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  • 15. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    932605 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    What's practical about discouraging people to do something?! What's wrong with encouragement? LOL. No matter how hard a task may be, if someone can put thier all into it, even if they do fail, they still learned something in the end. Take the knowledge gained and do something with it. It didn't just come easy to you by the way either, someone had to help you, you didn't learn it all on your own, so help others out, or is that so hard to do 934451? People, such as yourself discouraged me, in the same manner you are doing right now, I use it as fuel to a burning fire and I'mma keep motivating people, instead of putting fear in them of doing something that they could be really good at. I encourage you to do the same.
  • 16. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    jgarry Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    I gotta say, good for you. I also gotta say, I've seen a lot of people thrown in the deep end (especially when I was doing vendor DBA support, some random IT person would be told "you, we need a DBA, whatever that is" along with buying the new vendor packages), and work through it.

    I've also see people fail miserably. Many places have high expectations, some reasonable, some not. The cautions are necessary. This is the heart of most organizations, after all. You lose data, you fail. In many places, you lose face, you fail. In many places, DBA screwups mean big bucks. Paranoia helps.

    I've been the second (or lower) choice in being hired many times. The stories I've heard of why the previous choice didn't work out are often amazing. The guy being arrested for online luring an underage girl probably takes the cake.
  • 17. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    932605 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Correct me if I wrong, but don't we face challenges with any job we go to, not just being a DBA? I mean if you are working at McDonalds, a retail shop, a secretary, or any other job if you are not putting in effort to do your job, you can get fired. Does not matter the nature of the job, if you are not doing what you are supposed to do, you will get fired. Simple as that. I agree, there is a lot of pressure when it comes to Oracle databases but it does not matter what job you are on, if you are not doing and learning whats required you could get fired. With Oracle there is more to learn but I would rather be on a job making the money you make with Oracle, then at a smaller income job. If I lose my job today, it's not the end of the world. Failure helps improve people, it helps you grow. I learn from my mistakes. No, I don't want to get fired from any job but if I do, I know how to go get another one.

    I just think we have to help people, because I believe someone helped everyone in Oracle. This is not a profession you can do on your own, so if anyone says they are interested, I'mma do my best to point them in the right direction. I will tell them, its a major challenge but I would never tell them they could not do it. I would always do what I could to bring someone up in higher pay instead of keeping people stagnated where they are. Just my opinion. We have to learn to focus on the positive, consider the negatives and ensure that they don't happen and if they do, learn from the negatives. Maybe that's just how I live. IDK
  • 18. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    929602 wrote:
    Correct me if I wrong, but don't we face challenges with any job we go to, not just being a DBA? I mean if you are working at McDonalds, a retail shop, a secretary, or any other job if you are not putting in effort to do your job, you can get fired. Does not matter the nature of the job, if you are not doing what you are supposed to do, you will get fired. Simple as that. I agree, there is a lot of pressure when it comes to Oracle databases but it does not matter what job you are on, if you are not doing and learning whats required you could get fired. With Oracle there is more to learn but I would rather be on a job making the money you make with Oracle, then at a smaller income job. If I lose my job today, it's not the end of the world. Failure helps improve people, it helps you grow. I learn from my mistakes. No, I don't want to get fired from any job but if I do, I know how to go get another one.
    There's a big difference. If you screw up at McD's, yes you get fired. If you screw up as a DBA, there is the very real possibility the COMPANY fails. Not only do you lose your job, but so do a lot of other people - and investors lose their money. HUGE difference.

