View Full Version : Now what do I do?
02-03-2000, 03:59 PM
I've been the only software developer in a group of Network Engineers for a couple of years now. The work is all done, except for support. It's time for me to move on. I don't want to go back to TPF (real-time assembler language programming) as I feel like that would be a step backwards. I applied for a DBA job here at my company, but they gave it to someone with much more experience. I have a third interview for a DBA job at another company, but I still have mixed feelings about. I've been with my current company for over five years, so I have 3 weeks vacation, plus the flexability to umpire NCAA games (sometimes I have to go out of state, for example). On the other hand, I think the DBA position at the other company could be a good learning experience. I've been pretty much a developer all my working life, so it would be almost like learning a new position. I'll be 38 in two weeks. Do I really want to do that? Plus for me to change positions, I might have to take a slight pay cut. If I stay with my current company (which is a good company + great bonuses historically) I will have to find another position. I just don't know if I should settle. It seems kind of scary with 3 kids and a wife to just up and change jobs. It's easy to feel secure even if you don't like the job you'll be doing. I'm rambling, but I hate uncertainty.
"You tryin' to tell me Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?" - Eddie Harris(Major League)
02-03-2000, 04:13 PM
I would keep looking. With this tight labor market, there's bound to be a job out there that you'll feel good about accepting. And you should never take a pay cut to change jobs, unless you're absolutely desperate. Most folks will tell you that you need at least a 15% raise to make it worth your while to change jobs.
02-03-2000, 04:17 PM
Well, I agree with the 15% rule if I were moving to a similar job. In this case, it's more of a change in direction in my career.
02-03-2000, 04:25 PM
Enright, DBA is a really good occupation to move into. It's a little less fun than developing but it's a more solid career choice by far. At my last job at the Biodome I made lateral and upward moves from network tech to net admin to developer and finally DBA but the pay was still abysmal. Now I have a real job.
Don't jump ship from a good company unless everything else is right but you're on the right track.
Just curious but what kind of databases do you want to administer? I'm pretty much strictly Oracle as that's the primary DB here but do a little in Sybase too.
02-03-2000, 04:31 PM
Hello Enright, Padeye! Fellow DBA here. I'm an Oracle DBA, but currently at my company we have Sybase and I am in the process of carrying over all the Sybase dbs from one server to a newer one. $#@$#@ Things are not going well.
DBA is a good, secure job. I became a DBA after being a developer for several years. My personal opinion: DBA work is more boring, but it pays better. You are on call more often (at my previous job I could never be away from my pager), and you want to be sure you work with the newest versions of the Database Software as much as possible.
Depending on the DBA position, you might have to do a lot of development (writing DBA stored procedures, perhaps even some 3GL programming, etc...), or, on the other hand, you might be only in charge of monitoring production DBA's for uptime/performance. In your case, I would think you would want the "development" DBA job if one came along.
Oracle seems to be the more popular DBA choice, so I would try to become an Oracle DBA. But Microsoft's SQL server is sniping at Oracle's heels from the bottom end.
02-03-2000, 04:53 PM
That seems to be the direction I'm leaning. I just can't get past the comfy feeling of having 5+ years w/ this company. This job would require some pretty hefty stored procedure work, which I don't anticipate as a problem. I've been trained in Oracle (a couple of years ago... version 7?), but have no real practical experience in it. The shop I'm interested in is a Microsoft shop, running SQLServer 6.5 & 7.0. I just finished a 7.0 class, it has some pretty neat features.
02-03-2000, 11:38 PM
There are only two reasons to accept a pay cut for a new job: you truly love the job; you are about to lose your current job, anyway.
The second point might be a consideration in your situation. Are they about to close down your team or your department? If so, you may want to leave ahead of the axe. On the other hand, if they can find another place for you, take it, then keep looking for better opportunities inside the company.
If you are considering the outside DBA position, make sure that they support (and pay for) proficiency training. (There's nothing quite so ungratifying as finding a company that hires you "cheap" (as a favor to you, of course), then lets you struggle with your own education so that you can never get the certification to move to a better job.)
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