To get Employment Opportunity as Database Administrator
Posted: Jan 10, 2019
Action Research Project Overview
Information Technology is advancing a lot these days. Working as an intern helps to gain knowledge, corporate exposure and experience to handle problems. I would like acquire the skills required for an organization as database administrator. Every organization needs a database to store data. There will be a database team to monitor all the actions regarding the data storage and retrieving aspects. The role of database administrator includes designing a suitable database for the organization, providing various access levels and security. Trouble shooting and disaster recovery are the additional duties of database administrator. As a database administrator, it gives opportunity to assist the DBA team, review and organize the database tables. As a part of this project I got an opportunity to attend an interview at an organization and understand the work process at CV Consulting Inc.Introduction Overview
CV Consulting Inc. provides services in the field of health care, financial services, insurance, manufacturing and retailing industry. It is a client based organization which provides solution for IT service needs. The organization owns a corporate office and sales office, the corporate office is located in Wexford, PA where as sales office is located at Manchester, UK. CV Consulting Inc. also has a development center which is in India. IT infrastructure of CV Consulting Inc. consists of software tools like enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management to maintain customer details and feedback. Every organization has its own IT infrastructure based on the size and requirements of the organization. Similarly, CV Consulting Inc. IT infrastructure consists of personal computers which are enabled with secured internet and LAN connections.
Tools like enterprise resource planning helps the organization to manage business applications for improved work functions such as technology and human resources. As CV consulting Inc. is a client based organization it mainly focuses on customer satisfaction customer relation management tool helps to manage and analyze data such as customer interaction with the organization. CRM systems enable to gather data from various sources such as website, telephone calls, and chats. Marketing, sales force and contact center automation are some of the important features of the CRM software.
Firewalls serve as barrier between the inbound and outbound network traffic based on a set of rules as designed by the network administrator. Firewalls can be classified either as software or hardware. Microsoft windows firewall is an example for software firewall, router is an example of hardware firewall.
Sonal Patel, who is the director of CV Consulting Inc. is one the main stake holders. Other stake holders include the employees of the organization and its clients. The other stake holders would be Gotham Pagadala and Yashwanth Veeranki who are working as salesforce developer and database administrator for a Multi-National Company. The above-mentioned people helped me in understanding the job platforms and job roles.
The following are the duties of Database administration team.
- Design and develop a database based on the requirements.
- Provide security layers to the access the database.
- Organize the data into the tables.
- Create, edit, sort or delete tables.
Database helps to store and analyze the data. Data can be arranged into tables. All the information such as client details, employee details and other important data are stored in the database. CV Consulting Inc. uses cloud based database to store its data. Maintaining a good database helps the organization to retrieve and protect the data.
The following are the skills that I possess:
- Good aptitude skills
- Interest in latest technologies such as cloud computing, My SQL
- Completed certification in.NET frameworks and SQL
- Ability to develop apps using ASP.NET
- Impressive communication skills
Further, I would like to improve in the following areas to prepare and clear Microsoft certification exam. Learn programming languages like PYTHON, Linux. Get industrial exposure and interact with experts from various platforms.Methodology
The Action research is the process that helps to improve the research or analysis. Kurt Lewin introduced the concept of action research in 1940s and was successful in doing an organized research with the stake holders. Using action research process more reliable solutions to problems can be obtained. Action research is a structured method through which improvements can be which affects the individuals. Action research is not alone an academic fundamental but its application has been spread over a wide range of fields.
Action research has evolved with time but the actual purpose of action research of conducting an inquiry on the scientific research has not changed. As described by Masters (1995), action research is an inquiry that is conducted on a collective, collaborative, reflective basis and all the participants involved in the research process should conduct the research. The motto of the research would be to empower the participants, improve collaboration between the participants, acquire knowledge with ease which supports for a social change. Since the 1940’s action research has been serving for various inquiries related to a system. Initially, the first stage of action research is that it originated in the United States and was employed for addressing educational and social issues using various scientific methods which included positivity.
Later in the second stage in the early 70s, action research has seen evolution and was not only limited to educational system but has been employed for various business organizations as a way to look forward for an improvement in the business by using professionalism and innovative practices(Carr, 2006). Its applications include business organizations, education, and healthcare. As far as the education system is considered, the research would follow a systematic procedure consisting of inquiries which should be conducted by teachers. This not only helps the teachers, not only to understand their classrooms and students but also helps in empowering their knowledge. The teachers should be maintaining a good relationship with the students which helps the latter to provide better feedback to support the various questions of the teacher. When this type of research can be conducted, it provides a qualitative and quantitative information about a system which helps in achieving a change and improvement(Manfra, 2009).
According to Titchen (2015), application of action research in healthcare has been only seen in recent times but few studies back in the 1970s and 1980s shows that nurses were the first one’s that used healthcare to perform various inquiries related to the healthcare systems. Physiotherapy and pharmacy are the other fields of healthcare where action research is employed to research about the different issues that may occur. Action research can be used in radiography which helps an individual in developing a professional knowledge about different radiography practices, promotes critical thinking, and helps in achieving an intended outcome by delivering a good health-care(Munn, Pearson, Jordan, Murphy, & Pilkington, 2013).
Action research follows a similar yet conventional way of a research. Any inquiry process would start with identifying a problem, plan accordingly, implement a solution, constant monitor of progress, and evaluate the process. This all depends upon the purpose of an inquiry and the intended outcome of a research. Whether the inquiry is for enhancement or to make sure about a process in a system should be decided by the researcher based on the organization looking for the outcome.
