The difference between a SQL Developer and a DBA.

Richard Comito
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Hey Experts,

Can someone clarify the difference between a SQL Developer and a DBA.

Thanks,

GabicusC
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DEveloper writes SP, triggers, etc.
DBA does more of a role of DB backup, maintenance, monitoring, etc.
AneeshDatabase Consultant
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Devs ->mainly do coding, db creation
DBA -> backups, job schduling, monitoring for locks , perf tuning etc
Commented:
A developer is primarily concerned with writing code (t-sql and functions) to maintain an application.

An application DBA is primarily concerned with maintaining the database. A shop may have several developers and one DBA. The DBA will verify the developer's code, but the DBA is not involved in the day-to-day maintenance of the application.

A systems DBA is primarily concerned with the database and how it is maintained in the system. The systems DBA sometimes looks at code, but it is not the main focus.
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Commented:
DBAs are generally less skilled than Devs, because they just deal with maintenance, not much problem solving, other than load balancing and database efficiency.

Commented:
Laughing, "generally less skilled". That is funny. Please don't tell my boss, since I make about $25,000 more than those "skilled" developers.

Commented:
yeah, i'm a dev..it is kind of a dig...but when I say generally...i mean it. Most organizations that I know about value their Devs over the DBAs, because the DBAs job can be easier to take over for...rather than a DBA learning to code. At large organizations though, DBAs play a more serious role, and I'm sure that's where you're at.

Commented:
It's cool. It did bring a smile to my face.

I have worked in many shops - some large, some small. I have been in small shops where the DBA was one of the first to be given "other career opportunities".  I agree with your reasoning, the owners, who can be dev dudes, assume that a developer can take over the duties of the DBA.

Yes, as a DBA, I have less than zero interest in working on an application. I support several different applications and many databases across many servers. I don't have the time to troubleshoot why this drop-down box isn't populating. I was a developer for six years before being promoted to DBA. So for me, it's a lot of "No thanks, I have already done that".

I have also had jobs where I had to come in and take over for a legacy database created by a developer (or a team of developers) who did not understand what the word "relational" had to do with databases.

I have seen databases with 275 tables and three of those tables have a foreign key.

I have seen many tables where every column besides the ever-present ID column accepts NULL.

I have seen developers use "SA" as the account for every transaction in their application.

The list could go on, and I'm sure the other DBAs here could add their "what the f**k"?" when faced with the bird-house databases built by developers. And management wants us to drag this database into an "enterprise-level" application.






Honest, guys, I know some DBA's that can even tie their own shoes (... well, alright, I use velcro...)

Commented:
Laughing.

Richard ComitoDirector of IT

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Commented:
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the great back and forth on this issue.  That is what I thought.  I just find it really strange I sent out my resume to a recruiter that told me that I am look like I am more a DBA then a Developer.  To be honest all I do is write Stored Procedures and triggers.  I do little DBA work.  The DB that I work on I built from the ground up and I have been the only person that does all the work on it for the past 6 years, be it both as a DBA or a Developer.  I just cannot figure out what the recruiter is talking about.  So before I call him to help him see the light as he has asked me to do I wanted to make sure I had this all clear.

Thanks again everyone.
What the recruiter is probably doing is trying to talk you into considering a DBA path because either he has more DBA openings on his books than Developers or the DBA openings he has are offering more than the Developer openings he has (remember, the more he can get you, the more he gets)...
Just because you are a DBA doesn't necessarily mean you won't be writing code - in fact if you go the DBA route but manage to keep a foot in the Developer camp you should be able to transition easily to Database Architect or Application Architect, where the real money is...

Commented:
I agree. If you are an application DBA, you would work closely with the development group and the project manager. It is easier for someone who is already on the team to transition into development at a later time. It is very good location to know both worlds.



Richard ComitoDirector of IT

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Commented:
lahousden & ptjcb,

Thanks for the follow-up.  This really helps me to understand this whole proccess better.

GabicusC

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