Re-GROUP BY

I know it’s been a while, and I did get one of the New Year’s “tag you’re it” posts (thanks Doug) — but I cant’ bring myself to “fill it out”.† Seems like odd info to me that wouldn’t be very interesting to you.† Anyway, I’ve got a question related to some recent work I’ve been doing interviewing people.

“Do DBAs need to know SQL?”

Define “know” anyway you want.† I’m curious since many of the people I’ve been interviewing seem to be taken aback by a few simple SQL questions — telling me that DBA’s don’t do SQL — they manage and administer databases.† That SQL is for developers.† On a related note:

“Do DBAs need to be able to tune a database?”

Define “tune” anyway you want.† I’m also surprised at the number of candidates who think that tuning is a COTS vendor or developer responsibility.

8 Responses to “Re-GROUP BY”

  1. Mark Bobak Says:

    In my opinion, the DBA is the be-all and end-all of Oracle knowledge at the company. The DBA needs to know SQL, PL/SQL, tuning, security, the list goes on and on. If the developer is doing something, I want to know it at least as well as he does, otherwise, how do I assess the “threat” to my database?

    Now granted, that’s not always possible, as no one can know everything, but, I try to do my best.

  2. Chen Shapira Says:

    Yes and yes. The answer should be so self evident, I can’t even bring myself to explain it.

  3. ddelmoli Says:

    Thanks — I’m glad to hear it — although I have the feeling I’m preaching to the choir a bit… :-)

  4. Dominic Brooks Says:

    I agree. Preaching to the converted maybe, however it’s been a long time since I’ve worked anywhere where the DBAs were proficient at either let alone both.

  5. Yas Says:

    What does a DBA do if he/she does not know SQL or how to tune the database? Just back it up, create users, grant privileges, etc…?

    I think we must know about SQL and tuning more than any developer. DBA is the one when everybody comes to when they face a trouble. I would not hire someone claiming they do not need these assets.

    A development background is a strong asset in the DBA job.

  6. Doug Burns Says:

    I think we must know about SQL and tuning more than any developer. DBA is the one when everybody comes to when they face a trouble.

    That’s the way I’ve always seen it. Having said that, I wouldn’t necessarily the way that all DBAs are. Some do seem to just backup/create users/manage privs etc, so maybe developer’s expectations of DBAs have become low?

    itís been a long time since Iíve worked anywhere where the DBAs were proficient at either let alone both.

    Any jobs going? ;-)

    Seems like odd info to me that wouldnít be very interesting to you.

    Fair comment.

  7. Dominic Brooks Says:

    > the one when everybody comes to when they face a trouble
    That’s a position everyone should aspire to – certainly my take on things, although I expect the DBAs to come to me as well as the developers …

  8. Jared Says:

    Well of course a DBA doesn’t need to know SQL!

    That’s what OEM and GC are for, right?

    ;)

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