A basic four step action research cycle would include plan, act, describe, and evaluate. One should plan on what practice to implement based on the requirement of the purpose. This can be identified by understanding the problem first and then plan on the best practices that are suitable for a solution to the problem. Once the problem has been identified, the succeeding step would be to act according to the planned practice. This involves implementation of the practice into process so as to make sure that it is helpful for an improvement. When a practice has been implemented, it is always important to check on the quality of the implementation. The next step involves a continuous monitoring of the practice and it also involves a description of the practice that has been implemented. Monitoring and describing helps in identifying the areas where improvements are needed(Tripp, 2005). A research is conducted for an intended outcome or to make a possible outcome that is beneficial in all ways. For this, the results from the implemented practices should be evaluated to differentiate the areas where more effort is required. This fulfills an action inquiry cycle. Following this cycle in a process on any system may yield results that will be advantageous to the organization. This also helps the researcher to leverage their knowledge and develop reflective ideas for a stronger outcome.
Action research methodology in regards to this project has helped to understand the likeliness and outcomes of the project. Using action research methodology,the gaps such as areas where improvements are required can be observed and implemented in further steps. Unlike the traditional research which concentrates on research depending on a single topic, action research focuses on in-depth research of a problem to obtain systematic solutions. This methodology would be an apt consideration for this topic as the various steps help to adapt required improvements and obtain more fruitful outcomes.Literature Review
Data retrieval and storage has never been easier before the concept of database administration. The importance of data administration continues to grow as it not only helps for storage of data but rather provides an organization with different structures that are helpful for protecting the information and several techniques to manipulate the information when necessary. For this processes to take place smoothly, databases should be installed, maintained, upgraded, configured, and constantly monitored. Database Administrator is the person responsible for these operations to take place. The roles are not limited and extend to the development of different strategies for information storage, improving the performance, and co-ordinate in data security. According to Peshkar & Ghosekar (2015), a database administrator should maintain production databases for operations, plan to, design and develop applications for databases, and manage the metadata.
A database should be properly documented for its accuracy and completeness. The schema of the database should be understood prior to the documentation. The role of a database administrator is to understand the semantics of the database as they should deal with the database conceptual schema. For this, they need to develop an operational database model which enables a DBA to complete a code that is incomplete. To perform this, dynamic SQL had been serving the purpose for years. Database reverse engineering, a concept that deals with incompletely translated codes. This requires a DDL code which enables the construction of data structures. The database reverse engineering has three processes, physical schema extraction which makes the data structure visible using the DDL statements, logical schema reconstruction which helps in discovering the underlying constructs of the schema. Analysis of procedure code and DML statements is required to recover the constructs by analyzing the contents of the database, screen, program execution, and structure. Lastly, the schema conceptualization is a complex process which means to interpret logical data by extracting conceptual data. This process is intended to avoid any repetitive data (Spaccapietra, March, & Aberer, 2003). Another technique that a database administrator will use is the SQL statement analysis which has long been in use. It is a reliable high level language that enables a programmer to describe properties of a database and can even declare a code of hundreds of lines.
Data is getting more and more with an increase in the use of technology and its development. This has also been one of the major reasons for hiring more number of DBA’s than that used to be. This use of technology has led to a vast increase in the amount data being stored which include various smart devices being utilized, use of internet that keeps the user data tracked, collection of data from social media for the purpose of marketing. Administering these large databases is known to be database administration and a DBA is the person responsible for data administration. Database administration has seen lot of advancements, ease of operations, and increase in the performance with big data and similar other trends like the business intelligence, Hadoop, NoSQL, and cloud computing(Mullins, 2016).
Database administration has two components namely initial configuration and ongoing maintenance.The initial configuration will be inclusive of the design, manifestation, and tuning stages. The design stage will include decomposing the existing data into tables, relating them, designation indices and the implementation part. The selection of the log file to store the data is very important in designing the database model where it is the key element to be designed as it holds the sole purpose of the database. The location will help in the process of retrieval and the efficiency of the process. Selecting database page size, defining the memory cache, limiting, multi-threading and concurrency are the other aspects of the Tuning of design. Basically, the design phase is done by the experienced engineers and the maintenance is the purpose and objective of a database administrator.
The existing conception of database is something like a big space occupying, large gathering of network devices, and electronic components. But there are also different types of databases called, Gizmo databases. These databases will be mostly found in toasters, telephones, smart cards. Their functionality will be completely different visible to users. Database may crash at any time and should be instantly recovered. These devices may go through a hard reset at any moment of their lifecycle. Due to the falling price of hardware equipment, robustness, ease of maintenance will be the issues of the requirement(Seltzer, 1999). Development is a way harder in the aspect of re-designing the entire database. But alterations are made now and then for the new database projects under taken by the mavericks of the industry.
Getting into the database administration has its setbacks first to be crossed. No IT industry will ever be working without maintaining the data. Data is the most important aspect in Software Development. Designing, developing, coding, maintenance of a product should have its data ready in hand. Database administration is considered most desirable job in the market. As the market always run by demand and supply, the demand for administrators never will be less in the coming future.
Every company has its database set up either in a physical location or a cloud environment. Most of the functionality of the job role depends upon operations and CRUD methodologies which means, Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete. Entry-level job role is required to have a SQL certification, which will be achieved by completing three stages of examination. The process of selection includes, reviewing the resume, confirming the availability and fit for the candidate, interview and then followed by the joining. According to experts’ current market is looking for the ability to understand the overall design and work accordingly for the completion of a task.
