that I'm a pro at it, or in anything related to DBs - for that matter -, just that I'm very interested in BI.

    Recently I became aware of a promotion that would grant me training and (if succeeded) certification in the following items:

    MCTS: SQL Server 2005
    Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
    MCITP: Database Developer
    Microsoft Certified IT Professional
    MCITP: Database Administrator
    Microsoft Certified IT Professional

    This, for arround 3.800€, or $5,574.98, for you guys that are not familiar with Euro currency. This formation & certification path is being promoted by a well known local school, which (obviously) is a certified Microsoft partner, amongst others, such as Cisco, Oracle, etc.

    From my point of view it sounds like a very nice offer to get myself another foot in the database market, out of the pure .net development that I've done so far. But that, just there, is the catch of all this. I'm only familiar with "basic" database schema creation, tsql etc. Should I consider this as my first and premier formation solution? Should I wait and try and gather more knowledge on SQL Server development and administration, even if it means not grasping this promotion? Afterall, a single certification of those usually goes by for the price of all 3 of them here in Portugal. Also, they say you only need the very basic knowledge to attend the course classes and learn the stuff for the certifications.

    I'm 23 years old and I'm in the software development business since 2000. As the time passes by I find myself disliking pure development more and more and enjoying databases a lot more. In the near future 1-2 years I see myself getting more envolved in DBA roles, along with the current Project Management roles, ultimatelly dropping most of the client-server / web direct development.

    So, what I ask you Gurus is rather simple but at the same time ambiguous: Would this be a good starting point? Which resources would you guys advise me to extend my knowledge and aid in this path? How vital do you guys consider these 3 certifications to be considering SQL Server 2008 is just arround the corner?

    Best regards =)

  2. #2
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    A very quick response this and very much my own opinion.

    There is enough available for free on the web to pass the MCTS. No need to pay for the 2 or 3 courses MS recommend.
    I don't know re the others however I am studying for the DBA one and don't plan to attend any courses. Just sourcing materials myself and studying in my own time. Of course, I have a few years experience under my belt too so I see it as formalising my knowledge and filling in the gaps.

    If you are into BI why not look at the BI certifications? If you have client facing experience I would have thought this would be excellent for someone coming from the FE side of things. Pay is much better too as it is the current hot thing. Having said that you would probably need to really work on your DB design side of things.

  3. #3
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    I'm looking at this 3 formation and certification path as a way to learn the things that will be much needed for a BI specialization. What I mean by this is that I'm aiming to take this one down first and then go for the BI. Thinking of it as if it was a medical school: first you get the general clinic then you pick a specialization

    That's just my idea, anyway... Certainly not the fastest way, but from where I stand, it looks like the best way to gain the much needed knowledge and then aim for the higher grounds :>

    Thanks for the reply pootle flump

  4. #4
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    i did more or less the same thing but it was pre-dotnet, and I do not do training because it always just seems to be a waste of time. i wish they would tell me they would pay me to sit on my arse and read computer books for a week.

    just a couple of things to be weary of. the DBA is more likely to be awaken in the middle of the night or on the weekend because of some major problem. be prepared to be out numbered. Generally you will be working with multiple developers on multiple teams on multiple projects. i kind of miss being able to concentrate on one peice of software for a prolonged amount of time. another thing to watch out for when an application developer crosses over is adjusting the way you think about problems. you will probably need to learn to think in sets and not loops.

    as for the certification, too me it never seemed to buy me much except the ability to get by HR people looking at resumes and the little plastic MCP card in my wallet, but if it buys you a raise, go for it.
    “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.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I see the role of the "pure" DBA being phased out, especially with the advent of non UNIX database platforms such as SQL Server. In this day and age it seems being a DBA is not enough anymore, employers seem to want BI, DW and some development skills on top of the DBA function, in other words, a hybrid type of role.

    Things are/were different with Sybase and Oracle. I.e. what takes me 10 mins to do in DTS/SSIS, took me days to do with Oracle and Sybase (SQL, BCP, SQLoader, Ksh wrappers, etc.). Smaller shops don't really have a fit for a dedicated DBA role, they definitely want other skills in addition to the garden variety DBA skills.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMASchmed
    Personally, I see the role of the "pure" DBA being phased out...
    When I say DBA, I mean development and administration because I have never been anywhere where I have not a hand in both.

