In the database field, Oracle is the recognized market leader. Oracle software suits all businesses. It has the most robust database and supports highly critical systems with both database and development tools. This creates a need for Oracle Database Administrators as well as Application Developers. Oracle has therefore identified and created certification tracks for these job profiles.
Oracle Application Developer
An application developer is more of a business analyst / software developer. The developer is concerned with planning and designing a database whose structure meets the users current and future needs for data storage and reporting. This is very similar to programming in that developmental languages are used to develop database applications. Simply put, Application Developers develop applications on Oracle. This requires sound understanding and grasp of SQL, PL/SQL, and the ability to develop Internet applications using Form Builder and Report Builder. Most modern technologies including e-commerce rely on database systems. And today's application developer must be equipped with Internet skills because of database advancements and developments in this area, most especially in e-commerce.
In developing systems, application developers must have the skills and attributes of a programmer such as logical thinking, attention to detail, ability to focus for long periods. Common activities include: gathering and analyzing requirements, coding and testing.
Oracle Database Administrator
A Database administrator is more of a data facilitator – making sure data is secure, available and is used productively. This involves administrative, maintenance and routine activities such as installing database, user account maintenance, management of backups, performance tuning and data recovery. This requires good knowledge of the Oracle database architecture. Essentially the DBA is responsible for designing and maintaining an organization's database, and ensuring that data is only available only to authorized users ((http://www.jidaw.com/dba.html).
It can be seen that though both the Database administrator and the Application Developer are critical to the database, there are significant differences in work expectations.
In a nutshell, as long as the person understands that he/she will have to be ready to learn a lot of other programming languages/tools because they keep enhancing the way programs are written. So one has to constantly study or else your knowledge becomes obsolete”.
From the views above and insight into the nature of work, you can see that it's an easier learning curve to become a DBA compared to a developer. And in order to be a successful developer, you have to learn other programming languages and constantly be on your toes learning new technologies.
The ball is back in your court. What is your choice based on your personal and career focus? You need to analyze the opportunities and make sound decisions in your interest. Don’t think only of immediate benefits but also your long-term career goals. Assume responsibility and craft your career strategy.
In which area do you have the passion? What will excite or motivate you? DBA is routine, faster to acquire but demand is steady, while Application development is more dynamic, but requires more continuous learning. No career is better than the other. It depends on what you want to achieve. What is your purpose?
The following are some other issues that you should consider:
Certification and Experience
Certifications are a great way to acquire skills and knowledge you need. But experience is also important for career growth. Oracle Application Developer or DBA, what plans do you have for experience? Training and certification gives you advantage, but you will still have to make the effort to get experience and prove yourself on the job. An Oracle certification is helpful but is no guarantee of work experience.
A lot depends on your marketing and soft skills, your background as well as the extent of Oracle deployment where you live. We all live and work in different environments with varying levels of Oracle deployment. What is the Oracle spread where you are, or where you hope to be? In your business environment what is the size of the installed Oracle base? How many organizations have Oracle installed? Opportunities will exist with organizations that have Oracle installed as well as consulting firms that support and develop Oracle applications and installations. Having an Oracle qualification is good but you can only apply knowledge you have acquired in an environment that has Oracle database installed, or in an organization that supports clients using Oracle. Have you done your research on such opportunities?
For example, in developing countries, the cost limits acquisition of Oracle as well as activities relating to Oracle support and installation. If you’re a newcomer in such an environment, getting Oracle work experience m