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Oracle DBA job skills

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

A number of Oracle professionals mistakenly believe that the Oracle DBA skills are purely technical. In reality, the Oracle DBA must be an "ace" of all IT functions, because he or she has ultimate responsibility for overall database design, database implementation, backup, and recovery. Excellent communications as well as technical skills are required for the DBA's close involvement in all phases of project development.


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Also see my notes on:

The fact computing resources are displacing human resources has a profound impact of the job duties of the Oracle DBA.  We see that Oracle instances are becoming consolidated onto large server with 32 and 64 CPUs, and as a result less DBA staff is required.

At the same time we see broadening DBA responsibility as the surviving DBAs need to manage schema design, security, and other mission-critical data management tasks.  The surviving Oracle DBA's will find themselves with many new job roles. 
They will be relieved of the tedium of applying patches to multiple servers, constantly re-allocating server resources, and tuning many servers. 

Remember, knowledge of Oracle database systems is not enough. An Oracle DBA must have skills in operating systems and computer-science theory.  That is why employers like to hire Oracle DBAs who also have skills in computer science, information systems, or business administration.

For an example of Oracle DBA job skills, see the BC job opportunities page.

Other Oracle DBA job skills include the following:

  • Excellent communication skills - The Oracle professional is the central technical guru for the Oracle shop. He or she must be able to explain Oracle concepts clearly to all developers and programmers accessing the Oracle database. In many shops, the Oracle DBA is also a manager and is required to have excellent communication skills for participating in strategic planning and database architectural reviews.

  • Formal education-  Many employers require Oracle professionals to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems. For advanced positions such as an Oracle DBA, many employers prefer a master's degree in computer science or a master's in business administration (MBA).

  • Real-world experience - This requirement is the catch-22 for newbie- s who possess only an OCP certificate. A common complaint of people who have OCP certificates but no job experience is that they cannot get experience without the OCP, and they cannot get a job without experience. This is especially true in a tight job market.

  • Knowledge of database theory - In addition to mastering the technical details required for the OCP exams, the successful Oracle professional must have an understanding of database and data warehouse design. This includes intimate knowledge of data normalization theory and knowledge of star schema design, as well as object-oriented modeling with Unified Modeling Language (UML) and knowledge of other database design methodologies such as CORBA and J2EE.

Basic Oracle DBA Skills

Because the Oracle professional is often called-upon to perform critical projects in the IT department, a broad background is often desirable.  Much of this basic IT knowledge is taught in academic Computer Science and Information Technology programs. Non-Oracle job skills include:

-          System Analysis & Design skills - Many Oracle professionals must take an active role in the analysis and design of new database systems.  Hence, knowledge of data flow diagrams, data dictionary techniques, CASE tools, Entity-relation modeling and design techniques, enhance the Oracle professionals scope of ability.

-          Database Design skills - Many Oracle jobs require knowledge of database normalization theory, STAR schema design, and data modeling techniques.

-          Physical Disk Storage skills - Understanding of disk hardware architecture, RAID implementation, cache controllers, and disk load balancing are beneficial to any Oracle professional.

-          Data Security skills - An understanding of relational database security including role-based security is useful, especially for US Government positions.

-          Backup and Recovery skills - Many backup and recovery methods involve third-party software (Veritas, Legato, ADSM), and the candidate should have real-world experience implementing backup and recovery methods.

-          Change Control Management skills - In many cases the Oracle professional is charged with the task of implementing change control and insuring that changes to the production database are properly coordinated.  Knowledge of third-party change control tools such as the UNIX Source Code Control System (SCCS) is beneficial.


Win your Oracle Dream Job!

Colleges don't teach the expert tips and secrets for getting an Oracle job and acing your Oracle job interview with The Oracle Job Interview Handbook.  Order directly from Rampant and save 30%.




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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  

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