    As for DBAs being phased out, that will happen when application developers learn to code that simple SQL language properly and can design a database according to best practices. I feel pretty safe about my job. If it is being phased out, someone ought to tell the recruiters that still "check in" with me every now and then or the mass amounts of phone calls I get if I make the mistake of posting a resume.
    “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.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrasymachus
    you will probably need to learn to think in sets and not loops.
    Probably??!?!
    George
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  8. #8
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    That's for the replies.

    I'm not doing this to get a raise. I'm doing this because I'd like to be more qualified in that area. Ultimately that could mean a raise, of course.

    Indeed, as the time passes by more and more people know the basic things about SQL Server. However, in my opinion, that doesn't mean that the job is being phased out. Instead, it means that it is evolving into something more specific. That indeed could mean that the average company won't need a DBA for their average job. But then again, that's not something new in the IT world =)

    Sets instead of loops is a very interesting point. I find it to be a very interesting challange =)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diabolic
    Business Intelligence area.
    Is it Oxymoron week?
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=Thrasymachus]As for DBAs being phased out, that will happen when application developers learn to code that simple SQL language properly and can design a database according to best practices.[quote]

    bbbbbbbbbbbbwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwahahahahahahahahahaha h

    I feel pretty safe about my job. If it is being phased out, someone ought to tell the recruiters that still "check in" with me every now and then or the mass amounts of phone calls I get if I make the mistake of posting a resume.
    You would then have to post it as a developer

    True Story: Not 10 minutes ago, a develoer told one of my java guys that's now on another project, that when they do a call to get a disbursment voucher data, they have to make sure that all the withholding add to zero. They have a sproc for withholding that returns over 300 columns. Each Disb may have many withholdings....they told him to call the wholding sproc n times (10 or more usually) so the front end could add up the data

    morons
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  11. #11
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    Better Story. Yesterday.

    So I was meeting with someone and he tells me that some of the data will not be coming over from system X and that this data will be produced from an engine written by another developer. So I was looking at his C# in TFS and I do not see where he is saving his data anywhere. No database. No flat file. Nothing. And there is no GUI. It some kind of service.

    So I asked him how I was going to get this data he was not persisting and his email reply was "I was not aware of that requirement". His engine does all of these engineering calculations but for the life of me I can not tell what the point is if the results go nowhere.

    H1Bs with language issues make me so mad anytime I have to deal with them.
    “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.

  12. #12
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    You have no idea

    Some consulting firm was hired by HR back in 2000...they would fly them in from Atlanta to Jersey every week, they would work M-R and fly back on Friday...

    What a bunch of scrubs

    I was explaining to one of them how I wanted Oracle to be formatted because it had to go the the mainframe...yadayadayada

    They were so arrogant...then guy starts telling me he couldn't do it because it's boolean logic...I almost dropped right then and there

    He got fired
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diabolic
    Indeed, as the time passes by more and more people know the basic things about SQL Server. However, in my opinion, that doesn't mean that the job is being phased out. Instead, it means that it is evolving into something more specific. That indeed could mean that the average company won't need a DBA for their average job. But then again, that's not something new in the IT world =)
    I agree with what you're saying here; sort of

    The role of a DBA is indeed evolving; but that's not because SQL has become easier; but it is because people see it like that. Which means there are more people who advertise themselves as DBA's... If you know what I mean

    Anyhow, with more garbage on the scene, to be taken seriously as a DBA you need a wider range of skill offerings because DBAs have sort of become a bit of a joke in the database world (I mean no offence to anyone by this, it's just more apparent than it was, even 6 months ago!).

    What was my point again?

    Oh yeah; only do this if you're serious about it. Don't become just another DBA, become a good one... nay a great one.

    $0.02 over.
    George
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  14. #14
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    Anything....comes down to a few things....is it effecient, does it save code time, do you isolate impact to business changes?

    I guess I'm not a DBA

    This business is all about effeciency...if you don't know something and it's not working well..teach yourself, or come here

    Now, can someone pour another shot....please
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

    dbforums Yak CorralRadio 'Rita
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    I'm Good Once as I ever was

    The physical order of data in a database has no meaning.

  15. #15
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Kaiser
    Anything....comes down to a few things....is it effecient, does it save code time, do you isolate impact to business changes?

    I guess I'm not a DBA

    This business is all about effeciency...if you don't know something and it's not working well..teach yourself, or come here

    Now, can someone pour another shot....please


    Well spoken Brett, I have to admit I have learned allot here. I mean you can learn allot just reading post from others. You will find that sometimes their problems can be quite similar to yours. This is my favorite forum, I have learned allot more here and through books then from any training classes.

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