    I just think we have to help people, because I believe someone helped everyone in Oracle. This is not a profession you can do on your own, so if anyone says they are interested, I'mma do my best to point them in the right direction. I will tell them, its a major challenge but I would never tell them they could not do it. I would always do what I could to bring someone up in higher pay instead of keeping people stagnated where they are. Just my opinion. We have to learn to focus on the positive, consider the negatives and ensure that they don't happen and if they do, learn from the negatives. Maybe that's just how I live. IDK
    We all want to help people. But giving them a false impression of what a job involves .. giving them false hope that they can treat certain advanced skill jobs as if they are just another entry level job isn't necessarily giving them the best help. Encouraging them to pursue something for which they are fundamentally ill-suited is not helping them. And rest assured, there are people on this board who are fundamentally ill-suited for the job of DBA -- or any job that requires critical analysis and problem solving skills. It is far better if instead of playing simple cheerleader ("Sure, it will take a lot of hard work, but you can do it") one helps them understand what is really required of a particular job AND help them understand themselves.
  • 19. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Got to agree with Ed on this one. If you screw up flipping burgers, your job is over and you move onto something else. If you screw up, you can literally destroy an entire company, be the direct cause of tens of thousands of job losses and be forever unemployable in IT.

    And before anyone thinks that's overly dramatic, I'm sure those who have been in DBA jobs long enough have had that horrible, cold sweat, shiver-down-the-spine moment when an entire company depends on your next move.

    And I -was- a junior DBA straight out of college. I got the luckiest break imaginable: an expert DBA started a consultancy and took me under his wing and I learnt things faster than I ever have. But I was still a fish out of water for the first two years and I wouldn't have employed me!



    I should mention I started that job in the summer of 2001 - two BIG recessions ago. I wouldn't have got that lucky if I had started a year or two later and certainly not now.

    Others have pointed out the best (and pretty much only) way of becoming a DBA now is to serve your apprenticeship as a developer who is overly interested in database administration and pesters the existing DBAs so they definitely know your name...
  • 20. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    932605 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I'm not discrediting what you all are saying at all, all I'm saying is someone helped you, we make mistakes daily, even as Oracle DBA's, thats why we have backup and recovery. All I'm trying to do is help people, someone helped you all. You can't make it in this field if people are not helping each other, it was hard for me to find help and I did it. It takes hard work and dedication, but if you stick to it, regardless of mistakes an individual will make it, how do I know, because I made it and this time last year, actually Jan 2012, I didn't know a thing about Oracle.

    You all know way more than me, I'm confident you do, so why not mention that you do all you can to ensure that data is backed up, that is what test systems and development systems are for, you work in them and then go to production systems. Oracle is an outstanding product, they have gone over and beyond the call of duty to ensure data isnt lost. Granted an individual can still lose data if they have no clue what they are doing or not implenting best practices, but for the most part, things are done in a systematically way to ensure data is not lost. If it happens, there should be backups in place.

    I think there is validity to what you all are saying, 100% validity. But I still think that its not that hard to just point people in the right direction if they ask for help on becoming a DBA. Someone helped me, someone helped you. No one can do this on their own. All I wanna do is help people, who am I to tell anybody what they can't do? Give them the job description, tell them the challenges, the positive, as well as the negatives. Point them in the right direction but let that individual decide if he or she has what it takes to do this job. Am I wrong for that? I'm a firm believer of if you put your mind to it, you can do, if you believe it you can achieve it, I just wanna help in anyway I can because I am grateful to the individual who help me. Giving and helping will always be on the top of my list instead of discouraging and deterring. That is all.

    Edited by: 929602 on Feb 2, 2013 7:11 PM
  • 21. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging people and helping them out as they start out, become mid-level and then become experts. We all need help - I've been a DBA for 12 years and I look like an idiot compared to most on these forums.

    I was asked on a scale of 1-10 how much I thought I knew about Oracle in an interview not long ago.

    My answer was 'not even one out of ten: there's so much to the product, anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar or a world class expert you'll meet once in a blue moon and you should hire them over me without question'

    We are all learning. Everyone who contributes on here is doing it for other people's benefit. I would assume most are doing it to help others like they were once helped.

