Friday, December 19, 2008

Evolving trends and directions for DBAs and Developers: How do DBAs stay marketable?

I visit a large number of organizations every year to deliver training, short term consulting as well as business and technology seminars in the area of database servers, security, software development and middle-tier technology. So I thought I would share some of the trends I have seen in 2008 that I believe will continue in 2009.

I'm always being asked the following questions; "How do I stay marketable?" or "What trends are occurring in technology that impact DBAs and Developers?". The trends are pretty obvious, the question is what conclusions do we draw from them.

IT Continuing Trends for 2009

Some of the noticeable trends:
  • Common DBA skills (administration, backup/recovery, tuning) are becoming more of a commodity and easier to outsource every day. A recent quote from a high end recruiter "I don't have any use for technical DBAs. Now applications DBAs are worth their weight in gold".
  • Oracle Application DBAs (Financials, ERP, Hyperion, ...) are becoming more valuable and marketable every day. This is the skillset of the future, not the basic technical DBA skills.
  • Middle-tier applications increase in importance and visibility. The key in most organizations is their middle-tier business applications (vendor and custom). An Oracle database license can be a few million dollars. An Oracle or SAP Financials implementation can cost 100 million dollars. I wonder where an organization will place their emphasis?
  • Oracle Fusion Middleware skills (Oracle Application Server, web services, BPEL, SOA, XML, ...) are becoming more valuable than ever. As Oracle Fusion applications roll out in the future, these middle-tier skills will increase in marketability and demand.
  • Middle-tier architecture skills working with application servers, middle-tier caching, web services, J2EE, PHP, Ruby on Rails are increasing in demand.
  • Architectural skills and high availability expertise across all tiers are needed more than ever. If a system is slow, there has to be people that can do problem resolution and performance tuning across all tiers.
  • Cross platform expertise. DBAs that can support Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server environments are more valuable than a technical DBA that can only support one environment.
  • Virtualization will increase significantly. Oracle's VM and Sun's VM (Containers, Zones) will see an increase in database and application servers running production environments using VMs. Sun Containers are a very powerful way of setting up cloning and failover. So VMs not only provide very cost and environmental effective ways of implementing servers but offer significant advantages in administration and high availability. One of the biggest success stories with Sun Containers was an Oracle Hyperion implementation that the consultants told me that can't now imagine implementing this any other way.
  • Open source will continue to see significant growth in the next year. The reduced cost and flexibility of open source solutions will significantly help organizations be cost effective and competitive.
The best present you can give yourself for the next year is to learn new skills to increase your marketablity and value to organizations.

1 comment:

arjenAU said...

I think fad and vendor independence is a good trait.
Can save a lot of money now and trouble later.