Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    20

    Question Career Switch - School Advice

    Okay, I need some advice from the Database experts out there.

    I know Access 2000, and love making forms, reports etc. I use the GUI for the queries so I know I need to pick up some SQL etc language.

    I'm interested in either doing DBA work or being an applications developer using VB Net or Oracle Developer etc. My plan of attack is to go back to school for night classes to fill in all the holes about computers and IT that I missed (I learned about computers on the job, and there's still lots I don't know...like programming with Java, VB, C++).

    I also found some classes I can take to help me pass Oracle tests to get the Oracle Developer Professional Certificate.

    Does this sound reasonable/do-able? I'm giving myself a 2 yr timeline, seeing as I have a wife and two young kids, so I have to do night classes and also need to see my family!

    Any advice in general about Oracle vs SQL Server? Is one used more for certain applications than others, or are they competing for the same clients?

    ANY HELP is greatly appreciated, as I am feeling my way in the dark to start a new career but not really sure who to talk to.

    Thank you!
    Dante

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    Just an observation, but a DBA has a very different perspective than the average application developer. A DBA has to think in terms of the data "universe", while the application developer rarely thinks beyond the current recordSet (or equivilent), and often not beyond the current row. There are people who can successfully make this mind-switch, but they are rather rare.

    As a general rule, Oracle is used in larger shops with more formalized development structures. There are usually less opportunities to do RAD-like "fun stuff" in Oracle shops than in comparable Microsoft SQL Server shops.

    Without a lot more insight into what you already know, what you want to do, and the educational opportunities available, I can't offer any detailed insight. You plan sounds reasonable, but I can't say that with any real authority.

    -PatP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    706
    I suggest that instead of going back to school for more education, you should instead seek out your education where you found it the first time: on the job. I also suggest that a great deal of the information and know-how that you seek is really right there, in that very computer you are using now.

    Right now, you're looking at a career change and what you are focusing on is (naturally...) what it is you don't know. You figure that, once you do know all the stuff you don't-know right now, you'll be "set." But that's a strategy that's fairly laden with brambles and sharp thorns.

    How about focusing on what you do know? You know Access-2000, and while you may not yet understand all of the ins and outs of it, you do know how to take real-world requirements and solve them, to some degree or another, using this tool. If you took the time now to study all of the documentation that is buried in the on-line helps (note: not all of the available help files are installed by default!), you'd know a great deal more. Now, how many employers are looking for that level of knowledge and ability? A great many, I assure you...

    Now, if you want to know more about how Access can be linked to other servers, and how those servers are used in a business... look for a job around town where people are using Access in that capacity. Once again you are leveraging all of what you do know.

    Finally: forget "certifications!" Others might disagree with me, even vhemently, but I'll stand by my opinion that "certificates" are simply a product. They are a very expensive way to get information that you can get just as well at Barnes & Noble. Better that you should locate a job, using what you do know, that puts you in the vicinity of employing Access (which you do know...) with Oracle (which you don't).

    Employers do not hire people based on what they "know." They hire them for what they can "do." Knowledge is a necessary factor, but a solid dependable work-ethic and the wisdom to understand the difference between knowledge and a bluff, is worth far more.

    Finally-again: don't overlook the employer you have right now. Explain your goals and ideas and even your frustrations, and give your employer a fair chance to try to fill them in the service of her company.
    ChimneySweep(R): fast, automatic
    table repair at a click of the
    mouse! http://www.sundialservices.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    I think that if Dante33 is looking for a formal position in an Oracle shop, then the certificate has some value, since it will probably influence the opinion of TPTB (the powers that be) managing an Oracle shop.

    I personally have little use for certificates... Certificates purport to show that a person has the ability to pass a certification test. That has very little value to me in the real world. As pointed out by sundialsvcs, certificates aren't particularly useful where the rubber actually meets the road. That doesn't mean that a certificate doesn't have value for getting a job, since management in some shops is very far removed from where the rubber does meet the road.

    I guess the question that faces dante33 is where they want to get, and how they want to get there. This is a complicated, multi-faceted question, and one that only they can answer.

    -PatP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    20

    Thoughts---

    Thanks Pat for the response and thoughts. I did some more thinking and reading over the weekend, and the DBA route is one that I think I am not too keen on (my experience and likes are more for the upfront design side, than what I found out is "maintenance" and "troubleshooting").