    Realistically, though, the industry does not have enough overage to be able to take a college grad on at a decent wage and have them learn on the job while being mentored. Most DBA teams are cut to the very bone and their experienced DBAs literally cannot afford to spend the time in bringing a novice up to speed. Some might be willing to recruit straight out of college but, IME, only because they want to pay 30k for their DBA instead of paying market value. What happens then, for what I imagine is the majority of cases, is that the DBA is forever underwater. No training, learning by fire and if they are unlucky enough to suffer a major problem while they're still inexperienced, they'll be in a horrible situation with no previous to rely upon.

    I appreciate this is not true in every case. It wasn't in mine, nor yours. But I think the OP is asking generally (they have to be, we know no specifics). And I think just saying if you work hard enough, it is possible... well, it likely won't be (but they should, by all means, try!). A previous posted summed it up perfectly: you can't get experience without someone giving you a chance, but hardly anybody in this economy is willing to give a beginner experience.

    I wish it were different, but that does not make it so. I've taken good developers with the proper attributes and tried to help them become DBAs. Those were some of the proudest moments in my career: seeing them leave and become DBAs in their own right (and then email me about some cool feature they're using that I'm not!)

    Personally, I'm not in a situation to be able to do that anymore. My 'To Do' list increases by the day and I can barely make progress because I'm so busy firefighting and being allocated to project work. Our team is so small, we ALL have to be experienced. We've got too much work to do. I strongly suspect this is the same throughout the field.

    It's short-sighted in so many ways - not least for the DBA profession. If they are no 'young' DBAs coming up to take the place of those promoted to management or who have retired, they'll be a skill shortage. Eventually, this will make it more likely that our functions are outsourced.
  • 22. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    missymichi Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I have to agree with this. I got hired as a Junior then I was elevated on my own when the senior guy left... now one wrong move means a lot of things. It is indeed a learning experience. :)
  • 23. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    Justin_Mungal Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    Marcelo Bacchi wrote:
    Hi,

    I am doing a research and I am getting very difficult to find entry level jobs as Oracle DBA. Is there a position to start before go to a DBA role? Is there a website where I can
    find entry Level Oracle DBA?

    I want to study and become a Oracle OCA certified but before I do that I would like to make sure I can find a job in the field, otherwise it won't worth the investimet.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Marcelo,

    Overall I feel like the response from the forum is more negative about this than positive, and may leave you with the urge to give up. I think that a person's chances of success in an endeavor are not so much dependent on innate ability, intelligence, or situation (although they do factor into it); but more so on why they are doing it, and what they are willing to put into it. Even if it's more likely that you're going to fail, it's still worth trying; what kind of life would you be living otherwise?

    Oracle is complicated and requires dedication. Screwing up can destroy a company, so you have to enter the field for the right reasons. You have to love this stuff. In my opinion, if you're pursuing this for the salary alone, you'll end up being a mediocre DBA at best.

    So, let's assume your reasons are right. I suggest doing something like the following:

    1) Set up a lab environment at home; using virtualization you can test out multiple virtual systems on a single physical computer.
    -Read Oracle Database Concepts (found in the Oracle documentation library) while you're getting your lab organized and ready.
    -Download Oracle Database and install it. Use the installation guide. Do it the hard way, and don't follow a walk-through online. This took me a weekend, but it was worth it. I would recommend using a supported Linux or Unix distribution.

    2) Start reading the manuals when you've finished reading Database Concepts. Test as much as possible in your lab, as hands-on learning is a critical component in learning Oracle. I would suggest starting with the following:
    -Oracle Database Administrator's Guide
    -Oracle Database Backup and Recovery User's Guide
    -Oracle Database Security Guide
    -Oracle Database Utilities
    -Oracle Database Performance Tuning Guide
    -Oracle Database Advanced Developer's Guide

    You can then move on to whatever interests you (ie. RAC, VLDB, Data Mining, etc...).

    3) Learn database development and design. Read a good book on the subject, perhaps. Write an application that you'll actually use. You need to know how databases actually work.

    4) Read Oracle blogs, read asktom, and ask a lot of questions.