Database administration should be a continuous activity and DBA’s should be performing the required tasks in order to maintain a database and resolve a problem, if occurs. Apart from the fundamental knowledge, a DBA should be able to master one of the database related technologies like the Oracle, Sybase and DB2, communication skills, and most importantly DBA must participate in all phases of a development lifecycle. This ensures a DBA is capable of detecting an error and handling it, and the capability of recommending and making changes to a file if at all required. Along with this a DBA should be able to distinguish between a procedure and a practice, therefore acting according to the consequences that occur and save time during difficult situations(Tahir & Brezillon, 2011). Improving technology imposes a double load on the database systems by storing and retrieving enormous amounts of data. This complexity should be addressed by developing a database system that is equivalently complex in nature. Recent updates include the inclusion of an automated system architecture for maintaining and obtaining a higher performance from the database system. The architecture of the system comprises of data miner, script, and a tuner. The tuner helps in tuning the performance of the system by periodically monitoring the existing performance levels (Sharma, Shastri, & Biswas, 2012).
Maintaining confidentiality of the data in the repository is another important task by a DBA. They are the ones who should administer an intrusion by following the security policy of an organization (Rohilla & Mittal, 2013). Proper encryption of data, and proper access controls (for authorization) in place are part of the security measures to be taken by a DBA (Basharat, Azam, & Muzaffar, 2012).Proposal
Before proceeding to the actual part of the action research paper it is very important to understand the overview of the project. Planning plays an important role especially when it comes to action research. Before heading-off to the iterations in the action research paper. Each iteration consists of the following steps:
In every iteration planning is required, once planning is done it must be implemented, when implementation is done, results can be observed. At the end of the iteration results should be considered and improvements should be made while planning for the next iteration. With the advancements in iteration steps the scope for improvement gets more better and the result would be very effective. Thus, iteration steps help to improve the work process or end results. Regarding this action research paper topic, the iterations would be as follows:Iteration 1
In iteration 1, there would be discussions with the stake holders which would involve understanding the skills that are required to get employed as a database administrator. Also, plan the schedule accordingly to get some quality training. This planning includes searching the various sources such as online training, classroom or vocational training. Apart from these, other plans would be understanding the needs and designing an appropriate database structure.
Based on the discussions held with the stake holders the areas where necessary improvements are to be made should be identified. It is important to understand the importance of the certified training.Iteration 2
As this is an iterative process, the outcomes of the first iteration are taken as feedback or input for the next iteration. To examine about the discussions held with the stake holders and gather further details. If necessary, more discussions can be planned to classify additional details. Choose the exact training based on the final deliverables that would be obtained at the time of training completion.
For instance, some of the organizations consider only certified training programs. While some other organizations may not be specific about the training. Also after the training is completed, an examination would be held to access the skills acquired by individual during the training. Based on the performance in the examination a certificate would be provided.Iteration 3
This iteration would include two hours a day training classes and discussions with the stake holders. Job roles and duties will be updated as per the requirements so it is important review the latest updates in the industry. Technology also keeps changing with the development in the science and technology. In the field of database early database structures were complex and memory consuming. But, these days many organizations are adapting cloud based databases.
By the end of this iteration a clear description about the latest trends in the field of database can be understood and gaps to get employed can be figured out.Iteration 4
By the end of third iteration would be as per plan and all the major activities such as training and skills development would be completed. A professional style resume should be prepared with all the possessed skills and qualifications. A schedule should be planned to prepare for the mock interviews. After taking sufficient mock interviews, using various job portals and going through the job roles resume should be submitted.Iteration 1: Discussion with Stakeholders and gathering Training Information Plan
The first iteration is scheduled for two weeks. I have planned my schedule accordingly to spend an average of 3 hours every day. On the first day of the week I have planned to search some of the job portals such as Monster and indeed to identify the current job positions as a Database administrator and the anticipated time frame for this would be an hour. Also, I have prepared plans to interact with some of the real-time experts so that I could understand the latest market trends. I have planned to improve my technical skills by taking some online classes and going through some tutorial videos and this would take 2 hours a day.
I have used SMART methodology to set up my goals for working on this project. SMART methodology by abbreviation is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. This methodology helped to be more specific about the project. On the second day of the iteration I have planned to understand the differences between Oracle based database system and Microsoft SQL database system. Also, I have planned to discuss my plans with Gowtham Rajasekhar and Yashwanth Veeranki who are currently working as salesforce developer and Database administrator for a Multi-National Company and this would help me to get better understanding about the skills that are required for a database administrator. Initially my schedule includes the above-mentioned plans and I would like to implement these plans in a step-by-step process.Action
Planning alone does not suffice the goals to get fulfilled. Every plan must be implemented to achieve our goals. Planning would help to organize our things. Action without planning would merely lead to incomplete tasks. I have searched job portals such as indeed and monster where usually job listings are posted specifying the job duties and responsibilities. Apart from job duties and responsibilities the eligibility criteria for each position will also be posted. By going through the job listings, I have made note of the common requirements of each position.
