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From DBA to DBAA


From DBA to DBAA

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Ken Shapley
Ken Shapley
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Interesting role "DBAA". I've been in the IT profession for years and titles like Adminstrator, Engineer, Architect, Developer at any given time seem to overlap or merge or split depending on where your at and who's in charge and who respects who. I don't think there is an idea role that you can put it all in a single can, but this was an interesting article none the least.
Wayne West
Wayne West
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I tend to agree, Tim. Perhaps it's a matter of scale. In a large organization with a large DBA staff, perhaps a highly skilled DBA with an MBA who understands the business flows, that person could be valuable as a DBAA. That person would also be a prime candidate for Senior/Lead DBA. But in smaller organizations, I think it is frequently going to be incumbent upon the DBA or the senior application developer to learn those flows.

A lot depends on separation of duties. I am THE DBA for a city. Sounds lofty until you drill down to the city having less than 1200 employees, the IT department having maybe 60 employees, and I'm the only DBA. I'm also not an application developer, there are people who have been here for 10+ years who understand how the City work processes flow. I mainly need to know if the database needs to be 24/7 or banker's hours and whether or not it has any external input/output (DTS). Aside from that, I manage the server and coordinate with the network guys for backups.

If I were the senior DBAA for a State, it would be a different story. I don't think it would be possible for one person to know the business functions and flows of all areas, it's just too diversified. For such an organization you'd probably want a DBAA in each division of government, but knowing how government is funded, I don't think that you could afford it.



Scale. That's what's important. Which reminds me, I need to clean my bathtub.

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson
Wayne West
Wayne West
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There are some reasons to look for the next step in your career, regardless of whether or not it is with the same organization. The first is blocking. If there are people with less seniority below you, you staying in one place may be denying them promotion. Second, some companies have fixed-step pay scales, and once you hit the top, you might only be getting cost of living increases from that point forward.

I fully agree that not everyone should dutifully stomp up the corporate ladder. A lot of us like "being in the trenches" and not having our week filled with meetings. We just want to work and keep things running smoothly.

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson
jeffrey yao
jeffrey yao
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Thanks a lot to everyone who makes a comment here, your comments are great!

I'd like to shed some lights on why I coined this DBAA term here. My personal background is a DBA with a MBA degree (Wayne, we have some same thoughts reading your email)

My ex-employer is a company that needs to be heavily audited due to its organization nature (non-profit). However, to meet these rigious auditing requirments, we spent tons of time in doing anything that can satisfy those auditors. This practice leads me to continuously think of one thing, how can we meet the auditing requirments without compromisng our database administration quality if we have to put so much time to auditing? How come there is no technical auditing regarding database administration quality such as db admin process, db admin efficiency, db admin cost, etc, etc? But these topices are no doubt beyond my daily responsiblity as a dba, who simply takes care of the health of my db environment plus doing all those mandatory checklist work required by the auditors. Finally, this leads me to believe these "big" topics should be the call of somebody who has expert knowledge of db administration while on the other hand, need to spend time in thinking these strategic questions. Database administration is a young career field compared with software development. We see lots of software engineering books, but I never see a book dedicated to database administration, but I believe with time going as db administration becomes more mature and plays more important role in our real life, we will see this type of books coming out in near future.

I noticed MS has a new certification for data architect, but this is different from my proposed DBAA role (no doubt there is some overlap). To me a data architect is more of data model build, data layer design and data process. But DBAA thinks more of administration in terms of efficiency, ROI and the framework of achieving the administration goal. In some sense, it has lots of common aspects as business administration but in more technical way and in much smaller scope.

Anyway, if my article can trigger some useful disscussions and lead to some fruitful thoughts to our DBA community, I'd say I have achieved my original intention already

Thanks again for all our great comments which also help me to think from other perspectives.

Kind regards,

Jeffrey





Loner
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From what I understand, database architect job is totally different from a DBA. In my old company the database architect worked with the DBA, and in most cases from my point of view, a SQL Sever developer can move into a database architect position easier than a DBA.
Since a database developer has to keep up with the business and keep contact with users, not liked the DBA, in my old company, the DBA mostly worked with the server engineers instead of the business users.
Definitely if the database architect has DBA skills would be ideal, but most important the database architect needs to understand the business requirements and company direction.

my 2 cents.
EugeneZ-162636
EugeneZ-162636
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< SQL Sever developer can move into a database architect position easier than a DBA.>

It is not true


Loner
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Eugene - can you give a reason why ?
ChrisMoix-87856
ChrisMoix-87856
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These titles (SQL Server Developer, DBA) are so generic that a blanket statement like that doesn't really help. Just start looking for a job and see what activities and responsibilities show up under a help wanted add for a DBA.

In some companies, SQL Server Developers are just developers who can query a database. In some companies, DBAs just make sure that the backups ran last night, etc.

Sometimes, SQL Server Developer is a title for someone who knows SQL Server inside and out and optimizes, tunes, etc. In some companies, DBAs do both t-sql development and administration, and much more.

My title is DBA, but I do some coding, some database administration (server jobs, manage security, add users, etc.), and a lot of performance tuning and research.

Like I said above, the titles and responsibilities just vary too much from company to company to use a blanket title to define what a person is capable of.





Loner
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Thanks Chris.  In my company, I am the developer, DBA (manage both development and production jobs, security, create database, create user sign on even apply patches.), also I do database modeling, index tuning....

The fun goes on and on ...


Wayne West
Wayne West
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And that's why we get paid the big bucks! (in a parallel universe very much like our own)

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Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves or we know where we can find information upon it. --Samuel Johnson
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