    5) By this point I would suggest that you start looking for internships, or volunteer positions. Make sure your current employer and the DBAs there know how much you want to become an Oracle DBA. You can get your OCA just to show that you have initiative (it will be a simple exam by this point). Never stop reading. I constantly pick up useful nuggets that come in handy later on down the road.

    If you do all this you should start having a handle on Oracle, but you're by no means good at it. Expect this to take years. I've been doing Oracle for three years now, and I would consider myself just Ok at it. I think it would take 10 to 20 years, depending on how much time I put in, to actually get good at it. I know that what I'm suggesting may sound intimidating. But if you're serious about this, don't be intimidated. The learning process will be lots of fun if this is something you're interested in.

    I've had conversations with people wanting to become Oracle DBA's, and I give them advice on getting started. I don't mention nearly as much as I have here, I just tell them to get started with reading the manuals and installing the software. You know what's happened every time so far? They don't even crack open the concepts guide. They just weren't serious about it. If you're serious, I highly suggest pursuing this. It's worth the hard work.

    Manuals for the newest release:
    http://www.oracle.com/pls/db112/homepage

    The software can be downloaded here:
    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/enterprise-edition/downloads/index.html

    Best of luck.

    “Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.” - Milton
  • 24. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    EdStevens Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Justin Mungal wrote:
    Marcelo Bacchi wrote:
    Hi,

    I am doing a research and I am getting very difficult to find entry level jobs as Oracle DBA. Is there a position to start before go to a DBA role? Is there a website where I can
    find entry Level Oracle DBA?

    I want to study and become a Oracle OCA certified but before I do that I would like to make sure I can find a job in the field, otherwise it won't worth the investimet.

    Thank you very much in advance.
    Marcelo,

    Overall I feel like the response from the forum is more negative about this than positive, and may leave you with the urge to give up. I think that a person's chances of success in an endeavor are not so much dependent on innate ability, intelligence, or situation (although they do factor into it); but more so on why they are doing it, and what they are willing to put into it. Even if it's more likely that you're going to fail, it's still worth trying; what kind of life would you be living otherwise?
    <snip>

    While I snipped most of the quote of your post for brevity, first let me say I don't disagree with any of it.

    I think perhaps the perceived 'negativity' of mine and other responses comes from a misunderstanding of our interpretation of the OP's question. At least from my perspective, it appears that he has no background or experience in anything related to IT. If that is the case, then my/our comments should be seen not as "you can't become a DBA" but as "if you want to be a DBA, you need to start by getting some solid experience as a developer". A few people have contributed to this thread with their own stories of how they lucked into a 'beginning DBA' job, but in all cases, it appears they were already in IT and had some background in related areas - so their 'entry DBA' job wasn't really and 'entry-level job' at all. That's hardly the same as waking up one morning and saying to yourself, "Self, it appears that this job called DBA pays pretty good so let's be a DBA." And that's pretty much what I interpreted from the OP.
  • 25. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    Carlovski Pro
    Currently Being Moderated
    A lot of organisations are reluctant to bring new starters directly into a trainee DBA role, back in the days when we were recruiting junior/graduate types on a regular basis every time we brought someone into the DBA team, they took the training, stayed long enough to be able to state x months/years of DBA experience, then left.
    So we started only bringing people into that team from other development/support teams after they have shown a bit of staying power!

    It is a tricky area to get into - developers can build up their own portfolio, work on their own projects, get involved in open source, no real equivalent for a DBA. You can start participating in forums, blogging etc based on experience on your own test rig, but no 'serious' company will hire a DBA without solid professional experience.

