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Hello,

I am currently working towards a computer science degree. I am interested in both software engineering and database administration, but I am not sure which I will prefer as a career. I am considering working on an Oracle certificate, just to get my feet wet, and see how well I like working with databases.

My question is, if I decide software engineering is what I want to do, will having an Oracle certification be helpful? I would assume database knowledge is useful when developing software?

On a side note... I already have a B.S. in accounting. It appears easier for me to transition into the IT field with some SQL knowledge (doing systems analyst work). This is another reason I am considering the Oracle cert.

Any and all responses are welcome.

Thanks

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Last Post by coolbeanbob
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Coders and sys admin need a good working knowledge of databases. But programmers will need more SQL query style knowledge and seldom need replication, back up, admin style knowledge of the database - thats what the sys admin is for.
Whereas sys admin may not need the same exact skills as a coder. But database knowledge is always useful in either of those jobs.

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In my experience the DBA's have a more stressful time. Updates to DB's often happen in the wee hours of the morning and if a database goes down, you get the call and can have an entire organisation waiting on you. Don't get me wrong, being a DBA is a skill that will always be wanted in the industry but you have to weigh up how stressful a job you can handle. This is only for larger organisations mind you, you may end up in a small company that doesn't require this but it is something to be aware of. DBA's often are performing maintenance tasks like backing up etc... and not so often blasting queries to DB.

Software engineers are on the other end of things. They'll be blasting queries to the DBA's server and countless hours coding. In a lot of cases you can get more 9-5 work as a Software engineer but this can vary a bit. I have found software engineers to be more relaxed overall but again this is only in my experience.

So, overall, both careers are good but software engineers are typically more attractive and successful :):icon_wink:

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I've worked in both large and small companies. I tend to prefer the smaller companies, but I might be happy working the small IT group of a larger company.

Would you say there is not much need for DBA's in smaller companies? Or is there one person that can play multiple roles, one being DBA?

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I've worked in both large and small companies. I tend to prefer the smaller companies, but I might be happy working the small IT group of a larger company.

Would you say there is not much need for DBA's in smaller companies? Or is there one person that can play multiple roles, one being DBA?

There is definitely a need, sometimes the smaller you go the more you take on and you can wear many hats ... but that might not make you an expert in one field, what do you want, enough to do a decent job or become an absolute pro DBA ... ?

I think you might have more respect and opportunities for being headhunted as an expert but then again wearing many hats can also mean you have the ability to move into several other roles.

Also a smaller company might outsource to a contractor once in a while for a database 'check-up' ... thus eliminating the need, depends on the company's needs.

Edited by Smeagel13: n/a

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> My question is, if I decide software engineering is what I want to do, will having an Oracle certification be helpful? I would assume database knowledge is useful when developing software?

Knowledge of SQL (including all knowledge about making efficient databases and software that uses them) is very useful for a software engineer, and I recommend that you learn how to use it and get practice making programs that use it. Evidence that you know how to use SQL, or claims that you can use it, can be useful for your first programming job. It is always better to be able to show actual code, instead of certifications you've passed. SQL is quite simple and learning it is not impressive, but that you know it is evidence that you'd be of more immediate use in a software engineering role, and I mean not from direct knowledge but as evidence that you can use tools and get ugly stuff done.

> On a side note... I already have a B.S. in accounting. It appears easier for me to transition into the IT field with some SQL knowledge (doing systems analyst work). This is another reason I am considering the Oracle cert.

I'm a software engineer so I don't know much about that field. I do know that it's very easy to transition into software engineering, if you're good at it. You don't need any degree or qualifications to become a software engineer, you just need evidence that you're good at programming. I would rather interview somebody who says "I have a B.S. in accounting, but decided that programming is interesting and here is some code I've written" versus "I have a B.S. in accounting, but decided that programming is interesting and here is an Oracle(TM) certification in database administration." To say "do both" is wrong, there's always an opportunity cost to getting a certification and studying for the test and in learning a bunch of Oracle-specific material that doesn't map over to other database systems. If you want to be a software engineer, that time is better spent writing code and having it available on the web.

Really, from the perspective of a software engineer that has written SQL database backed software, a DBA role doesn't make sense (to me). What are DBA's supposed know that software engineers don't? I can only imagine you'd need DBA's if you're using a program written by very bad software engineers. Another explanation would be that if you get pre-packaged software that uses a database and there's some use case that they just couldn't predict. Maybe I should ask this in a different thread.

Edited by Rashakil Fol: n/a

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> I would rather interview somebody who says "I have a B.S. in accounting, but decided that programming is interesting and here is some code I've written"

How do you get the interview? Just submit a resume with a link to your projects and say you have x amount of years with y?

It seems like most job postings require experience developing software in a team environment. I guess I could try to work with a team on open source projects, but even they seem to want experience.

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