No DBA Required?

Kellyn Pot’Vin-Gorman put out a nice post a few days ago which you can read here. It talks about the future of the DBA, especially in the light of Oracle’s new “fully managed” Database Cloud Service that will be announced soon. I pushed out some links to the post on social media with a “Just Read” message, as I sometimes do, then was hit by a wave of questions and comments about it. I think I’m on the same page as Kellyn where this is concerned and I’ve been saying similar things for quite some time.

I’ve also talked about how the world has changed for PL/SQL and SQL developers.

The reactions I’ve received following all these posts, as well as the comments about Kellyn’s post, can be broken down into the following categories.

  • Denial : The [Apps] DBA role will never die!
  • Panic : Quick, tell me what I should learn today before my family is out on the street.
  • Pragmatic: My role as a DBA has evolved so much over the years, and will continue to do so. I have to continue to adapt or die.

I think from my previous posts you will know I’m in the Pragmatic category. The type of work I did 20 years ago, whilst calling myself a DBA, is drastically different to what I do today. In 10 years time my role will be totally different, but I will probably still call myself a DBA (Do Bloody Anything).

At this point someone will chip in with, “We will never move our databases to the cloud so this doesn’t affect me!” This is naive for a couple of reasons. First, you will move *some* things to the cloud. It will happen! Second, the changes to the DBA role will happen regardless of the cloud. Automation is the thing that is altering the lives of DBAs and SysAdmins. Cloud is just another form of automation. If they haven’t already, your company will have to get on board with automation or die. In addition, the products you use will evolve over time, as they have been for years.

You can look at all this from a couple of angles.

  • OMG! I’m going to have to learn something new. What a bloody nightmare! I was hoping to do the exact same thing every day until I die!
  • OMG! This is brilliant! There’s loads of new stuff to learn! When I know this new stuff I’m going to be even more valuable!

Take your pick… 🙂



PS. It will be interesting to see what Oracle actually come up with at the end of all this… 🙂

Update: Loïc Lefèvre just sent me a link to this article, which is pretty cool!

Update 2: You might want to read this from Thomas LaRock from the SQL Server camp. 🙂