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The DBA is Dead Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:57 PM
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I think it's too easy to just poo poo the claim. The author of that article was talking about a specific development approach using a dev-ops, service oriented architecture with cloud backends, and the role of the DBA in that environment is far from clear. In that mode, developers (teams) are supposed to own their own services from top to bottom. Because the theory is that each service is fully independent and shares nothing, including data. Any data integration between services runs through API's.

In that environment, the operational tasks (backup, DR, monitoring) are handled by the cloud data provider. And responsibility falls on the developers to set them up to meet their SLA. Instead of a shared data store, data consistency is managed by a pipeline or messaging model. Since data is not globally shared, there is no "crown jewels" for the DBA to protect. The place where I see the DBA as offering the most benefit in that environment is as a person with a deep knowledge of data technologies who can provide that expertise to other teams. That is a very different way of working than the ownership model most of us are used to. But since that model provides huge advantages in getting products to market quickly, it's one we need to get used to.
Post #1536085
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:38 PM
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The source data still has to be cleansed stored etc. So there will always be jobs with source data providers. Also, corporations are generating massive amounts of data (much of which is sensitive), and they need help storing, aggregating and making sense of the data.

Just because someone is making a mashup app for Iphone users at home doesn't mean that DBA's are doomed.
Post #1536099
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:53 PM


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If the phrase "The DBA is Dead" is like saying "Dinosaurs are Dead", then it's not reallly true, because we're surrounded by the descendents of dinosaurs and VAX administrators who evolved into something new. It is true that the DBA who doesn't adapt and keep up with technology and expectations certainly is dead. If you're just a schmuck who clocks in at 9pm and out at 5pm, following a check list of daily tasks and trying not to rock the boat, then you are are good as dead.

Even if the organization automates or outsources the more routine backup and monitoring tasks, there are so many other things a DBA can focus their time on. When things slow down, the gap between disaster recovery and troubleshooting, the DBA can create opportunity by promoting initiatives like upgrading to the next version of SQL Server or building a reporting data mart. That's the real value of a human DBA, the ability to analyze and innovate solutions outside the box.
Post #1536115
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 2:59 PM


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Post #1536118
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2014 3:45 PM


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Eric M Russell (1/29/2014)
Even if the organization automates or outsources the more routine backup and monitoring tasks, there are so many other things a DBA can focus their time on. When things slow down, the gap between disaster recovery and troubleshooting, the DBA can create opportunity by promoting initiatives like upgrading to the next version of SQL Server or building a reporting data mart. That's the real value of a human DBA, the ability to analyze and innovate solutions outside the box.

Or even stepping out of the DBA box to build the automation for the network.

For example my app was on the way out when the Sr. Sys Admin discovered we had been reporting AD user licensing the wrong way for years. He asked me for help. I then built an automated system that works on a nightly to monthly basis to report logins, users, uptime status and multiple other things from over a hundred hosted domains. I also automated local backups for the hosted apps on the hosted servers.

That gives me a value added status to the company. I have always taken the time to see if I can do some sort of DBA task to make everyone work more efficiently. So we aren't dead if we can add value.




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Post #1536123
Posted Friday, January 31, 2014 4:22 AM
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I am sure the role of the DBA will continue to change. But dead? Certainly not.

The DBA isn't dead. He just smells funny. (Zappa)
Post #1536704
Posted Friday, January 31, 2014 9:57 AM
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I think the term DBA is quite fuzzy.

There are many technical specializations within this blanked title that are widely different in skill set.

Take your pick from this small list for example:

* Administrating the server + backup chain;
* Optimizing systems and individual databases + applications
* Data-modelling / Data architecture tasks for new systems

There are more, but some will be very heavily oriented to keeping a server running and managing backup/restore, while others will be exclusively development side or troubleshoot side.

As for becoming obsolete...data is the lifeblood of companies, even modern societies as a whole when economically viewed. As long as is stays this way and people do not become mentally extremely capable (trough augmentation or accelerated evolution), information technology jobs will stay. People that understand data and/or how to handle it will be needed. Same goes for programmers which also got declared soon obsolete many times over.

It is pretty certain that for a long time to come, information technology jobs will stay in demand.
Post #1536872
Posted Saturday, February 1, 2014 7:50 PM


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I put predictions of the "Death of the DBA" right up there with predictions that the Y2K problem and the end of the Mayan calendar were going to be the end of the Earth.

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1537118
Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 8:29 AM


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Jeff Moden (2/1/2014)
I put predictions of the "Death of the DBA" right up there with predictions that the Y2K problem and the end of the Mayan calendar were going to be the end of the Earth.

A couple of years back, I was blindsided by "11/11/11" and had to do an emergency mass data update on birth dates. Also, there is that looming June 6, 2079 threat ...
Post #1537356
Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 8:35 AM
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OMG!!!

June 6 - The smalldatetime fields in SQL-Server databases will wrap around to January 1, 1900.

I had no clue. Have to start getting ready for this. Thanks for the heads up!!!
Post #1537360
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