I’ve been considering the fact that so many of the companies that contact us are looking for a DBA when they begin our conversations. There are a few things that go into this, I believe.
- MySQL DBA is a new job title. There is no long history of what skills define this role
- Oracle DBAs can specialize in so many things, and their depth of skill is so varied, that many companies spend months trying to hire the correct resource.
- The recent economic downturn has encouraged companies to broadly define job descriptions that actually encompass skills across cross job descriptions including senior systems engineer, network engineer, database administrator, and the newly amorphous cloud engineer.
These complications cause the hiring process to drag on and on.
We formed Blue Gecko 10 years ago with the intent to do the things we do well and find other people to carry the burden of doing the things we don’t do well. We recorded a satirical video about this. The premise was that we wouldn’t out source making our own coffee, simply because we drink so much of it. It clearly isn’t a core portion of our business. So, it is obviously absurd. Unfortunately, outsourcing (as a description of work in IT) has become stigmatized and partnering sounds like we’re playing buzzword bingo. I say it’s unfortunate, because no office would describe getting coffee beans as outsourcing. I’ll use another metaphor for how everyone can benefit from using a Remote DBA firm.
Occasionally, customers have a difficulty separating data (and thus their specific core business domain knowledge) from the database. The database is a tool. Proper maintenance of your vehicle (the tool in this case) doesn’t take away any of the control over your vehicle or destination. The mechanics can help you understand how to get the best performance from your car for the type of travel and conditions under which you are planning to use it. They can also help when your driving patterns change and the car isn’t performing as well as it once did.
Before I stop beating that metaphor, I would like to touch on another parallel. Even those organizations who have a fleet of vehicles may find it more cost effective to only have a single mechanic/ fleet manager on staff making use of the broader skills of a shop that has staff members specializing in different makes and models or even component parts. To tie this back to databases, a speciality in MySQL is different from a specialty in Oracle which is different than a specialty in RAC or DRDB or InnoDB internals etc. Remote DBA support and service firms can have deep skills in more areas than a small staff simply through sheer volume of staff and the variety of problems we address. Blue Gecko is here to offer those broad skills.