Re: Career questions: databases

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2007 11:55:42 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Bruce C. Baker wrote:
> "DA Morgan" <> wrote in message

>> Neil wrote:
>>> While agreeing with your point about resume fluff, in all fairness, the 
>>> person claimed he was "proficient" in those technologies, not "expert" in 
>>> them. At what point does one become "proficient"? That's a good question. 
>>> But I don't think one needs to be able to field live questions from an 
>>> audience of developers in order to call oneself "proficient."
>>> Neil
>> I appreciate that but to me proficiency has a higher standard than,
>> perhaps, for you. Would you call a DBA that writes shell scripts to
>> back up 10g database proficient? I wouldn't.
>> To quote:
>> pro·ficient·ly adv.
>> Synonyms: proficient, adept, skilled, skillful, expert
>> These adjectives mean having or showing knowledge, ability, or skill, as 
>> in a profession or field of study. Proficient implies an advanced degree 
>> of competence acquired through training:
>> Note: "advanced degree of competence acquired through training"

> In the course of this thread we seem to have established at least two levels
> of DBA ability, i.e., "expert" and proficient", with proficient < expert.
> I'm sure there are all sorts of colorful names for those practitioners at
> the low end of the scale, but let's just call then "incompetent" for now. So
> we have
> incompetent < proficient < expert

I'd disagree here in that there are a small percentage of people doing anything that are incompetent. But not being proficient does not make one incompetent. Perhaps a bit more granularity would help.

incompetent < mediocre < average < good < proficient < expert

Most people, in any field of endeavor are average. That is the meaning of the word.

> What do we call DBAs who are somewhere between incompetent and proficient,

See above.

> and what would their qualifications be? In general, how many levels of DBA
> ability are there, and what does one have to know/be able to do to qualify
> for each of them?

The incompetent DBA is not doing backups or not verifying that their backups can be used to restore and recover. The mediocre DBA is writing shell scripts to do backup and tested it once. The average DBA is using RMAN but doesn't really know the tool except to repeat, day after day, what they did the day before. The proficient DBA, like Sybrand for example, has knowledge of the underlying built-in packages and the tables storing metadata in the repository. The expert writes RMAN scripts, without the aide of websites or books, capable of making the tool sing and dance.

Daniel A. Morgan
University of Washington (replace x with u to respond)
Puget Sound Oracle Users Group
Received on Sun Jul 01 2007 - 20:55:42 CEST

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