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Hey there, any tips on becoming a DBA...

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by johnt79, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. johnt79

    johnt79 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    First I want to say this is my first post but I've been a member and reader of CF since around Nov last year.. so far you have already convinced me NOT to spank ££££'s on an Advent course:twisted: and instead buy a Mike Meyers Comptia A+ book:biggrin and get stuck in, hopefully will sit the exams in the next week or two... so big thanks to everyone there!!

    However I'm a little confused as to where to go now, I've kinda got my heart set on becoming a DBA mainly because over the past 6months at work I have been playing around with databases (a very old Sysbase) and writing stored procedures etc.
    Now I currently work in the travel industry in a non-IT role, following the general trend of people here I made some inquiries and may have the opportunity to move to the IS Department and start at the bottom as 1st line support BUT in doing this it will take me away from using DB's and require a pay-cut!

    The pay-cut I can handle if I know for certain that going into a support role is really the best option for me, I'm not overly keen on support/help desk role either, as I have done similar within the travel sector (probably just a complex as IT but without anyone really knowing what they are doing!) but again I am more than happy to put it with it for however long as necessary.

    So my question is, is going into 1st Line Support/Help Desk really the best way for working up to a DBA role??
    Also are there any other jobs that would be better suited, searching the job sites don't seem to offer much (seems like a junior DBA needs 3-4yrs experience) and I am finding it hard to see what I would need to do to go from 1st Line Support into systems anyway - no one seems to mention that part!

    Either way I am already indebted to this forum for getting me this far in my goal, I hope as I progress I can start giving something back.8)

    Certifications: Comptia A+
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

    Hello John & Welcome to CF:biggrin

    You say you have been a member since november 2007. Does this mean you have created a new account?
    Just curious if have forgotten your password of the old user account you could of emailed the staff to reset the account?:blink
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  3. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    My opinion…
    It’s good that you’ve decided which path you want your career to take. Now to get there!
    Since you don’t have any work experience the move to the IS department is a good one.

    You’ll have to start at the bottom and work your way up. After at least 6-months in your new role, and especially if you have some connections at your current company, look into assisting (job shadow / volunteer) in the DB department. This will get you experience with Databases and an opportunity to move in to the DB group if a junior opening becomes available.
  4. johnt79

    johnt79 New Member

    sorry that meant to read ' I've been a reader since November and a member since Jan.. thanks for the tip though :oops:
    Certifications: Comptia A+
  5. johnt79

    johnt79 New Member

    Thanks for the opinion's Sunn,

    The catch I have with the DB shadowing option is that a lot of the work is outsourced :rolleyes:, there is one guy I kind of hang around with/ scrounge off/ pester but as you can imagine there is only so much he will put up with..:eek:

    I am going to push the IS position next week, it's been going on since early December, budget cuts and talk of recession probably don't help... all I can say the travel business isn't the best place to be at the moment, although I guess everyone can say the same...

    I want to start applying for external positions but am a little unsure about how to get across the kind of work I have done, I want to sound knowledgeable but not too cocky especially if I don't strictly speaking have a IT job to begin with... any tips?

    Certifications: Comptia A+
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Why don't you study one the OCA/OCP, MCDBA/MCITP, or MySQL certs ? This should let you find out if you have what it takes to be a DBA. You will also need knowledge of some theory like Third Normal Form, Relational Algebra and general Analysis and Design. You could also consider a college course or the OU.

    Databases tend to be fairly important to companies so landing a DBA role without experience will be tough. Theres plenty of data cleansing jobs and development jobs with DB emphasis. Just do a search on Jobserve with SQL as a keyword.

    Basically currently you sound underqualified, at least on paper, its pretty hard for me or anyone else to know whether you know your stuff or you've just played with a database for 10 minutes. You need to get qualifications or experience that match your peers in terms of the people that will be going for the same type of jobs.

    Best of luck ! :biggrin
  7. johnt79

    johnt79 New Member

    Thanks for the help Dmarsh,

    I think the point is I am very much under qualified! In both certs and experience.
    I did originally look into just doing a MCBDA course naively thinking it would be just as simple as that to get a Administrator role, I can now see no experience and a hefty cert will get you nowhere or at worst hinder!

    I don't feel I have anywhere near the level of experience to act as a DBA or even a Junior, how do I actually get that experience??

    I have checked out Jobserve (and others) but in London with 'SQL' as a skill I get 991 Jobs returned - most if not all of them completely out of my league... I checked out Data Cleansing job's but only 2 returned - both in Manchester and short term contract work...

    I guess really I want to know if I push for this 1st line support job in my office and keeping working up the certs will I actually be in a better position to get into DB admin and what kind of jobs should I look into 6months to a year down the line to help me move over...??
    Certifications: Comptia A+
  8. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi Welcome :)

    As Dmarsh said you could do the MCDBA there are plenty of legit learning tools on the net like learn sql etc, have a look on the jobsites you mentioned for 'entry level database programmer' or 'trainee dba' those should bring something up.

    Going into support isn't a neccesity in IT but it can help, IT is one of those proffesions where you may have to do the crap that no one else will do until a boss spots your potential and promotes you.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  9. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    There are a few entry lew jobs, like this for instance...


    The point is as I have said before, you are in a competative market, employers can pick and choose. There will be thousands of grads going for the same jobs most likely, they will have studied computing for 3 years. The least you can do is try and maybe get an Oracle cert or go take a HNC, without this you have shown no commitment or dedication to the profession. No one owes you anything, its up to you to prove yourself. People who know multple languages and technologies, have a far better chance of getting a job, I have so many skillsets I started deleting the ones I don't want to work with years ago, its no longer possible to be just good enough, you have to be more than good enough, thers no 9-5 IT is a 24/7 commitment.

    I'd take the job if it looks better than your current position. Try to edge towards your goal as best you can. Benchmark, find people who represent your ideal and find out how they got there, if possible copy their approach. Be patient, keep biding your time, put in all the hours god sends, study every spare minute, get certs or quals to prove your learning.

    I've been continually learning IT 17+ years, and I've still got a long way to go and I still put in 70+ hour weeks.
  10. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Hi there and welcome to CF 8)
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009

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