I have interacted with real time experts like Ravi Kumar who is software engineer having 8 years of experience in the field of IT. This interaction session was carried out for an hour. It was an online interaction. Later, I have searched online for some of the tutorial classes and even watched some of the videos and read articles on Introduction to databases, role of database administrators, opportunities as oracle database administrator, opportunities as Microsoft SQL database administrator. I have spent 2 hours a day for a week for understanding the above-mentioned concepts. I went through the resumes of some of the database administrators which includes resumes of my friends and sample resumes.
As part of implementing the plan that I have made I searched for the training programs which would help to improve my knowledge and skill. A couple of years ago, I have attended class training in.NET framework which includes programming language C# and Microsoft SQL. As part of this project I have started to revise the codes and programming language which are the basic concepts for data base systems. I have communicated with Yashwanth Veeranki to know about his current project and the job responsibilities as a database administrator.Observation
After the action part of first iteration I have clearly understood the importance of planning. As planning really helped me to schedule my actions. Upon searching the job portals like Monster and indeed I have observed that the following are the common job duties and responsibilities that majority of the organization are looking at:
- Work with development team to resolve issues to include database and SQL tuning(Database Administrator at Integrated Data Services, Inc.).
- Implement operational automation using scripts(Database Administrator – Intermediate (Microsoft SQL Server)).
- Perform database and software life cycle activities to ensure the highest level of system performance and availability and compliance with business requirements(Database Administrator at Integrated Data Services, Inc.).
- Ability to analyze query plans, consolidate and tune databases for optimal efficiency(SQL Database Administrator).
- Participate in design and implementation of database security, including encryption, creating users, roles, assigning database privileges(SQL Database Administrator).
After going through some of the articles I have observed the functions of database administrator are to design a database structure, to design storage methods and provide access controls to the database. Such that providing access controls would help to protect the information by authenticating the number of users accessing it. Also, another function of database administrator is to specify integrity constraints(Silberschatz, Fourth, & Sudarshan, 1997). I have observed that the following exams Microsoft SQL Server Administration exam, SQL Server Design exam, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 exam, should be taken to become a Microsoft certified Database Administrator(Microsoft MCDBA Certification Training, n.d.). Also, an elective exam from a list chosen by Microsoft's education team, should also be cleared which includes topics from.NET or network infrastructure.Reflection
The good part of iteration 1 was that all the things planned were implemented as per schedule. Researching the job portals really helped me to understand the job roles and responsibilities. Watching videos like opportunities to become an oracle database administrator and SQL server database administrator helped me to differentiate the work process. Interaction sessions with the real-time experts went well and helped me to understand the latest technologies in IT.
More information regarding certification exams and courses can be gathered. Improvements like reading text books on database systems which would help to get better understanding about the database and its administration. Resources that would help in preparing for the certification exams can be identified. Thereby in the next iteration plan I should include the reading resources and work on them. Training classes were not included in this iteration process. Training programs which would benefit me should be figured out and followed. With the observations made in this iteration process next iteration plan should be developed such that the end results are more positive and would help in improving my technical skills and knowledge.Iteration 2: Examine the Discussions and Gather Further Details
The second iteration is where the outcomes of the first iteration are taken as feedback or input and are evaluated with the intention of enhancing the researcher’s understanding. After the gatherings of requirements in the first iteration, it is now the to work with the experts with the aim of acquiring those requirements practically through training. However, that cannot be accomplished minus first recapping what has been learned and clarifying some areas that need clarification as well as adding crucial details. The examination of the discussions and the accomplishments of the previous iteration will take place in the form of a brainstorming session, and so it would be essential also to understand how to plan and execute a brainstorming session. All these activities of this second iteration can only be achieved with a solid planning of the tasks, resources, people to be involved, duration of each task, and the anticipated result of the deliverable.Plan
This second iteration is aimed at taking two weeks of learning and practicing what has been learned to comprehensively acquire the practical experience that is required for any profession. As the researcher conducted research meant for this iteration, he plans to involve the CV Consulting Inc’s database administrators who are well versed with the database administration requirements, duties, and responsibilities. In addition, since the researcher is doing research in this company, the company’s database administration experts know very well what skills and experiences are required to effectively execute the desired duties with which the researcher is vested in his period of doing an internship.
The researcher plans first to write to the company’s database administrators through the intern coordinator to request them about the training and the need for their services during this iteration. The researcher then plans to carry out an investigation on the company’s website to find out and learn how the brainstorming sessions and internship training programs are being carried out so that he gets to prepare for the same adequately. The request letter will also include among other things the venue of the brainstorming and the training session, the schedule of the iteration, those who are going to be involved, the resources’ requirements, and any preparations that the intern should make about the same. The researcher then plans to prepare the document on the deliverables of the previous iteration and the objectives for this iteration so that they can guide him in the learning and research process of this iteration
During the brainstorming session, the researcher plans to present the findings from the previous discussion and research that was conducted in the previous iteration. The reason for this presentation is to inform the resource persons of this iteration to know what the researcher has accomplished so far and what more is required as part of that experience. It will also help to shed light on the resource people on where they should start from in this iteration. The researcher plans to make sure to have confidence and lead this brainstorming session effectively after understanding on how to conduct a successful brainstorming session. After the presentation is done, the researcher will then give room for the company’s chief database administrator, Mr. Suleiman to continue with the rest of the session as he also directs the training.