    The schooling is primarily for getting a thorough knowledge of computers and their ins and outs...the Oracle classes I could actually skip and replace them with more classes in programming.

    Thanks for the info on the RAD-Stuff-maybe SQL Server is a better option, especially in light of my already existing ACESSS 2000 knowledge/experience.

    So, as I am thinking out loud, take the classes with a view to being more computer savvy, and emphasizing languages to help my application development side, all the while, growing in ACCESS 2000 (at work) and seeking a potential linking up with SQL Server in the future.

    I.T. is so huge, it is easy to get overwhelmed and confused.

    Thanks again!
    Dante



    Originally posted by Pat Phelan
    Just an observation, but a DBA has a very different perspective than the average application developer. A DBA has to think in terms of the data "universe", while the application developer rarely thinks beyond the current recordSet (or equivilent), and often not beyond the current row. There are people who can successfully make this mind-switch, but they are rather rare.

    As a general rule, Oracle is used in larger shops with more formalized development structures. There are usually less opportunities to do RAD-like "fun stuff" in Oracle shops than in comparable Microsoft SQL Server shops.

    Without a lot more insight into what you already know, what you want to do, and the educational opportunities available, I can't offer any detailed insight. You plan sounds reasonable, but I can't say that with any real authority.

    -PatP

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    20

    Career Advice Thanks

    I really appreciate your advice (and Pat's too), it's helping me really get a handle on what exactly I'm wanting to do. I think about this stuff alot, but don't have any DB buddies to throw out ideas to and get a sense of its practicality.

    I don't think certificates are out of the question for me, but without any real experience, it would be a tough sell to get me in the door. If it's RAD that I'm looking for, based on Pat's advice, maybe reading up on SQL Server is a better bet, and then taking some cheap city college classes just to get the nitty gritty on it. Then, with my ACCESS knowledge, I might "Swing" over to the SQL Server side of things. Just thinking out loud.

    I agree with you in working more with what I already know...I am trying to get on as many "tool" development projects at work as I can right now at work. I'm also using the summer time to update all the tools I have already built, to put together a nice little CD for future job hunts.

    Thanks again for your realistic appraisal of my situation,
    Dante


    Originally posted by sundialsvcs
    I suggest that instead of going back to school for more education, you should instead seek out your education where you found it the first time: on the job. I also suggest that a great deal of the information and know-how that you seek is really right there, in that very computer you are using now.

    Right now, you're looking at a career change and what you are focusing on is (naturally...) what it is you don't know. You figure that, once you do know all the stuff you don't-know right now, you'll be "set." But that's a strategy that's fairly laden with brambles and sharp thorns.

    How about focusing on what you do know? You know Access-2000, and while you may not yet understand all of the ins and outs of it, you do know how to take real-world requirements and solve them, to some degree or another, using this tool. If you took the time now to study all of the documentation that is buried in the on-line helps (note: not all of the available help files are installed by default!), you'd know a great deal more. Now, how many employers are looking for that level of knowledge and ability? A great many, I assure you...

    Now, if you want to know more about how Access can be linked to other servers, and how those servers are used in a business... look for a job around town where people are using Access in that capacity. Once again you are leveraging all of what you do know.

    Finally: forget "certifications!" Others might disagree with me, even vhemently, but I'll stand by my opinion that "certificates" are simply a product. They are a very expensive way to get information that you can get just as well at Barnes & Noble. Better that you should locate a job, using what you do know, that puts you in the vicinity of employing Access (which you do know...) with Oracle (which you don't).

    Employers do not hire people based on what they "know." They hire them for what they can "do." Knowledge is a necessary factor, but a solid dependable work-ethic and the wisdom to understand the difference between knowledge and a bluff, is worth far more.

    Finally-again: don't overlook the employer you have right now. Explain your goals and ideas and even your frustrations, and give your employer a fair chance to try to fill them in the service of her company.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    10,322
    Wow...what to say...

    Someone trying to break in to the IT market, when there is no market...

    Where do you live?

    Access does use SQL btw.....

    You can see the code it generates....not always the nicest...most fundamental...

    Once you push the gui, it get's messy....

    Understanding SQL (any SQL syntax) is important, even if you only want to be a a front end developer....

