Oracle: Application Developer or Database Administrator
new to the IT sector. After much deliberation, Iíve decided to take an
Oracle course. It's the Application developer from Oracle. I only have a
vague idea of what a developers does and was wondering if you could
please paint me the whole picture. I would like to know what they do as
professionals and what the future holds for a person who has the
much as Iíd like to take the Oracle Application Developer course,
Iím being advised to take the Administrator course instead. The person
said that administrators are more sought after than developers. Please,
is this true? I'm really interested in the developer course but what use
will it be if it canít fetch a decent pay?
for your mail. It always makes sense to get as much useful information
on programs you are want to invest your resources (time, money effort,
etc) on. This helps to improve the quality of your decision-making. Being wise means knowing if a program is good and if it is good for you.
And not all good
programs are necessarily good for you.
lot depends on you and not what people believe or say. You canít
afford to allow your career decisions to swing with the opinion of
others. The only way to do whatís best for you is to build up
knowledge on opportunities and challenges in your area of interest.
There are opportunities in all areas of IT just as there are challenges.
There may be more challenges than opportunities in some than others. It
can also depend on your background. But what is important is that you
have the interest and a passion for your area of interest. Not only that
you must have the right attitude towards acquisition of knowledge and
Passion and motivation helps you to advance and sustain yourself in times
of opportunities or challenges. So what is your career plan? Where are you? Where are you going? You must have a direction and
a sense of purpose. To be realistic, your career plan should be based on
your interests, requirements, personal self-assessment, skills,
experience and your career goals (http://www.jidaw.com/careerplan.html).
In the database
field, Oracle is the recognized market leader. Oracle software suits all
businesses. It has the most robust database and supports highly critical
systems with both database and development tools. This creates a need for
Oracle Database Administrators as well as Application Developers.
therefore identified and created certification tracks for these job
Oracle Application Developer
application developer is more of a business analyst / software
developer. The developer is concerned with planning and designing a
database whose structure meets the users current and future needs for
data storage and reporting. This is very similar to programming in that
developmental languages are used to develop database applications.
Simply put, Application
Developers develop applications on Oracle. This requires sound
understanding and grasp of SQL, PL/SQL, and the ability to develop
Internet applications using Form Builder and Report Builder. Most
modern technologies including e-commerce rely on database systems. And
today's application developer must be equipped with Internet skills
because of database advancements and developments in this area, most
especially in e-commerce.
developing systems, application developers must have the skills and
attributes of a programmer such as logical thinking, attention to
detail, ability to focus for long periods. Common activities include:
gathering and analyzing requirements, coding and testing. Visit
the Programming/Developers page
Oracle Database Administrator
Database administrator is more of a data facilitator Ė making sure
data is secure, available and is used productively. This involves administrative,
and routine activities
such as installing database, user
account maintenance, management of backups,
performance tuning and data recovery. This requires good knowledge of
the Oracle database architecture. Essentially the DBA is responsible for
designing and maintaining an organization's database, and ensuring that
data is only available only to authorized users (http://www.jidaw.com/dba.html).
Visit the DBA Certification page (http://www.jidaw.com/certarticles/databasecerts.html)
to gain detailed information about the Oracle DBA exams
can be seen that though both the Database administrator and the
Application Developer are
critical to the database, there are significant
differences in work expectations.
we conclude let's take another perspective on the differences from an Oracle specialist:
honestly think it depends on the person. Developer courses are more time
consuming and change frequently. Also, developer has a wider range of
things to learn. There's JDeveloper, Developer 2000, Developer6i, Java/XML
related issues and all sorts. The database administrator (DBA) is more
streamlined and stable. You don't have to study to hard to grasp it and
have tools that will help you understand these stuffs. Almost everything
is web based now and Oracle does not really seem to pull its own when it
comes to its UI (user interface) tools compared to UI tools like VB,
Java, C-Sharp, Visual C++, Microsft.Net, ASP, ColdFusion to mention a
few. But Oracle beats all comers completely when it comes to database.
From my observation of the market here, the market demand for oracle
developers has not been that great for sometime.
If you're a developer, you can't limit yourself to Oracle UI
tools because other software from other companies like Microsoft, Sun
and others seem to do better there and have a higher demand. But an
Oracle DBA is solid and can easily transition to other databases.
a nutshell, as long as the person understands that he/she will have to
be ready to learn a lot of other programming languages/tools because
they keep enhancing the way programs are written. So one has to
constantly study or else your knowledge becomes obsoleteĒ.
the views above and insight into the nature of work, you can see that
it's an easier learning curve to become a DBA compared to a developer.
And in order to be a successful developer, you have to learn other
programming languages and constantly be on your toes learning new
The ball is back in your court. What is your choice based on your personal and career focus? You need to analyze the opportunities and make sound decisions in your interest. Donít think only of immediate benefits but also your long-term career goals. Assume responsibility and craft your career strategy.
which area do you have the passion? What will excite or motivate you?
DBA is routine, faster to acquire but demand is steady, while
Application development is more dynamic, but requires more continuous
learning. No career is better than the other. It depends on what you
want to achieve. What is your purpose?
following are some other issues that you should consider:
are a great way to acquire skills and knowledge you need. But experience
is also important for career growth. Oracle Application Developer or DBA,
what plans do you have for experience? Training and certification gives
you advantage, but you will still have to make the effort to get
experience and prove yourself on the job. An Oracle certification is
helpful but is no guarantee of work experience.
lot depends on your marketing and soft skills, your background as well
as the extent of Oracle deployment where you live. We all live and work
in different environments with varying levels of Oracle deployment. What
is the Oracle spread where you are, or where you hope to be? In your
business environment what is the size of the installed Oracle base? How
many organizations have Oracle installed? Opportunities will exist with
organizations that have Oracle installed as well as consulting firms
that support and develop Oracle applications and installations. Having
an Oracle qualification is good but you can only apply knowledge you
have acquired in an environment that has Oracle database installed, or
in an organization that supports clients using Oracle. Have you done
your research on such opportunities?
example, in developing countries, the cost limits acquisition of Oracle
as well as activities relating to Oracle support and installation. If
youíre a newcomer in such an environment, getting Oracle work
experience may not be straightforward, with or without an Oracle
or not, Application Developer or DBA, make sure you are strong in the
fundamentals. You need to understand the underlying concepts of
database. Donít restrict yourself to Oracle. Learn about Microsoft
Access even though it is in the small league. Understand basic concepts
of Tables, Views, Queries, Primary Keys, Foreign Keys, Types of Indexes,
Columns and the different data types.
also learn concepts of tablespaces, partitions, stored procedures,
packages and functions, business objects, etc.
books and Internet resources and start from there. Your interest or
quest will motivate you to pursue more once you have some grasps of the
basics and concepts.
hope this has given insight that will help you in taking the right
decision for your IT career. There is no formula for career success. Be
wise and use what you have Ė information, resources, opportunities and
a can-do attitude!
the best in your IT Career,
Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com (http://www.jidaw.com)
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