This isn't career advice, this is more of a question of logistics.

When looking at job market and such there is a lower than what I think would be out there of database admins but I'm curious if database admins actually include strictly database developers, or of database developers are more under a blanket term "Programmers" or "Software Developers"?

Like someone who enjoys programming SQL/Queries/Stored Procedures and such but probably knows some about settings a database up and such? Would this be under the DBA term or something else? (Since I haven't seen any reports for Database Developer in "job market forecasts" and such)


Generally, "database development staff" are lumped under the "DBA" term, as in "guys who do database stuff". That's pretty much all you get. Its a bit like job adverts who want someone with 5 years "GUI" experience.

However, the 2 should not be confused. Last place I worked that was highly competent with DBs, we had both DBAs and DB devs. The 2 did different jobs.

DB Devs did the coding, schema organisation etc. They created the SSIS packages and stored procedures, etc. The DBAs managed the DB, they handled backups and scheduled job packages. They handled deployment and managed the running of the DB servers.

So you can find places where the terms are distinct, but they are few and far between. Places that do this will know what they're doing with DBs. Other companies will expect you to do a bit of everything. Its really not that much different from the software side of things. You'll have to enquire about the job in detail (and don't expect the recruiter to know the answer) for each individual job if you can do one but not the other role. I would put your expertise on your CV and make it quite clear what skills you do have.

  • Hmmm, well I guess I find it strange even then that there aren't that many DBA's out there according to Job Market numbers? like....1/10th of programmers almost. – user6791 Mar 28 '13 at 13:39

The distinction is more likely to exist in companies that are either larger or highly specialized.

For example, my current employer (the largest yet) has DBAs, data modelers and programmers. The duties you described are mixed between the three. DBAs do all of the setup, maintenance and tuning whereas data modelers are solely concerned with schema setup. Sprocs and such can come from either the DBAs or the software developers.

Generally, though I would say that if you want to get your hands dirty in a bit of everything (and there is a lot to be said for it) then you want to work at a smaller company. Otherwise, expect that what you refer to as a "database programmer" is probably an anagram of the duties of several different positions.


It would depend on the individual company, but in general, database developers are called programmers or software developers. Using a database with SQL is considered part of the skill set of a software developer.

Database administrators (DBA) administer the database. In other words, they keep the database running at near peak efficiency. Depending on the database engine we're talking about, these administrative activities require some training or a great deal of training.

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