The last tier of this iteration will entail the training and after that the issuance of a certificate by the company, CV Consulting Inc. The company and many other companies nowadays use the Oracle Database, and since the researcher also has an experience in the SQL database, it will be vital to undergo the training on Oracle database. The researcher plans to work with Mr. Suleiman and other trainers to understand the features in the Oracle 11g that is being used by the company, to understand the installation, configuration, and maintenance of the database among other tasks. The researcher also plans to learn other things regarding the Oracle database including the monitoring of database performance, troubleshooting problems, tuning its performance, and other tasks of database manageability. During the last day, the researcher plans to take the Oracle Certified Professional exam so that he gets the certificate at the end.Action
Since this was going to be a long and involving iteration consisting of two hours of training every day apart from the first two days, set aside for recapping the discussion from the last iteration, the researcher made sure to put everything required ready. For one, the researcher prepared the document from the last iteration for ensuring that he would make the presentation in the brainstorming session in an effective and comprehensive manner. He then wrote to the CV Consulting Inc’s database administrators to request them about their availability for the training and inquire about the venue, the resources, the duration, and anything that was necessary for the same. The researcher then searched on the company’s website to get to understand how the brainstorming and training sessions are conducted.
The company’s chief database administrator scheduled the brainstorming and the training to take place in the company’s IT Pack Hall. The researcher also received the schedule and the entire program from Mrs. Omar, who was the intern coordinator. Using the program, the researcher then searched online to find the relevant information that he also used to document the objectives for this session. The reason for developing the objectives is to check on the progress of the iteration and to not the things learned and those that the researcher had not learned and made the necessary inquiries as appropriate.
On a material day, when the serious business of this iteration was to commence, the researcher arrived in the IT Pack hall very early to prepare for the first brainstorming session. He arranged the seats and the table well and organized the room in such a way that it would accommodate all the attendees and would give room for an effective brainstorming session. The resource person then arrived in the room; there was an introduction from each one of them including the areas they would be handling and then the session started. The researcher was tasked with the explanation of what was done in the previous iteration as the resource persons respond to the same. The previous iteration entailed the search and the interaction with the data administration experts with the aim of understating the duties and responsibilities of the database administrator.
The resource persons decided that the database administration specialties and their roles should have been included in the previous discussions. These database administration specialties include the SQL developer, the database administrator, the database developer, database designer, and the security database security administrator. The researcher was given a task of searching those areas and presenting the findings in the third day of the brainstorming. Also, other areas were clarified during these brainstorming sessions. The brainstorming also ended with a plan for the subsequent training sessions. Two hours of training on the Oracle 11g database were set apart every day for the remaining days of the two weeks that were set aside for the iteration. Below was the syllabus for the training.
Introduction, Installation, Oracle database management system
Core Database Administration Part 1
Core Database Administration Part 2
Managing Oracle database server Security Part 1
Managing Oracle database Security Part 2 C
Manipulating Schemas, Tables, Indexes, and Views
Indices, constraints and partitions
Back Up and Recovery in Oracle database Part 1
Database Automation and Maintenance
Final assessment test
Table 1: The DBA training SyllabusThe General Description of the Training Activities
The training covered all the new features in the Oracle Database 11g such as the database Grid computing. The training also covered the database installation techniques, how to create a database, how to effectively configure the network connectivity via the Oracle Net services, and how to make complex queries and modifications to the database using the SQL and PL/SQL. The researcher was also trained on how to plan the network based on the server requirements, instance configuration, database processes, the configuration of Oracle Net Services, and database monitoring to ensure database availability, high performance and general manageability of the database. There was also training on how to carry out database performance tuning and database security. The researcher was trained on the necessary techniques for setting up, maintaining, diagnosing, tuning, and troubleshooting the Oracle database for issues. In the last day, the researcher took an assessment test that would also enable him to be given a certificate for the training.Observation
The researcher observed that the iteration covered important practical tasks that are necessary for a database administrator. The training on the Oracle Database administration duties and responsibilities provided the learners with the opportunity to improve their skills and experience in managing and administering the Oracle Database 11g. The researcher observed that there are many things that the database administrator should be conversant with. As a database administrator, you are the custodian of the company’s critical data, and so you have to be somebody of high integrity so that an organization can trust you (Dyché, 2007). Being a database administrator is not only about the technical skills, but also the soft skills are equally important. That is because they are people who are interacting with different staffs and stakeholders, so they should also have the necessary soft skills to make them effective in all their work.
The researcher also observed that the database administration field is wide encompassing five specialties including SQL developer, database administrator, database developer, database designer, and database security administrator. Each of the trainers was also specialized in any of these areas as mentioned above. The SQL developer is a specialized database worker who uses the SQL language to develop databases, create the applications to work with SQL databases; and creates and tests the changes to database structures (Juneau & Arena, 2010). A database administrator is for maintaining and managing the complex software as well as the file storage systems. The database programmer, on the other hand, writes the code, carries out the quality assurance checks, and designs the protocols of organization access to the database or data warehouse (Burleson, Celko, Cook, & Gulutzan, 2003).
The database designer is also known as the database architect and is responsible for developing strategies for the design, doing the design or modeling, and implementing the database. He designs the database infrastructure as well as the applications including the interfaces, global temporary tables, and data partitions to ensure that there is efficient database operation. The database security administrator is served with the responsibilities of ensuring that there are safe storage and transfer of the crucial business and personal information (Bertino & Sandhu, 2005). Their basic tasks include the management of the data availability and confidentiality and the installation, troubleshooting, and monitoring of the core security technologies as well as network devices. It is also vital for the database security administrators to communicate with the network as well as computer systems security specialists, with the purpose of building strong multi-level security policies, procedures, and infrastructures.
