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Database Admins: Optimized for Career Success

With Cloud and Big Data booming for businesses of all shapes and sizes, there’s never been a better time to be a Database Administrator.

Oracle DBAs and data architects who can help companies extract every last drop of value from their data are in demand all over Europe.

Job descriptions for high-end DBA tech roles in Berlin, Cork, Dublin and London suggest experience with moving IT infrastructure into the cloud is highly sought after, along with architects capable of building logical data maps of company systems, before aggregating what’s relevant for report and analysis. Systems analysts and developers who can integrate data from third party sources can look forward to a busy year too.

To make the most out of your career, it pays to have some business sensibilities as well as a skill set that extends beyond the obvious SQL/Oracle/ETL ones

The upshot of all this is that the traditional DBA role is transforming into a more strategic one. You are, after all, managing the company’s critical data – an extremely high value asset. To make the most out of your career, it pays to have some business sensibilities as well as a skill set that extends beyond the obvious SQL/Oracle/ETL ones.

Understand the business issues

Your ability to understand the business issues that drive demand for the services and data you manage elevates you beyond IT ‘executor’ and into the realm of complex problem solver. Take a consultative approach to your work. Treat the business like it’s your client – your expertise helps them get what they need from their data, when they need it. Your ability to anticipate those needs makes you indispensable.

Ensure your data is managed and served effectively

Don’t just sit there waiting for requirements to filter down from developers – play a role in the architectural process and be a part of ensuring that data is managed and served effectively from the word go. Bowing out from this part of the process reduces you to bit-part player, who only gets noticed when there’s a security breach, data is lost or queries perform at a snail’s pace – issues you could have flagged before they became problems.


While you’re busy throwing yourself into making a meaningful contribution to the architecture, don’t forget your diplomacy skills. DBAs are often viewed as a roadblock by developers – make sure you’re able to be assertive without being abrasive when it comes to articulating requirements.

The command line

If you want to get into Big Data and Hadoop, start getting comfortable with the command line. As Hadoop architect and Oracle ACE Director Gwen Shapira puts it, ‘Point-and-click DBAs and ETL developers need not apply.’ Shapira also suggests Hadoop wannabes brush up on their Linux skills: ‘Hadoop runs on Linux, so that’s where much of the troubleshooting will happen.’

Keep learning

Developments like Cloud and Big Data have shaken things up for DBAs, but the opportunities for career growth and development are huge. Check out this list of some of the Best certifications in 2015  for DBAs, database developers, data analysts and pretty much anyone working with databases.

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