Today, database engineers wear many hats. In addition to creating and managing databases for a company or organization, they might configure new or existing systems, fix bugs in various databases, or build new databases to ensure they’re meeting their stated purposes.
As such, the skills needed to work as a database engineer can vary widely, even from one job to another. If you’re interested in getting a job as a database engineer, here are a few skills you should build now, to please your employer later:
SQL is the modern data programming language for modern engineers. If you don’t have SQL skills, you can essentially kiss a position as a database engineer goodbye. In fact, it may be impossible to find virtually any opportunity in the field.
While the level of SQL fluency required will be different for each job, it’s smart to maintain a current set of SQL skills and ensure you’re being proactive about learning as much as possible about the language. This ensures you’ll excel as a database engineer, and be able to adjust to changes in the industry quickly and fluidly.
2. Platform Knowledge
There are dozens of database platforms available in the modern IT environment, and understanding the ins and outs of each is critical for any would-be database engineer. For example, some engineers might want to specialize in Microsoft SQL Server while others will work in Oracle, MySQL, or various other platforms.
The platform you choose may depend on the job you hope to get. No matter what, though, it’s wise to conduct a deep dive into the platform to learn as much as possible about its available features, limitations, releases, upgrades, and more. While some people specialize in a single platform, it’s wise to have some working knowledge of several, while becoming an expert in one.
While it seems obvious to say you’ll need communication skills, this is a critical consideration for anyone who wishes to work in database management. Patience and communication are required skills for database professionals, as they’re commonly required to explain database management to people who don’t fully understand it.
When a database specialist can explain technical information in an accessible way, the entire team wins. Additionally, strong communication skills ensure the database manager will become part of the larger body of workers, integrating entirely with operations and supporting a more streamlined workplace.
4. Optimization and Debugging
If you want to be the best database engineer you can be, learning debugging is essential. Possessing a selection of debugging and optimization skills will help you correct pressing problems and improve efficiency in the workplace. Additionally, debugging skills become critical when the database engineer is the only person on the team with end-to-end visibility.
Building the Skills Needed to Find a Job You Love
Finding a job you love isn’t a matter of happenstance. Instead, it’s an intentional, dynamic process that includes lots of proactive skill building. By focusing on developing the four skills above, you can set yourself up to land a high-quality job in database management, and enjoy fulfilling work from here on out.
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