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DBAs should be on CLOUD 9 - IT Trends

For all the talk and initial fear that the DBA is going the way of the Dodo (pronounced doh-doh) (an extinct flightless bird), due the advent of Cloud Technology, the opposite may be true.  Ironically, it may have been the move to the cloud that did in more IT jobs than the flightless bird (hey, they couldn’t fly to the cloudsJ)

More specifically, the adaptation of Windows Azure SQL Database, the platform formerly known as SQL Azure, has opened up a world of technological innovation, but left many database professional wondering if they ought to start learning a new trade.  Of course the reality is, with the constant advance in technology, one must always keep learning to stay ahead of the curve.

So, the future impact of the cloud is no different, DBA’s must learn new skills and adapt to new technologies within their chosen profession, if they wish to stay marketable and employed.  Even doctors, who have the best of non-tradable and non-outsourced skills, must continuously attend seminars and classes to update their knowledge of medical advances.

Earlier, when the cloud was still a mystery, folks were buzzing about Windows Azure, how it will affect the DBA, as it sure spelled doom for companion careers in networking, hardware, and system administrators.  Steve Jones, editor of SQLServerCentral.com, and also known as the Voice of the DBA recalls his participation in a panel discussion at a SQLSaturday event in Colorado about cloud computing, and its implications for the Future of DBAs.  You can read his thoughts by clicking on the highlighted link.

Basically, while infrastructure type jobs, and even the DBA need to install, deploy and configure databases may be slowing down as companies jump onto the cloud, there are still great opportunities to design, manage, secure, and mine data and more.  While the nature of the DBA skillset may change, the job itself isn’t going anywhere soon.

While some early doomsayers were declaring the “Death of the DBA”, (an article that has met its demise light years ahead of the DBA; the link is no longer active – ha!), and another one, The Database Administrator is Dead, in a greatly exaggerated title, that basically concludes, “the role of the DBA isn’t necessarily dead, it’s just moved to its new home at the datastore-as-a-service provider”

In contrast to these knee-jerk opinions, someone much closer the SQL Server community completely disagreed with the dba-death sentiment.  Brent Ozar, of Brent Ozar Unlimited, and SQL MVP, in his blog published, August 1, 2008 – clearly ahead of its time, exuberantly cheered, Long Live the DBA!  Brent gives 6 great reasons why the DBA will still be around for years to come, and expresses his confidence that the move towards the cloud will make database administrators even more vital.  I recently was involved in a project using SQL Server and Windows Azure, and can heartily agree the DBA work, you take it with you ;-)

In an article I read today, Ten IT Skills on the Brink of Extinction, which lists among them, Silverlight, and which should be of no surprise, COBOL, Fortran, and Other Mainframe Programming Languages. The SQL Server Community will be happy to know that the same article concludes that in the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey identified as growth areas for 2014 includes Database Administration!  Three cheers for the DBA!  Now get out there and embrace the cloud!

So, what to make of these early analyses of DBA doom and gloom?  Who knows – most of them were in 2012 – the year of the Mayan Prophecy, which we all know was another Y2K wash. But, writing here today in 2014, I can certainly say that rumors of the DBA’s death have been greatly exaggerated!


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Posted by Paulo A. Nascimento on 19 March 2014

Great article.

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