The researcher observed that the practical tasks make the database administrator stand a high chance of being hired by a company. The database administrators are part of any business. Thus, database administration is one of the most marketable and well-paying jobs now (Date, 2006). The trainers had a long experience in the database administration job, working in various DB administration specialties and their experience made it possible to accomplish this iteration with much ease. They were very busy, and that is why they had to schedule the iteration for only two hours a day so that they continue with their responsibilities.Reflection
The Oracle Database 11g training went one very well as the researcher have to learn many things in the process. The planning of the iteration well helped to make sure that success was accomplished in many areas. Learning how to plan for a brainstorming session helped the researcher to plan the session well, and that saw it being a success at the end. The trainers were also willing to go as per the plan thereby reducing the wastage of time in redoing the plan. The researcher also acquired the confidence that he did not have before by guiding the brainstorming session and presenting the outcomes of the presentations from the previous iteration. Also, the reflection on the previous iteration’s outcomes helped the resource persons to plan effectively for the iteration thereby making it successful.
The other thing that went well with this iteration was the willingness of the resource persons to respond to all the researcher’s queries without getting bored. They moved at researcher’s pace to make sure that he grasped all that he was being trained on. The organization also gave the researcher enough time to practice all that he learned in the morning by assigning him practical tasks in the company. They provided the environment that was very favorable for learning and working comfortably without any nervousness. Also, as the researcher took time also to recap all he had learned during the day, he has to acquire maximally from this second iteration. He learned how to work on his own and in a group without losing focus on the anticipated results.
The company website lacked essential information in how they conduct their brainstorming and training sessions. That made the researcher opts for the internet resources to find the relevant information on how to go about with the brainstorming session and what to expect from the same and the training sessions. The researcher’s suggestion is that the company should put on its website such relevant information to help the interns to understand what to expect from such sessions so that they can adequately prepare for the same. While carrying out his duties and responsibilities, the researcher sometimes lacked the aid of his supervisor and that made him delay other technical tasks. The researcher thus suggests that the supervisors who are assigned to the interns in CV Consulting Inc should be available all the time for consultation.Iteration 3: Scheduled Training
The aim of this iteration is to have two hours a day training classes and discussions with the stakeholders with the aim of understanding the requirements to accomplish the desired roles and responsibilities of an intern database, administrator. The Job roles and duties will be updated as per the requirements so it is important to review the latest updates in the industry. The analysis of the recent technological trends in the database technology will be comprehensively addressed during this iteration including the gaps that should be filled if any.Plan
In this iteration, the researcher plans to meet with the database administrator, the business analyst, the quality assurance officer, and the project manager. The aim of meeting these various experts is to learn from them through the training session on how to execute the tasks related to their fields, especially the areas that were not handled during the revise iteration in training. That is because their services are part of database administration. The meetings are planned to take place in the company’s Zenith Hall and the researcher intends to meet each of them for the two-hour training day.
The database administrator will help the researcher to understand the different roles and responsibilities of the database administrator and the route to becoming a database administrator. He will also help the researcher to understand how to work with other experts to make sure that database administration is accomplished with ease. The business analysts has been involved in the training with the researcher for the purpose of helping the researcher to understand how to carry out the analysis of the various systems including the database, how to analyze the stakeholder requirements, so that they are integrate into the database management system. He will also help the researcher to understand how to close the gap between the current and the desired outcomes from the database administration in the area of security, technology, and performance among other areas.
The aim of involving the project manager is so that he helps the researcher to understand the process of system development because the researcher will be engaged in the development of databases wherever he will be working in the future. A clear methodology must be followed while the development of any type of system is taking place. On the other hand, the quality assurance officer will be involved with the aim of helping the researcher to understand the current database development principles and industry standards to which the database administrator should adhere. Without this quality assurance experience it will be impossible for the researcher to develop and deploy high quality databases that meet the desired industry standards and legal requirements.
After meeting with these experts individually, the researcher plans to work with the database administrator as his supervisor while interacting with the stakeholders to understand their needs and develop the system specifications. He will also get to learn about the database technological trends and make a plan on how to work towards helping CV Consulting Inc Company bridge any gaps that exists between the corporate technology and the current technology. The researcher then will take advantage of this session to document all that he has learned and to plan for the subsequent iteration that would be the last one.Action
Before embarking on the actual activities of this session, the researcher decided to search the Internet with the aim of fining the necessary resources to use in preparing his objectives for this iteration. The researcher then contacted on phone the entire resource person for this iteration including the company’s database administrator, the business analyst, project manager, and the quality assurance officer. The researcher then met his supervisor, the chief database administrator to give him the direction on how to go with interacting with the various stakeholders and how to record their requirements. Throughout the first week, the researcher focused on meeting the different resource persons individually to help shed more light in their areas of experience and expertise.
In the first day of the training, the researcher met the company’s database administrator, Mr. Suleiman who helped to train him on some roles and responsibilities of the database administrator and the qualifications for one to become a competent database administrator. He also discussed with the researcher on the route to follow to become a competent database administrator. The second day saw the researcher meeting the business analyst of the company, Mrs. Arnett Corzo who helped to train the researcher on how to carry out business analysis, document the system and the user requirements and other related tasks. She also helped the researcher how to bridge the gap between the current and the anticipated outcomes from the database administration in the area of security, technology, performance among other areas.
