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How to Hire a Top Notch Database Administrator (DBA)

By   /  August 4, 2017  /  1 Comment

Click to learn more about author Greg Davoll.

Since its inception in the late 1970s, the role of the database administrator (DBA) has continuously evolved to meet growing demands within the industry. With data at the heart of driving business growth today, the DBA is emerging as the unsung hero working behind the scenes and adapting to the ever-changing database environment. Today, the role of the DBA is still not only critical for the enterprise, but is valued so highly that the demand for DBAs is expected to increase 31 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to a recent study.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain those customers, and 19 times as likely to attain profitability as a result. As companies become more data-driven in an effort to reap these benefits, the demand for top notch DBAs becomes even more prominent. While the DBA is the golden ticket to leading an enterprise to optimal profitability, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the top-notch DBAs in a sea of interested applicants.

For organizations looking to hire or expand an indispensable database team, here are four must-have qualities of a rock-star DBA to help you weed through potential new hires:

  • Big-picture Business Acumen: The modern DBA needs to be able to see both the trees and the forest. In other words, he or she needs to both understand the overall needs of the business and demonstrate the ability to translate those needs into each application and database. Balancing agility with the desired performance and availability is the black magic in the DBA world.
  • “Flavor Flexibility:” In this ever-evolving industry, a successful DBA is one that possesses the ability to seamlessly adapt to different database environments. Whether relational, non-relational, or cloud-based, an accomplished DBA is well-versed in any data store “flavor.” With continued technological advancements and endless amounts of database varieties, today’s DBA must be able to flawlessly address the needs of multiple infrastructures.
  • Poise Under Pressure: With batch window timeframes evolving from several days to mere hours in a month, today’s DBAs must be able to complete routine tasks as well as “unplanned” tasks without fail — all while databases remain up and running. Today’s DBAs require unmatched composure, prioritization, and the ability block out background distractions in order to meet the demands of the business.
  • A Thirst for Knowledge: Staying on top of today’s latest database trends and tools available to the market is imperative for today’s database administrators, allowing them to complete their jobs with higher efficiency and accuracy than ever before.

To stay afloat in today’s evolving enterprise, it is imperative that companies know which optimal attributes to look for when hiring their database administrators. But because the role of the DBA is changing and evolving in complexity alongside technology, it is not always easy to assess the right candidates. By keeping these four traits top of mind, enterprises will be measuring their candidates against the latest demands in today’s modern data-driven enterprise.

About the author

Greg Davoll is the executive director of Product Management and Marketing at Quest Software and has more than 25 years of enterprise software experience in marketing and product management. Greg has previously held corporate development leadership roles at several leading technology companies including IBM, NetIQ, Sybase and BMC Software. You can follow Greg and Quest at: Twitter. LinkedIn

  • cmgalaxy

    Your comment about seeing the trees and forest applies! It’s easy to find oneself in a rabbit hole! There’s a lot of data, when it comes to problem solving a performance issue.

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