Oracle Admins competing in the job market.

My outlook on our changing times in respect to Oracle Jobs.
I started working with Oracle as a PL/SQL developer over 12 years ago. When I started like most people I had no idea of the strengths of this development language and it was not one of the offered courses at any college that I had seen. My college courses primarily revolved around Java, C++ and VB.
The company I started working for had a very small development staff and had not truly tapped into a web experience for it’s customers. The job role consisted of handling everything from the server, OS, database, application server to the code writing and deployment. Of course then the entire
application lived on one server with one back up server, so management was simple.
My experience with working with a medium sized company trying to get into the web space was very different than that of the planned large organization which have multiple people filling only single roles. Of the course over the next few years we quickly expanded in the online business but maintained the same limited staff which gave me a strong understanding of all components in the technology layer.
Many years down the road with the economy boom we had grown to have a large online presence with many new applications coming online. Our company went after new opportunities and successfully landed many new fields of interest using core strengths of the company. We hired people who were field specific such as Oracle DBA, Oracle Application Admin, Cold Fusion developers and split the hardware/OS management to different roles. These employees came from large organization backgrounds and knew one thing and one thing well. That fit well in the large organization plan which did not share resources across job functions.
As the economy shattered only a few years later, so did the mass new growth that we had experienced only a few years earlier. With this change of economy came a quick change back to our company of having to share job functions and have people who understood multiple areas of work. Not all job roles require this but it is obvious that the Senior Team members or leads need to compete in multiple fields again.
For someone with a background in many technical areas, working in multiple technical tasks is an easy adjustment. For people who come from large organizations that have had limited exposure to having to handle multiple job functions this seems to be a major issue. The employee who has not had to work in different fields seems to constantly look for who to hand off to or try to explain how they did it at their last company or how it should be done by someone else. For employees who come from a background of having to complete all tasks they can quickly change with this changing economy.
With the economy the way it currently stands and so many organizations having to downsize, many employees must adapt to multiple job roles to compete in their current field. An Oracle DBA may no longer be responsible for just the database but may also be responsible for many of the OS or application server management functions.
Many big business have seen this years in advance and have built technologies to help enable the Oracle Admin to support more functions by simplifying the management tools. Oracle’s Exadata is a great example of a prebuilt area to perform many of the tasks previously managed by multiple job roles.
Not all companies will experience the need to share job roles and so a DBA may just be a DBA in a large organization. But most mid to small size companies will feel the need for employees who can share the load of multiple job functions while competing to maintain not only current business but business growth.
The Oracle Senior Team member whether a DBA, Developer or Application Server admin will most likely be competing in more then their standard fields of interest in the upcoming years.
As Arie de Geus said “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable advantage.”
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