18 November, 2016
Though not at all from a writing field, I was still excited when our SETU 2017 core team asked me to jot down my speech I delivered in SETU 2016 as a blog. The reason behind it is I got a very good response from the students last year and they really found it to be a true mind altering topic which has given them a ladder to think towards this upcoming career option in the field of IT.
Being an IT student and an aspiring IT professional, student always has a dream to be a developer, a designer or a language master. But there is a field which is still not that widespread amongst the students, that is to be a Database Administrator. The database administration is a base for every new development in the field of software. It is a very vast area wherein one can explore his/her skills to a great extent.
Let’s have a detailed definition of what is database administration all about:
Database administration is a function to collect, analyze, manage and maintain database management systems software(DBMS).
Thus a Database administrator(DBA) is a manual support who looks after planning, organizing and maintaining all the operations that smoothen up the performance of Database Management system software(DBMS). Usually, DBA is expected to have a hold on almost everything like Structured Query Language(SQL), SAP, Oracle etc. Though a small-scale or startup company may not really need a DBA but a huge organization in today’s world compel to have a dedicated, devoted and highly skilled DBA in their staff.
Why to choose DBA as a Career Goal?
Well, it is natural that we all get a question in our mind about what is that exciting about this field that one should choose it as a career. The ultimate answer to this is being a DBA you are the pillars to DBMS and nobody would like to alter their pillars. Also growing huge MNCs in the world and requirement of DBA is directly proportional to each other. Expansion of Multinational companies is a clear indication of an increase in DBA demand. But as it is not that known field in our region , one has a good chance to flourish oneself in this newly emerging career. Commercial RDBMS systems such as Microsoft's SQL Server, Oracle DB, MySQL and IBM's DB2 are complex applications that require specialized knowledge and training in the field of a database.This complexity requires a trained, dedicated role tasked with looking after the organization's databases running on these database platforms.
As DBA is a crucial position though the economic disasters occur there are fewer chances of the downsizing of this position, along with which as there is a scarcity of experienced and skillful employees nobody can ever think of replacing them unless there is a high need. In fact, there is a good chance of growth in a short span with great rewards.
Thus grab this demand and think of exploring this field for your bright future.
What are the Responsibilities, Skills, and activities to be done by DBA?
The database administrator is somebody who undertakes multitasking starting from planning to communicating the things to end-users. A balance of technical, business and communication skills is critical to a database administrator's success and upward mobility. DBA is the one who has his/her role in every matter.
See the image given on the right about how DBA is having his/her role in every activity:
How is DBA engaged in End-User Supports?
- Gathering requirements from end-users
- Understanding his/her views and the needs
- What are his/her present and future needs
- Finding solutions to address the end users information needs, it will help to build end user's confidence
- Managing the training and support of DBMS users
Policies, Procedures, and Standards
- Generating general statements of direction or action that communicate and support DBA goals
- Writing instructions that describe services of steps to be followed during the performance of a given activity
- What documentation is required, which form must be used to gather requirements from end-user
- What database methodology and tools are to be used for DB design and modeling
- Rules that are used to evaluate the quality of an activity
Data Security and Privacy
- Define each user to database
- Assign access privileges for READ, WRITE, DELETE, CREATE
- Protect and controls the scope of the data that is accessible to a user
DBMS utility access control :
- Limit the query and use of reporting tools
- Periodic data and application backup
- Proper backup identification
- Convenient and safe backup storage
- Physical protection of hardware and software
- Personal access control to the software of a database installation
Data Distribution and Use
Data is only useful when:
- Present to right person (user)
- Present with right format
Data distribution is most important which present right data to right user and gives access of data to that particular user (user have limited access to data in multi-company environment)
An Example of Role of DBA
If you need your Bank/CC statement for previous years, you will not be getting it through any online software or sites, you need to go to the bank and you need to request for that. Even then you may not get it right there. The reason behind it is bank will have huge numbers of branches and enormous customers with a common database. Therefore server will not be able to fulfil request if many customers request transaction statement of past long period, that is why DBA divides large transactional tables into partitions according to fiscal year. Because of this, there remains a limited data access for users for transactional data and so users will not be able to generate statement for a long period. Once you request past statements, a bank will forward a request to DBA and DBA will generate it for you and you will get it back.
Pre-requisites of choosing DBA as a career
- Evaluate yourself and decide whether you are keenly interested and passionate about Database administration. If you get an answer as “Yes”, then just go and grab it.
- Initially, you may not get the exact profile of database administrator but this should not convert your thoughts to grapes are sour. You should have the courage to struggle in the initial few years.
- One should opt for the profile wherein he/she can get a chance to work on data. Let it be a little lower profile but it will definitely pay you in future when you will have polished and accurate skills in the field of a database.
- From a student level itself, one should have a good exposure in community events, online forums and also one should be active in the online platforms like StackOverflow
Once you are up as a DBA, then you will have the following prerequisites:
- DBA needs to be on his/her toes for round the clock. He needs to be attentive and available for 24*7.
- He needs to be extra smart and extra skilful in his field
- DBA needs to know anything and everything related to his field like SQL queries, server operating system, networking protocol, advanced DBA tools management, computer hardware etc
- Being a DBA one should be ready to face a worst situation when for a minute mistake occurs, a sack of blame can be transferred to him solely.
- To be in someone’s good book you need to burn from both end i.e. your working hours can be quite long than other. To a true passionate professional, long working hours should not be a hurdle
Certification needed for being DBA
- You may go for certification once you have 1-2 years of experience as DBA.
- Different certifications available for DBA.
- Oracle Database Certification
- Oracle Certified Associate(OCA) : SQL Fundamentals
- Oracle Certified Professional(OCP) : Administration
- Microsoft SQL Server Database Certification
- MTA Database : Database Fundamentals
- MCSA : Querying, Administering, Data Warehouse
- MCSE : Designing and Developing database
- MCSE Business Intelligence : Data Models, Reports
- IBM Information Management Certification
- IBM Certified Solution Developer : stored procedures and functions
- IBM Certified Database Associate : fundamental concepts of DB2 9 and DB2 10.
- Keep searching for new tools (like “SQL DBA BUNDLE”) which help to manage databases effectively:
- SQL Backup Pro
- SQL Monitor
- SQL Prompt
- SQL Data Compare
- SQL Doc
- SQL Compare
- Get an understanding of business process and update or design database system accordingly.
If you are a DBA then when a day ends up smoothly, no one will ask you, but in a day, when anything goes wrong, you will be the only one responsible !
So this is it. I have tried to be as descriptive as I can and have given the efforts with a motto that if anybody has missed out my speech last year then this blog can be a helping hand for you. Hope you liked it.
Waiting to witness the mega event SETU 2017 soon!