Not Just a DBA – A New Year and New Opportunities

    By: Michelle Malcher on Dec 27, 2016

    In the years that I have worked with databases and DBAs, there is a common phrase that I have frequently heard in the community, “Well, I am just a DBA.” Sometimes that statement is preceded or followed by “What do I know?” Granted, this is normally stated with a sarcastic tone, but there might be a feeling behind it of how to emerge from just a DBA title. 

    Those working with the databases realize that they are in a unique position in the company in that they work with the business, infrastructure and development. This presents several opportunities to learn and understand more than just the internals of a database. Information about data assets and the business needs to utilize the data are privileged information to those guardians of the data. Yet, are we just DBAs? 

    As a database professional, we are constantly learning. New releases, new technologies, new processes and new business needs all require the continuous change in the systems. This is probably one of the main reasons for working with databases in the first place. Even so, there are ways to get stuck in a strictly system mode, just to keep legacy systems up and running, or even concerned about implementing anything new to the environment because of customizations and the affects. Does this still make us, “just DBAs”?

    With a new year, we will be facing migrations to the cloud, upgrades of the databases to 12cR2, implementation of security features and other data integrations and reporting. What an exciting year it will be! Which of course answers the question, “NO! We are not just DBAs.” There are new challenges, new opportunities and with a priority in companies to consolidate and secure the data, the role that is needed will be more than just administration.

    This is nothing to worry about because we have been preparing for these changes. The goals of automation, and even in the ease of new releases with less to configure, provide the opportunity to be involved in these other areas. Standardizing the database install and build processes will assist in being able to look into other issues and challenges.

    Still doubtful because of all of the older releases and some merger issues that you have been dealing with? Is this not an opportunity to become an automation engineer? The first opportunity as a database professional is looking to being able to automate regular tasks and setting up standard configurations. Writing code, looking at processes and understanding the tasks is more than just administration. These processes need to fit into the big picture and into how the applications work. In this new year, we have the privilege as database professionals to add to our repository and repertoire of skills and knowledge.

    Take a look at the following areas and how they apply and add value to your environment:

    1. Cloud: Yes, databases in the cloud are important! DBAs still play an important role here, with plenty of places to start learning about the cloud; even the Oracle Express offering.
    2. Security: Securing environments is in the press on a daily basis. DBAs can get involved with security teams and provide ways to implement data security in the enterprise.
    3. Data Integrations: Understanding where the data is including taking data in the cloud and integrating it with other systems.
    4. Data Intelligence: This could be big data as well, but helping understand everything from administration log data to business data. Looking at security data is valuable to provide anomalies. 
    5. Automation and Process: Standardizing the processes; automating repeatable tasks to compliment other business processes.

    I hope in the new year ahead that you are able to challenge yourself with one of these areas. There will be plenty of articles here to help you along the way, and other resources in the community. 

    Understand that we are not just DBAs. The skills and knowledge that has been developed in the database systems has provided the groundwork to provide additional value to the business on the infrastructure side to utilizing the data. What an exciting opportunity for 2017! Wishing you a great start to the new year and looking forward to the transformation into database professionals.

    Released: December 27, 2016, 8:54 am | Updated: June 2, 2017, 9:33 am
    Keywords: Department | IOUGenius


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