I’ll admit, that for a while now, I have been longing for a change in my day from a job perspective. No, I don’t dislike being a DBA and yes I would love to do more development stuff, but that’s not completely the point. In the past I have done report writing, as well as data mine for financial reports that were spit out in Excel. Truth be told, I used to really enjoy digging through the data to create the these ad-hoc reports. I learned a lot about finance, student information, grants, payroll, and all the other fun information that makes a school district run. Same thing when I moved into banking. I learned a lot when I would have to dig into the guts of the data. So maybe, deep down, I’m more of a data nerd than I am a DBA.
In IT there always trends, and sometimes those trends really catch on. For example, virtualization. These days it is much cheaper to host multiple systems on a large VM host as guests than it is to pay for physical servers. It makes HA and DR so much easier, and cheaper from the stand point of a/c, electricity, and physical space to house that many servers. There’s some trade offs, as there always are. For instance, if the host goes down, you can lose all the guests on that host. So it’s pretty safe to say, that cloud computing is the next evolution. And yes, there are some down sides to it. Point is, IT continues to evolve.
From DBA to Data Science…
A few years back when I decided to make the transition from the world of AS/400’s and move into the SQL space, I came across a book called DBA Survior: Become a Rockstar DBA by this LaRock guy. You might have heard of it, or maybe even heard of him. I credit this book for getting from accidental DBA in the AS/400 world to a full time DBA in the SQL world. So thank you SQLRockstar. From there I got on Twitter, I started going to local SQL User Groups, a SQL Saturday in OKC, and from there it was learn as much as I could from everyone I could. And I’m still learning. I have a long way to go…
All that being said, that Tom guy posted another article on his blog in the last week about Data Science that hasn’t left my thoughts. In the post, it talks about the DBA job being automated away and how being able to analyze data is the new trend. Is that true? Hell I don’t know. I do know it’s not the first time I have seen people talk about it. Grant Fritchey was blogging about learning R. Microsoft has already demo’ed a PetaByte data lake during Data Amp. So it doesn’t seem to be a “fad”.
I think it might be a good thing to add in some data sciencey skills. That way, you’re at least prepared. In fact, I believe that so much that I spent sometime researching the “switch”. I came across a post by Swami Chandrasekaran that provided a roadmap. Then I came across another website focused on data analytics that had a good learning path. It suddenly dawned on me, maybe this is what I mean when I tell myself I want to move towards development.
Whether or not I ever become a Data Analyst/Scientist, I still think the skills put out in the roadmaps/learning paths are great skills to learn. At the very least, I’ll have a deeper understanding of the data, which is a good thing when you are a Data Professional.