    Oracle? Forget it....might as well learn Mainframe...
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    20

    Re; WOW

    Hey Brett,

    Thanks for the info. Yeah, kinda crazy, but I figure IT will always be around, so if I need to get in, the earlier the better. I'm giving myself 2 years, and since I'm kinda in it a little bit (with GIS database stuff), I'm praying it won't be too much of a rude awakening.

    Yeah, SQL is on my list of learnings; I peak in at the SQL view in ACCESS whenever I run a query, just to see how it breaks out in that language.

    Can you expand on the "Forget Oracle"...mainframe comment, I wasn't getting it.

    Thanks,
    Dante

    Originally posted by Brett Kaiser
    Wow...what to say...

    Someone trying to break in to the IT market, when there is no market...

    Where do you live?

    Access does use SQL btw.....

    You can see the code it generates....not always the nicest...most fundamental...

    Once you push the gui, it get's messy....

    Understanding SQL (any SQL syntax) is important, even if you only want to be a a front end developer....

    Oracle? Forget it....might as well learn Mainframe...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    10,322
    What's your career now?

    I've only seen/ worked with Oracle 8i....

    painful...conceptually a lot like DB2 on the mainframe....a totally different animal...the mainframe that is...

    I'd say there's a lot of legacy market out there....

    Oracle...think they just tried to buy Peoplesoft...grid computing, Oracle Financials...

    Lot's of package stuff....

    Been doing this stuff a while....don't know anyone who started as a DBA, except the pure dba guys, but then they have no clue, as to system develoment...

    Hell I started a low as you could go..

    Mount TP6250
    Separate 9700 Listings
    Expiditer
    QA
    COBOL Developer
    Silly 4GL Tools
    Business Analyst
    Data Analyst
    Data Modeler
    Database Designer
    Training
    DB2 OS/390
    Back to COBOL/DB2
    VB/Access/ect
    SQL 6.5
    Oracle 8.1
    SQL 7.0/2000

    too much to list...

    I'd say target SQL Server Application development...stored procedures, ect...
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    10,322
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    20

    Response

    Hey Brett,

    Thanks for the elaboration...so sounds like you're saying Oracle=Pain in the butt.

    dang, I'm just trying to move up and find a career. Any websites you know of where there's lots of career advice on what to do and how to start out (in the IT field, that is)? the Chit Chat forum seemed to be the closest I could find.

    I do mapping and profiling for a retail Co., reports, maps, and also database analysis of customers and where to find more through mailing.

    I like it, but not much place to go up. Looking for a new place to grow...before I get too comfortable being here.

    I've built lots of little Access Tools using queries, macros, tables, reports, and forms, and I really like the user interface design ( getting the forms quick and easy to understand). I also like it when someone comes to me and says "we want to build a tool that would do...xyz." Then we discuss, etc, etc and draw up some basic ideas of what would happen, meet some more, etc, etc.

    To me that sounds closest to application development. And I also thought I'd throw in knowledge of a bigger DB product than ACCESS, but more on the design end of building a database from scratch, than monitoring the thing, and everyone sreaming at you when it shuts down.

    To Review: Goals of mine-
    1. Visual Basic 6 (for development)
    2. SQL (for DB)
    3. SQL Server
    4. Access 2000
    5. Good understanding of Database Design


    Any thoughts, bokos, etc, let me know. I appreciate your time.

    Dante




    Originally posted by Brett Kaiser
    What's your career now?

    I've only seen/ worked with Oracle 8i....

    painful...conceptually a lot like DB2 on the mainframe....a totally different animal...the mainframe that is...

    I'd say there's a lot of legacy market out there....

    Oracle...think they just tried to buy Peoplesoft...grid computing, Oracle Financials...

    Lot's of package stuff....

    Been doing this stuff a while....don't know anyone who started as a DBA, except the pure dba guys, but then they have no clue, as to system develoment...

    Hell I started a low as you could go..

    Mount TP6250
    Separate 9700 Listings
    Expiditer
    QA
    COBOL Developer
    Silly 4GL Tools
    Business Analyst
    Data Analyst
    Data Modeler
    Database Designer
    Training
    DB2 OS/390
    Back to COBOL/DB2
    VB/Access/ect
    SQL 6.5
    Oracle 8.1
    SQL 7.0/2000

    too much to list...

    I'd say target SQL Server Application development...stored procedures, ect...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    10,322
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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

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

Posting Permissions

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