Interview with a Database Administrator2 min read

Last updated on March 4th, 2018 at 11:29 am

The first assignment of my IT4300 (Database Design & Management) class was to interview a database administrator of a company.  I reached out to Jeff Beckstrand of OC Tanner over e-mail with a few questions about his views of working with databases.

Though short and to the point, I got the gist of database administration on a more personal level.  It’s important to understand what you’re doing as a DBA, because you are in charge of private, important, and valuable data.  My professor also encouraged us to ask for the average salary and stuff like that, but I thought it might come across as tacky, so I looked it up later ($60k/yr).

Furthermore, having an interview as my first post on my revived(!) blog seemed like a great idea.

oracle, a database administrator's best friend

Maryn Weed interviewing database administrator Jeff Beckstrand of OC Tanner.


How did you get into DBA?
We were upgrading our financials system and my boss sent me to training after choosing Oracle.

What are your daily tasks as a database administrator?
Really depends on the day, because my systems are built robustly so I can work on projects and only fix the occasional issue.

What do you like about your job?
That I can do creative problem solving nearly every day.

What do you do to stay current?
I read.

What database do you consider to be “industry standard”?
It all depends on your usage actually because one solution doesn’t fit every issue.

What do you need to consider in the areas of data governance and privacy?
Well it’s your job as a DBA to keep your company’s data secure, available, and performing quickly.

What certifications or other stepping stones do you deem necessary for the job?
Some companies look for certifications and others look for experience alone.  Also, it depends on who you work for.

Advice, general thoughts?
Find what you love and are passionate about and also find a group that you enjoy working with.


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