Who is a Database Developer?

Database Developer is a fairly broad term. A person in this role can engage in comprehensive data work across multiple phases of the data “lifecycle”. The numerous tasks of a database developer include: choosing a technology, designing a data model, preparing structures, creating application logic, data processing processes, preparing data for analysis or optimizing queries so that the data is available to the user as soon as possible.

A database developer has many development paths ahead of him and it depends on personal preferences which one to follow. Certainly, his basic skill is the query language – SQL, but on this foundation you can build very different skill sets. People who feel comfortable in broadly understood programming will prefer the development of backend applications. People with a flair for statistics can confidently develop in data analysis – data science or machine learning. Esthetes, in turn, are good candidates for designing analytical systems, dashboards for analyzes or reports. Each of these roles is essential to the project and often one person has the opportunity to do different things, making it hard to complain about boredom.

A database developer often evolves with systems, moving towards big data. With the development of such systems, the demand for programmers who can work with data is growing. Often, data is migrated from older systems based on mature solutions, so constant development and learning about new technologies is necessary.

What role does it play in the project?

Depending on the project, a person acting as a database developer carries out a variety of tasks. The answer is partially contained in the previous question – the database developer deals with working with the data model and the data itself at each stage of the project. It basically performs a role similar to that of any other developer. He often participates in the analysis of requirements in order to optimally select a technology, data model or method of implementation of a specific process. Like any other programmer, he spends the vast majority of the day in front of the computer monitor analyzing the code – with the difference that the code is usually written in one of the languages used in databases (eg PLSQL or T-SQL). An additional task that a database developer may face is the preparation of data visualization or ready-made analyzes in systems such as Tableau or PowerBI.

Who does the Database Developer closely cooperate with in the project?

Since agile software development techniques began to gain popularity, soft skills have become especially important for everyone involved in the process. It is no different with database programmers. Everyday contact with other programmers, analysts or project managers. Depending on the project, it is very common to contact the end-users of the data, who are usually unfamiliar with the technicalities. A modern programmer definitely has to demonstrate highly developed communication skills. In addition, a strong emphasis on communication and empathy in candidates for programmers creates very good working conditions and promotes the creation of well-coordinated teams.

What subjects should I focus on in my studies to become a Database Developer in the future?

The answer seems obvious – general programming subjects are very important, as well as subjects typically related to databases, the level of which is different – from general introducing into the theory of databases, to advanced subjects related to certain issues related to databases, such as data warehouses, administration databases or spatial databases. For starters, SQL is by far the most important, and it’s worth learning even if you don’t plan on being a database developer. Knowing SQL can save a lot of trouble and lines of code for Java or .Net programmers.

From Intern to Senior – a development path.

The development path is standard for the IT industry and enables quite rapid development depending on predispositions and skills. As a standard, a candidate in Inetum begins his adventure on a database profile with internships during which he extends his knowledge of SQL as part of a prepared course and independent projects carried out under the supervision of an experienced tutor. The tutor determines the topic and direction of development of individual projects, thanks to which they are tailored to the skills and needs of each apprentice and stimulate development.

The next step is an internship, during which work on real projects begins. With a good foundation acquired during the internship, the trainee is ready to undertake project assignments. The supervisor still watches over the correctness of the tasks performed. This stage is primarily aimed at further developing the basic skills necessary for everyday work, but also gives a chance to collide with real tasks. Thanks to this, it can give a definite answer to the question – is it for me?

The next steps are: junior programmer, programmer and senior programmer. It’s hard to define clear boundaries between individual positions, but in my opinion the main differences are in independence:

• Younger programmer – copes with simpler tasks, but requires support in more complex ones,

• Programmer – great, copes with most tasks on his own,

• Senior programmer – is fully independent and also supports less experienced colleagues in solving their tasks.

My biggest challenges.

In my opinion, the biggest challenge is taking up apprenticeships and starting work in the first project. The leap from “university” projects to real commercial systems is huge and I believe that proper support and gradual implementation by mentors is extremely important. When it comes to technical challenges, the very beginning certainly brings them the most. The first job and first project are often things beyond our control, as opposed to subsequent career challenges. In the later stages of their career, everyone has a certain influence on the challenges they face, and is armed with the weapon of experience, so nothing is so scary anymore!

Pros and cons of working in this position.

The work of a programmer has several drawbacks, and the database programmer is no exception to this rule. Most of all, most of the day is spent sitting, focusing on the monitor. No one needs to be explained how badly it affects the eyes and spine. It also means very limited exposure to sunlight, which results in a milky white skin tone and low vitamin D levels. The best idea for a ten-minute break is to go out for a coffee, so it becomes an addiction, which has an effect on sleep quality😊. There are many advantages of this work, because the amount of available data that surrounds us today is huge and is growing very quickly. The development of data-related techniques allows you to carry out analyzes that no one had dreamed of a dozen or so years ago. Data and the ability to use them properly offer great opportunities … so people who can “put these blocks together” are and will always be in demand on the labor market.

If I could turn back time, would I still be a database man?

In fact, I think that a programmer’s job is generally a good idea for life. Of course, I can imagine better ones, but being a programmer you can not only earn good money, but also fulfill yourself. This work requires constant development and does not allow gray cells to rust. To be honest, of course, I don’t regret my path and I recommend that everyone start their database programming career, but I also don’t think that this path has any particular advantages over other programmer paths (at the same time it does not have any particular disadvantages).

Adrian Zrazek
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