by CIO Staff

The Database Administrator Role Evolves

Feb 15, 20042 mins
Data Management

Q: I am seeing a blurring of roles between the traditional database administrator (DBA) and the application developer. My DBAs are writing more code, and my developers feel like the DBAs are pushing back when they should be doing the traditional DBA job. Is the DBA role becoming less specialized and moving into a developer role? Are you doing anything about it?

-VP of IS, electronics company

A: We have a developer who is a half-time DBA. She takes the lead on the platform work and collaborates with the other developers when they have specific needs that require both perspectives. I’m sure a lot of the traditional DBA work is done by our developers. Tools are getting better at the lower-level work, so people can focus on solving the business problem.

-Jim Prevo, VP and CIO, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

A: We have taken our two DBAs and moved them into developer roles. They have reacted positively, and the development team has benefited from having people familiar with our databases and servers to create EDI and data warehouse-related applications.

-Farid Nagji, SVP and CIO, HCC Service

A: This blurring of roles is a dangerous, but necessary, evolution toward a more data-oriented environment. I see an analogy between this and the proliferation of Web developers who know nothing about formal software development methodologies. If not managed closely, allowing developers with no DBA skills to meddle with the inner-workings of databases and data marts could be disastrous.

-David Reid, CIO, The Krystal Co.