    Carl
  • 26. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    Rob_J Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    My opinion on this is before you start wanting to become a DBA, find out if you have the correct skills. I've seen a few people who are very smart but terrible at being a DBA because they don't have skills such as:

    <ul>
    <li>Be methodical in your approach to problem solving. Break a problem down and start from the smallest part where you know something works</li>
    <li>Attention to detail - absolutely essential to prevent errors</li>
    <li>Good memory - you will need to remember a lot and remembering a similar time when something went wrong will help you next time</li>
    <li>Organised - when you are planning upgrades, releases, etc you need to ensure you have everything covered in the right order and noted down</li>
    <li>Thorough - You will need to read a lot of docs to learn what you need to know</li>
    </ul>

    So make sure that your skills match those that the job requires. You'll be better at it as a result.

    Junior DBA positions are harder to come by but not impossible. I got one straight from uni. I had 1 year's experience which was a work placement year at university - That work placement year prompted me to change my generic degree of Business and Computing to specialise in Computing - Database Systems in my final year. So, a little experience backed up with some qualifications got me in.

    I agree with what a lot of the guys are saying about taking a developer role first. I wish I had more experience in SQL writing, and being a developer first would have given me that. No experience is going to be bad, it will all help you to develop your skills, learn about what you like and don't like, etc.

    Question to you: Why do you want to become an Oracle DBA?
  • 27. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    marksmithusa Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    I agree with what a lot of the guys are saying about taking a developer role first. I wish I had more experience in SQL writing, and being a developer first would have given me that. No experience is going to be bad, it will all help you to develop your skills, learn about what you like and don't like, etc.
    Oddly, even though I think that being a developer is the fastest way to becoming a DBA, I would have really liked to delve deeper into UNIX admin than I have. I've always been a Production DBA (even at my first job - terrifying, huh?), though.

    This is true for ASM and clustering to some degree, but definitely true of Exadata and I suspect is the way forward as the DBA role expands into what was traditionally UNIX's hemisphere.
  • 28. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    Justin_Mungal Journeyer
    Currently Being Moderated
    EdStevens wrote:
    While I snipped most of the quote of your post for brevity, first let me say I don't disagree with any of it.

    I think perhaps the perceived 'negativity' of mine and other responses comes from a misunderstanding of our interpretation of the OP's question. At least from my perspective, it appears that he has no background or experience in anything related to IT. If that is the case, then my/our comments should be seen not as "you can't become a DBA" but as "if you want to be a DBA, you need to start by getting some solid experience as a developer". A few people have contributed to this thread with their own stories of how they lucked into a 'beginning DBA' job, but in all cases, it appears they were already in IT and had some background in related areas - so their 'entry DBA' job wasn't really and 'entry-level job' at all. That's hardly the same as waking up one morning and saying to yourself, "Self, it appears that this job called DBA pays pretty good so let's be a DBA." And that's pretty much what I interpreted from the OP.
    That makes sense, and perhaps your interpretation of the OP's question is correct. I myself worked in IT for about 7 years before I even touched Oracle. I think that I get a little overzealous at times when people start talking about getting into the field, because I feel that the software is amazing and so few people have an appreciation for it. :)

    Something tells me the OP isn't even reading this anymore.
  • 29. Re: Entry Level DBA Jobs
    jgarry Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    marksmithusa wrote:
    I agree with what a lot of the guys are saying about taking a developer role first. I wish I had more experience in SQL writing, and being a developer first would have given me that. No experience is going to be bad, it will all help you to develop your skills, learn about what you like and don't like, etc.
    Oddly, even though I think that being a developer is the fastest way to becoming a DBA, I would have really liked to delve deeper into UNIX admin than I have. I've always been a Production DBA (even at my first job - terrifying, huh?), though.

    This is true for ASM and clustering to some degree, but definitely true of Exadata and I suspect is the way forward as the DBA role expands into what was traditionally UNIX's hemisphere.
    I lucked out on that, as when I left the DEC world I got thrown into a Duplix system. In those days, you had to dig around and learn all the basics. By the time I got to SunOS (the BSD one), I was starting to get some skill. Those skills still help me, sh/awk especially, including some crossover to perl, plus the ability to push back when I think unix admins aren't listening. But perhaps these days the ubiquity of linux is enough.

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