Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Oracle DBA 102: Beyond the basics

This is part two of a three-part lean over succession for the DBA job seeker. Click here to read part one, "Acing the DBA job interview: Getting Back to Basics." In my first portion of this succession, "Acing the DBA job interview: Getting Back to Basics," I distilled on giving particulars about how to get a good job as a DBA. The aim of this portion is to strengthen on what to perform after you get the job.
With the unfailing insist to lessen IT charges, DBAs can no longer have finance for to be considered as cost center overhead. Instead, DBAs ought strive to be acknowledged and confirm their worth to the organization. This portion will purpose on both the practical (hard) and non-technical (soft) talents you will want to endure as a DBA. I will in addition give ideas on how to deal with organisation and assure job security by consistently augmenting bottom-line value. So get geared up to step out of the conventional DBA job, depart past the minimal database authorities duties, and confirm yourself as an invaluable company asset.

Hard (technical) skills
Analysts and skilled population accept that the future job of the DBA will be less distilled on conventional support (backups, adjusting, space organisation, patching, etc.) and more distilled on specialty environs (compliance, requests for paid job, enterprise smartness, high accessibility, virtualization, etc.). If you like to be winning as a dba, you ought depart past the authorities basics and strive to study one or more of these specialty areas.
Evolving relational database technologies will effect the practical talents you will want to be winning as a DBA. There are two predominant movements that are modifying the face of database administration:
  1. Increased functionality: The functionality (and often the complexity) of the programs extends notably with each new release. DBAs are everlasting faced with a myriad of new aspects and technologies to learn. DBAs ought reception these modifications and support any possibility to study a thing new.
  2. Increased automation: The not hard, administrative and repeatable duties of the conventional DBA are turning into more automated as database vendors repeatedly a go to bring ahead and market the "self-managing" or "self-healing" database. Toolsets like Oracle's OEM are turning into more robust and new aspects like self-managing tablespaces, change back segments, automated backups, etc. are establishing bodily database support more automatic.
Does automation intend that all DBAs should start looking for a new career? Definitely not! While automation and functionality may be impelling the normal DBA out of his/her snugness zone, the escalating technologies will assure abundance of good work and job security for the foreseeable future. Do not dread new aspects, but rather support them! Technological developments are often more very included and arduous to supervise (take 10g RAC as a good example) and truly force a bigger dependence on highly talented DBAs.
Since highly talented DBAs will perpetually be in demand, all DBAs should strive to stay before the technical knowledge curve. There are more means to extend your practical learning and add worth, and you can and should start right now! The key, of course, is to be proactive and not hold back until it is too late. Some concentrated environs you may like to purpose on now include:
  • Compliance organisation (Sarbanes-Oxley, auditing, security, etc.): Compliancy subjects will carry on to control public enterprises and are even now distributing into the confidential sector. Volunteer to give support with audits -- it will be a many studying understanding (not to mention it will view good on your resume).
  • Best rehearse plans (IT Service Management, ITIL v3, ISO 20000, etc.): ITIL is turning into the most extensively agreed to framework. ITIL focuses on IT service deliverance and support embracing the aid office desk, episode organisation, change organisation, obstacle organisation and service-level management. These are all environs that are family member to the DBA and ought be embraced. If you haven't discovered of ITIL now, I warranty that you will soon. Get a head start by examining ITIL (there is a ton of knowledge out there), reading the books and eventually getting ITIL Foundations documented (another good recommence builder).
  • ERP request for paid job talents (Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, JD Edwards, etc): If your governing body is employing an ERP parcel, take superiority and study it. While you may not be looked frontwards to to become a operational highly talented (i.e., accountant), you ought be competent to support the request for paid job from a programs or practical standpoint.
  • Data organisation (data modeling, archiving, written knowledge prospecting, holding approaches, consolidation, etc): The allotment of written knowledge in administration is developing speedily as is the enterprise dependency on it. This is many journal for the DBA. If you can, get included in any development or data-related approaches in your organization.
  • Hardware and storage (disk rural properties, storage environs webs (SANs), grid computing, virtualization, etc): Stay on apex of new technologies in hardware and storage. SANs may be the very large thing now, but the development is now buzzing about the future
  • of the virtual database.
  • High-availability results (standby, failover, clustering, RAC (Real Application Clusters), etc): Whether it's Microsoft clustering or Oracle 10g RAC, high accessibility is an unquestionable ought for developing organizations. These talents in addition demand an superior appreciating of the running procedure and circular plate structures.
  • "The next very large thing": As I draft this, there may now be a new technical knowledge or movement deducing out there. The key to dwelling on apex of technical knowledge is to read about it! Don't let those free trade journals heap up on your office desk unread. Use no matter what free time you have to explore the Internet for white papers, tips, portions, blogs, etc. There are abundance of many sites to start with and risks are that you are now on one of them. Remember, the surprise to triumph is to find out where population are going, and get there first!
Soft (non-technical) skills
Soft talents are in addition of many value for what lies ahead for the future DBA. Below are some of the pliable talents that you will want to be winning as a DBA.
  • Communication skills: Everyone preaches about the value of making acquaintance, both verbal and typed, and rightly so. As a DBA you are looked frontwards to to be a certified in everything you perform, in everything you declare, and in everything you write. While minimal making acquaintance talents are a ought, a DBA ought in addition be competent to clarify arduous practical fundamental thoughts in easy-to-understand layman's terms. This takes years of rehearse and effort and is a accurate talent that small number DBAs (myself included) have yet to entirely master.
  • Problem-solving skills: As most DBAs will advise you, most troubles start as "database" subjects in the eyes of the end user. Consider the database culpable until confirmed innocent. A DBA ought have the skills to delve into practical subjects that nine times out of 10 end up being connected to the request for paid job computer encrypting, web, Web server, hardware or running system. Root source examination, corrective achievements and future hindrance are key environs to purpose on for every problem.
  • Stress management: If being on call 24x7 is not demanding adequate, you ought often deal with irrational and irate paying clients and/or users. Work on strain support procedures and perpetually consider to not ever take things personally. You ought continue certified, composed and accumulated at all times, no subject what the situation.
  • People skills: Listen to your paying clients and end users, make definite you appreciate their subjects, convey that you appreciate them, heed of their subjects quickly, and most meaningfully, move out them feeling like you truly nurture them. Be certified and courteous in all your interactions, no subject how arduous the circumstances may seem.
  • Time management: A DBA unquestioningly ought be competent to multitask. On any bestowed day, a DBA will be requested to work on numerous main concern ventures, handle numerous obstacle calls, give support with development efforts, arrange for an redevelopment, examine new technical knowledge, and still find time to put on preventative support on the database. 
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