The third day of the training is when the researcher met the company’s project manager, Mr. Lawson in the same Zenith Hall as the other trainers. The training involved the project management takes including the planning, designing, implementing, deploying and maintaining. He also trained the researcher on the system development life cycle and how to use it in the development of various systems. The fourth day of the training is when the researcher met the company’s quality assurance officer, Mrs. Jokai who also trained the researcher on how to test systems for conformity to the required corporate, industrial, and legal standards. The researcher was also trained on the techniques of approaching of approaching systems development and how to address the various hurdles encountered on the way.
The last day of the first week, which was also the fifth day of the iteration the researcher met his supervisor, Mr. Suleiman who helped him draw a plan on how to go meeting the various stakeholders who are also the departmental representatives. The aim of these interactions with the various stakeholders was aimed at understanding their requirements and how these can be integrated into the database administration to ensure that everybody in the company is satisfied and works towards the same goal and vision. Throughout the second week of the iteration, the researcher interacted with the various company stakeholders, gathered data on their needs and requirements, and then presented that to the database administrator. It was also during the last day of the session that the researcher decided to document all he had learned and made a plan for the subsequent iteration.Observation
As the research continues to progress, the researcher gets to improve his knowledge on the various areas of database administration (Annette, Personal Communications, February 6, 2017). The researcher observed during this iteration that there are more things to learn if only there is more time to do research on the research area in question. He came to find out that when he meets each individual resource person, he is freer and he gets to interact with the trainers in a friendly manner as he also easily learns everything being taught. With the varied experiences of the various experts who were c training the researcher in the first week, the researcher realized that becoming an expert in a given area requires several years of experience. There are hurdles one has to meet on the way and the outcome will depend on how you tackle those hurdles.
The researcher also observed that many things were left out of the first iteration’s discussion. The meeting with the database administrator unraveled many of those database administrator roles and responsibilities that had been missed in the first iteration. Besides the ones learned earlier on in the first iteration the other roles and responsibilities of the database administrator include merging the old database with the new one, updating the user permissions, testing the changes to the database structure, installing patches to fix program bugs, among others. He also helped the researcher to understand the path to becoming a database admin, skills, experiences, and academic qualifications. The database administrator is required to work with software like authentication server software, network monitoring applications, transaction security tools, Internet directory service software, and network security programs (Weldon, 2013).The researcher observed that independent database administrators are the highly paid.
The other observation that the researcher made from the training is that a database administrator requires varied skills in the area of system analysis, quality assurance, project management, data analysis, and systems’ security to be effective in his/her duties. That is because the tasks in which the database administrator is involved all revolve around these areas and the database administrator should be well skilled in the same, (Oliveira et al., 2006). The area of database administration is a sensitive area and a company usually does not like to involve many people who are in direct contact with the data as that may compromise the security of that data. The researcher also learned that it is by interacting with the stakeholders will one be able to serve them better. While interacting with the various stakeholders the researcher came to learn that there were various issues that needed to be addressed regarding to database administration.Reflection
The database administration task is entails a lot and according to the researcher’s observations, it is an enjoyable experience to carry out the database administration tasks. The researcher has to learn that, as a database administrator, he is the custodian of the company’s data and any issues with the company data; he has to be held responsible for them. The meeting of various individuals at a go helped the researcher to understand many things related to database administration that he would not have learned if the training had taken place in a group. In addition, the trainers were very free with the researcher and that made the learning experience to be enjoyable for the researcher. The researcher was also free to ask about anything than in the case if there would have been many trainers in the room.
The researcher observed the company had neglected working with the other stakeholders to understand their needs so that they can be better served. The researcher has to know that when he was interacting with the various stakeholders in the company. Many issues unraveled in the process and these were not known before. The researcher suggests that the company should focus more on the human resources and how to serve them better instead of focusing on the material resources. The company can also have suggestion boxes where the staffs can out their views, opinions, or even resentments to help the management to act appropriately. Some departmental representatives were not very friendly especially when the researcher asked them personal questions. The researcher thus suggests that the company should have policies on how their staffs should behave in an ethical manner.Iteration 4: Prepare Resume and Mock Interviews
This is the last iteration and the main activities that the researcher intends to carry out during this iteration are: the preparation of a resume and holding of mock interviews. "A mock interview is a simulation of the actual job interview. It provides one with the opportunity of practicing for the actual interview and receives feedback" (Marks & O’Connor, 2006). It is the iteration where the researcher also aims at doing a polish up of his soft skills as much of the technical skills development has been accomplished in the previous iterations. The practice of those skills together with the mock interviews and preparation of the resume will make the researcher to have a perfect preparation ready for the actual interview and the potential job. This iteration will also have the researcher revisiting whatever he has been learning form the previous iterations so that he can have all the necessary information on his fingertips ahead of the interview.Plan
This iteration was planned to last for two weeks and the researcher plans to have the first week for then preparations and attending the mock interview and then in the second week he will p[prepare the resume and possibly attend the actual interview. The researcher first wanted to search the Web for the information on the soft skills that are required for the job. He will also search for the sites that offer mock interviews and what is required for the mock interview. The essence of finding the relevant information ahead of the actual tasks will help the researcher to adequately prepare thereby avoiding the last minute frustrations (Mark, Personal Communication, March 10, 2017). After the researcher gets the crucial information on interviewing and soft skills, he will then arrange for the practical tasks of acquiring the skills and attending the mock interviews.
