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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Unanswered: Basic rookie questions

    Hello everyone,

    this is my first post, and I wonder if my questions belong here or somewhere else. Please be patient, my intentions are good.

    I am a 43 year old Civil Engineer who recently immigrated to Canada. After two years struggling to get a position either as an Engineer (5 years of experience with Transportation Modelling software) or Patent Agent (Licensed in my country for 9 years, almost impossible to pass the licensing exams in Canada) I am considering migrating to the DBA arena, where there seems to be a solid, steady demand and not too much hostility for those who want to learn and join up.

    I have access to certification courses, a history of independent learning over the years and am used to tackling learning curves. My question is more about the three following issues:

    1) How difficult should it be to get a "foot on the door" in this industry once I get the first standard certification (which is bound to be MySQL related)?

    2) If you people were in my shoes, being able to cherry-pick a career in IT for starting from scratch, would you still pick DBA? Why so?

    3) Assuming that the choice of MySQL is indeed the wisest one for someone that needs a foot on the door, what sort of certification would you recommend I pursue first?

    Please feel free to ask any question that might be relevant to answering mine. Thanks in advance for any input you may provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    on the wrong server
    Provided Answers: 6
    Quote Originally Posted by alower View Post
    I am considering migrating to the DBA arena, where there seems to be a solid, steady demand and not too much hostility for those who want to learn and join up.
    you have not interviewd at my company. the secret here is that everyone gets a second interview because we only hire those crazy enough to come back after getting punched in the face in the first one.

    there is lots of work. and once you get past the junior ranks it pays pretty well, but that is because it's not for everyone. Being DBA in some shops to being tanatamount to being indestructable and not requiring sleep, food or the comapny of women.

    MySQL? Really? Go SQL Server or Oracle. More jobs I think. Less hassle with more mature platforms as well.

    I used to be a DBA. I transitioned to SQL developer and I am much happier now. At the end of my production DBA days my pancreas was failing , a six year relationship was ending, I was 265lb and I was 60 to 70 hours every week. It almost took me out.
    “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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Dear Thrasymachus,

    thanks for your answer. I was of course interested in the amount of pressure/weekly hours aspect as well, but fell it would be unpolite to ask that openly straightaway... does the "overwork" prospect inevitably apply to every niche of Database work, or are there specific product/positions where one might succeed in finding a reasonable balance between work and life?

    The few sources of information I had so far (mostly people working in the industry here in Ottawa) told me there is no such thing as entry-level positions for Oracle, which makes my prospects for ever getting an Oracle-related job very dishartening. Have to inform myself about the SQL server career though. Any tip on a source of information?

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