Steve Jones (t|b) wrote a blog post talking about the death of the title Database Administrator. Mind you, he was talking about the title of DBA, not the actual job of being a DBA. Semantics, right? If you look across the inter-webs, the death of the DBA has been a favorite of the tech prophets for a long time. It seems to be an odd prophecy given the ongoing explosion of data being generated. In fact, it’s a reported 2.5 Quintillion Bytes of Data Created Daily. Is that accurate? I have no idea. I’m not sure how you could measure something like that. 2.5 quintillion is 2,500,00 terabytes. To be completely honest, I’m not sure how big that is. 250 zettabyte? 2.5 yottabyte? Ya, no clue.
More false predictions?
Yes, the death of the DBA has been falsely predicted for years, maybe even decades, this is true. Falsely predicted because the prediction is that the role of the DBA will no longer be needed in the traditional sense. Well, these days that prediction could be closer to reality. With the focus on the cloud, DBA’s will no longer be responsible for hardware or even possibly backups, which is going to leave DBAs with a lot of time on their hands. So unless they want to retire or change careers completely, it means DBA’s are going to have to evolve.
Evolve? Evolve into what? My guess would be if you’re a DBA now, you better start brushing up on your development skills. DBA’s will always be needed, but I think the job is going to transform into more of a development type role. I think the continued push of the DevOps movement into the DBA world is going to be the driving force. Even if you don’t move out to the cloud, you’re still going to be treating builds as deployments. Of course, there is also the Data Analytics and Data Science routes.
I suppose when you start seeing big names in the community starting to make moves, you should start considering your options. In July, Thomas LaRock announced his drift towards Data Science. That Brent Ozar guy gives a couple of interviews discussing some of these issues as seen below. All that being said if you are happy working with data then you need to take a proactive approach in your career. It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are in either, you still need to get out in front of these new trends.