Database Developer

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Database Developer


A database is a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed and updated. Databases contain records of files, such as sales transactions, product catalogs and inventories and customer profiles. Who creates these systems? It is the job of a database developer.

A database developer writes and modifies databases. Data in a database can be reorganized, dispersed, and accessed in a number of ways. Databases are important to companies and organizations, because they contain records or files, such as sales transactions, product catalogs and inventories, and customer profiles.

Database developers create management systems to provide effective and efficient access to information stored in databases. They provide expertise and guidance in the design, implementation and maintenance of database management systems. Database developers control the design and use of the database and they also determine the way the filing systems will be organized and accessed. An important part of this work involves implementing and controlling security procedures to protect the database from accidental or intentional damage or loss.

They must be good at communicating not only in computer languages, but with people as well. They not only develop the programs, but write up descriptions about them, prepare manuals, help screens, or explain the new systems in person to users. They might have to adapt the programs once they're in use, to make them more suitable to the users. In any business or office environment it is the database developers who are the authorities on the use of these management systems. This means they may spend a lot of their day, answering questions on the correct usage of the database and correcting any glitches that may come up within the system.
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  Interests and Skills  
Database developers must have lots of experience with hardware, software, and computer systems and processes. They must be knowledgable about programming languages and techniques. These individuals have a strong interest and aptitude for computers. They should be methodical, logical, patient, careful, and accurate. Database developers must be adaptable to new things, and be able to work well under pressure. Thes need to be good communicators, who are able to work well with others, but also possess the self-discipline and stamina to work on their own.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Define system requirements by consulting data administrators and system users about the types of information needed
  • Determine how data should be organized, who should have access to different data and how it should be displayed
  • Design and develop data models and database architecture
  • Construct, install and test the database system
  • Write manuals or explain database's function
  • Consult with others to assess the system performance and make modifications as required
  • Modify existing databases, as user needs change
  • Find faults in programs
  • Prepare reports on databases
  • Customize databases for specific needs
  • Train users and provide technical support
  • The typical day for a database developer will involve working with computers, analyzing, developing, and implementing systems. They will spend some of each day with others, answering questions, explaining how the systems work, and troubleshooting problems with existing systems. The job doesn't allow for much travel, as most of the work can be done from home or a head office, unless they need to examine computers at locations all over their community.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Database developers can find work just about anywhere that computers are in use. Software development and consulting companies, government agencies, electronics companies, hospitals, universities, banks and law enforcement agencies are some of the places they could find work. They can also work independently, and contract out their business to different clients.
  • They work regular hours in offices, or set their own hours and work from home, depending on the nature of their employer. They work in a small team of other programmers and computer staff.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Database developers can specialize in other areas, and become programmer analysts, software programmers, or web developers, to name a few. There are also jobs in administration, PC support, and web design and maintenance. Programmers can open their own businesses, or write a column or book about computers for the general public. There is also information technology (IT) instruction, at colleges and universities.

  Educational Paths  
In order to become a database developer individuals should complete either a bachelor's degree in computer science or in another discipline with a significant programming component, such as mathematics, commerce, or business administration, or a college program in computer science. There are a number of three-year and four-year degree programs, two-year diploma programs and one-year certificate programs in this field offered by universities, colleges, technical institutes, and private vocational schools.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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