While learning the job of DBA cannot be done entirely in a few short months, a great place to start learning is this chapter. It provides an overview of the main tasks of a DBA such as the daily operations and how to manage database objects, users and space. (From the book Oracle Database 10g: A Beginner's Guide, by Ian Abramson, Michael Abbey, and Michael Corey, McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 0072230789.)
So, you’ve decided to be a Database Administrator (DBA). Great choice! On top of that, you’ve chosen Oracle as the Database Management System (DBMS) that you want to work with. Even better! All you need to do now is figure out how to learn what you need to know to do the job. Reading this book is a great start. However, the job of a DBA cannot be learned entirely in a few short months. It is a work in progress that can take several years to become really good at. Don’t get us wrong—you can learn the basics that will make you a productive DBA in a few short months, but there is a great deal to learn, and we don’t become really good at this job until we’ve actually run the utility, executed the SQL, or performed the task. In other words, don’t just read this book—try the examples and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Critical Skill 3.1 -- Learn the Job of the DBA
The role of a DBA is more of a career than a job. Those of us who have been doing this for many years are always learning new things and just trying to keep up! That’s the exciting thing about being a DBA: the job keeps changing. Databases are growing at a phenomenal pace, the number of users is increasing, availability requirements are striving for that magical 24/7 mark, and security has become a much greater concern. As you will see in this book, databases now include more than just data. They are also about the Internet and grid computing and XML and Java. So, how long will it take you to learn how to be a DBA? For as long as you’re practicing this career.
There are some concrete steps that you can take to jump-start your learning process. Undertaking an Oracle Certification will provide you with a structured program that offers you clear steps to help learn the details of the job. Instructor-led courses as well as CD- and Internet-based classes can help you through the process. Also, read as much as you can and then get your hands on a test database and practice what you’ve learned.
Applications come and go, but data stays around. All of the information that makes your company valuable is (or should be) stored in a database. Customer, vendor, employee, and financial data, as well as every other corporate data is stored in a database, and your company would have great difficulty surviving if any of that data was lost. Learn your job well. People are depending on you.
CRITICAL SKILL 3.2 -- Understand the Oracle Database 10g DBA Skill Set
There is good news for DBAs: Oracle has tools to help you do your job and manage your databases. These tools have existed for many versions of Oracle and have improved with each release to the point where the Oracle Database 10gofferings are extensive. In many cases, you will have the option of doing your job using a GraphicalUserInterface(GUI),and you will also have the option of using a command-line interface. We recommend learning both. You will need to use the command-line interface in many cases to schedule work through scripts. The GUI can be used for performing day-to-day operations and can also be used as a great learning tool the first time you perform an operation. In many cases, you will be able to generate the low-level commands from the GUI and can copy them to a file to be used later on.
As we’ve mentioned, there is a great deal that you will need to know in order to be able to provide well-rounded coverage of your Oracle environment. We can categorize the specialized areas of database management so that you will be aware of the whole picture and can break your work into well-defined groupings.
This chapter is from Oracle Database 10g: A Beginner's Guide, by Abramson, Abbey and Corey. (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004, ISBN: 0072230789). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.