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General Discussion

Becoming A Database Administrator - How difficult is it?


I've learning front-end web development for over a year now. To be honest, I've struggled with learning at a fast pace. It's to the point now where I have decided to go on a different path. It's difficult for me to become more advanced in my coding practices, and I can't continue to be mediocre at this. However, I do love computers. I still want to have a career somewhere in technology, making a great salary. I've come across databases which is intriguing to me. I feel like I could understand databases much better than I do front-end & back-end code. I have so far went through the few courses that Treehouse offers on SQL. My question is - how difficult would it be to become a database administrator? I'm interested in knowing what a typical day would be like. What skills would I need to be proficient in so I can land a job? Is it a stressful job? In general, how long would it take in order to get that job? Especially since I am familiar with code. Also, what are other sources where I could learn at a quick pace?

All advice and answers are much appreciated! I know there were quite a few questions.

Thank you!

3 Answers

Well... first on Treehouse we/you only learn ANSI SQL. The standard. That is fine because you learn the ideas of SQL. But there are many many DataBase Systems out there. Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreeSQL...you should rly try to get some experience with some of the most used DB. There are all some kind of different and use some special commands. Also you should look at NoSQL DBS like MongoDB (free course aviable on edX btw). (and also one on Treehouse but quiet small...the course on edX is an official one form MongoDB)

Btw: sqlfiddle.com could be a nice tool to try something without installing stuff.

Also Microsoft T-SQL should be worth a try.

BTW: coursera.org/learn/database-management this could also be interesting for you

Also here is a list of the most used DBs: db-engines.com/en/ranking

The guys at Tutorialspoint have also some of the best tutorials: tutorialspoint.com/dbms/

And last but not least...yeah it is stressfull...especially if you work with other people who destroy your stuff :D but it is also one of the best paid jobs.

Edit: ALSO you have kind of more opportunities to get a job. For example you could work for organisations, hospitals... there are a lot of companies/organizations who need to manage their databases but they dont need programmers...

Tyler _
Tyler _
6,651 Points

You say "don't need programmers", but doesn't a DB administrator need to be a fluent programmer in those DB languages?

Well these languages are quiet similar with some little differences. Everyone can learn to manage a database and learn SQL. You dont really need a understanding how to build a program. Most of the time you manage databases and write sometimes larger complex queries. It is a difference between programming in team for month for a project, or managing some databases every day (with requests from other developers and/or customers). SQL is also not so complex like a programming language for creating applications. You usually just modify data because you need specific informations.

Here at my work the DB Admins manage HUGE databases from other costumers. When you work with your local databases of your company then this is very different.

I would recommend some coures in data analysis...because you will have to learn to analyse databases you dont know.

ALL IN ALL: It is a well paid job...and not so frustriating. But usually you wont work in teams... it does not make sense when more people work on an SQL Query :D

Usually you will disscuss with other DB Admins if you SQL Select is better or theirs :D Thats just my experience...but in other companies it will be different

Also you dont need to be a programmer to have to know SQL. It is already a requiered skill for some offices. And people there who work for ~10 years SQL also know A LOT. Ok some offices use MS "Access" (ouch) which is not rly used by in terms of the programming industry.

But some companies just need someone from the IT industry who is REALLY Good in SQL and knows what he is doing. Not some office worker who had a one week course in basic sql.

Also you dont need to learn any SQL "dialect"...you need to master ANSI SQL and learn to read the docs of the other DB systems. Most of the time you just learn it by doing it.

Tyler _
Tyler _
6,651 Points

thanks for the info. Years ago, I learned SQL while creating .asp pages with an Access back end. I can't wait to start learning modern SQL like ANSI SQL. I actually liked working with forms and databases.

ANSI is just a standard of SQL (American National Standards Institute) All SQL dialect support the major commands (such as SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT, WHERE) .

I am not a sql dev...(although i am interested...especially in T-SQL). I dont like Access because it is used in offices but not rly in the software developing industry or web industry.

I like SQL it ennjoying to learn and nice for beginners. I am just not sure if i want to work on a database every day.

Keep in mind as database admin you might also need to know some Python, Perl or even tcl.

Tyler _
Tyler _
6,651 Points

thank you for the encouragement and info! I'm mostly a Front End Wordpress dev right now.