What does it mean to be a database administrator? It means more than just respecting data in a room full of engineers and analysts that do not -- it means bending them to your will and making them respect it, too. It means knowing when people's concept of sacrosanct data integrity and consistency can be thrown out the window and letting those people know that, this time, they can cope with inaccuracy or volatility. You think those things contradict? This job's not for you.

Do you think the world can be solved through relational algebra? I'm listening. Do you think the world should be solved through relational algebra? Don't apply here. Have you edited a database redo/write-ahead log in a hex editor to bootstrap a failed recovery? Now we're talking about reality. We live in a world where the probability of bit errors on disks rattles our cage by guaranteeing corrupt data and indexes when using traditional filesystems. Being responsible for data in this world is no simple task.

  • If you think you can scale single RDBMS to the sizes we see on a daily basis, I'll beat you with a stick.
  • If you think RDBMS is are passe and any problem can be appropriately solved with a NoSQL solution, I'll beat you with a stick.
  • If you think data is holy, I'll buy you a stick.
  • If you try to pipe my data through the wrong tool, I'll carve zeros and ones into my stick and then beat you with it.
  • If you think its okay to let someone who cares more about code than data roll out queries without your review, I'll make you beat them with a stick, then beat you with a stick while you clean up their bloody remains.

In a real database architect's role, you don't manage a database -- you manage data. You keep it secret, you keep it safe, you keep it clean, and you keep it available. From Oracle, to PostgreSQL, to MSSQL, to MySQL, to Cassandra, to Riak, to Hadoop, to Esper you will be responsible for the operational integrity of systems that touch data and turn it into useful outputs for people and businesses.

If you know relational databases and at least one of NoSQL systems or streaming databases (CEP/IEP), then you may have what it takes to be on the OmniTI data management team.