After the researcher is done with the acquisition of the possible soft skills and attending the mock interviews from the sites identified, he will be ready now to embark on the resume preparation and preparation for the final interview. The researcher plans to look for sample resumes online to find the pone that best meets his career path as well as the professional requirements. He will then work with a career coach to help him in writing and refining his resume. The researcher will also write a cover letter that he will keep as a soft copy and modify as appropriate when sending to various potential employers. The last thing the researcher plans to do ahead of the actual interview is to have the final mock interview to find out if he has made any improvements in his presentations and the way he responds to the questions.Action
The first thing the researcher did was to search online for the relevant information that would help him prepare for the acquisition of the soft skills and attending the mock interviews. The researcher also had to research the companies offering database administrator job vacancies and filtered them as appropriate. The researcher found out that the http://www.gainlo.co/#!/ and glassdoor.com were the most suitable in helping out with the mock interviews. He also learned from the Internet what was required for the mock interviews and had to attend to them one at ago and reflect on the feedback. The researcher also shared with his mock interviewers who helped him to understand the areas the he should polish up so as to get the best out of the actual interviews.
The next thing the researcher did after getting the mock interview results was to start preparing for the resume. The researcher requested one of his friends, Mrs. Mark who was working in Syntel Institute to help him with the difficult areas. The resource person worked as a career couch in this instruction and her seven years of experience made me to trust her that she had sufficient experience to advice me accordingly. Mrs. Mark helped the researcher to understand how to structure the resume, the content required, and she also helped him prepare for the job interview. After the researcher finished writing the resume and the cover letter, he had to take one last mock interview to find out how he had improved his results of the previous mock interviews. The researcher then prepared his documents ready, photocopied them and made himself ready for the actual interview from the potential employers in the companies to which he had applied.Observation
From the accomplished research, the researcher observed that soft skills are important as the hard skills. Effective communication, conflict management, time management, personal impact, and influencing – these are all fundamental skills for any job. The researcher observed that everybody has those skills, but you only have to hone them. It is imperative to recognize that the manner in which one behaves and how others perceive her affects on how willing they can listen, trust, hire, promote her etc. It does not matter how technically competent one is, how factual their presentations are or how perfectly written their speech is, if they fail to engage their audience via their voice and body language then the audience will not even listen to them (Dixon et al., 2010). In this world where many things are available at the touch of a button, trust matters a lot.
The researcher also noted a number of things regarding the mock interview. As with every skill one has ever learned, it is mandatory to learn the skill and then practice, practice, and practice. In the same way, a mock interview helps one to perfect their technique and allow them to get valuable feedback as well as coaching on their performance (Andrews & Higson, 2008). A career couch helps you to learn the areas your strengths lay and those areas on which you may have to focus to improve your performance. The researcher observed that understanding the particular companies where one is anticipating to be called for interview is crucial. That is because you have to provide as much information about the company to the mock interviewer to get close to a more realistic interview experience.
The other observation that was made during this iteration was that the resume preparation is an involving task as any other tasks. The researcher had to look for the relevant samples online to find the one that was specific to a database administrator, understand the requirements of a professional resume, and the required content. With the help of the career couch, the researcher observed that he would have omitted many things in his first draft.Reflection
Upon reflecting on this last iteration, the researcher identifies many things that went well and a few that did not go well as he had anticipated. For one, the Web contained crucial information that helped the researcher to prepare adequately both for the mock interview and the acquisition of the soft skills. The mock interviews also helped the researcher to gain confidence because formerly he was very shy and nervous when talking before people. That was confirmed by the final and follow-up mock interview where the researcher was high commended by the mock interviewer about his confidence. Also, working with the career couch, Mrs. Mark helped the researcher to understand the areas of his weakness and how he would perfect them. He also came to understand how to format the resume format and how to make it have professional look and feel.
There are also a few things that did not go well as the researcher had planned and thus he would like to highlight. For one, some database administration resume samples found online are not even the level of a K-12 student. One has to examine them carefully with the understanding of how a professional resume should look to be able to know which sample can be useful. The researcher also found out that many online portals that claim to offer mock interviews do not offer professional mock interviews and their results cannot this be reliable. The researcher suggests that those sites that claim to offer mock interviews should make sure that they have professionals who can give a near to the actual interview experience. Nevertheless, the researcher gained a lot from this iteration and this was a bonus from what he had learned in the previous iterations. He feels that he is now ready for the job ahead.Summary of Learning
The research started with the search on the Web to find the roles and responsibilities of the database administrator. The good part of the first iteration was that all the things planned were implemented as per schedule. Researching the job portals really helped me to understand the job roles and responsibilities. Watching videos like opportunities to become an oracle database administrator and SQL server database administrator helped me to differentiate the work process. Interaction sessions with the real-time experts went well and helped me to understand the latest technologies in IT. The researcher also worked with various resource persons that helped to shed more light in this area of database administration. He got also to learn how to prepare and plan for the database administration roles and responsibilities.
In the second iteration, the outcomes of the first iteration were taken as feedback or input and were evaluated with the intention of enhancing the researcher’s understanding. The researcher met with the CV Consulting Inc’s experts in a brainstorming session to present the findings from the previous iteration and that helped him also to gain confidence and to understand how to structure and lead a brainstorming session. The training on the Oracle Database administration duties and responsibilities provided the learners with the opportunity to improve their skills and experience on managing and administering the Oracle Database 11g. The researcher also learned about the various types of data administration specialties including SQL developer, database administrator, database developer, database designer, and database security administrator. The researcher worked with some database administration experts and
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