Career move from DBA to dbDeveloper

Hey SSC,

I am in talks right now with a company looking for an entry-level database developer. I have about 5 years of experience as a DBA. The new company is building a custom application for internal users & would be hiring me to help with this process. Any suggestions on what kind of questions I should be thinking about asking? I'm pretty happy where I am and would mainly be taking the new job b/c of the 50% increase in pay it represents. Thanks for your insight!

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asked Jun 21, 2016 at 08:12 AM in Default

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I reckon you would need to think more like a developer than a DBA for this role.

You're probably more used to being presented with change scripts to run in Test and others to run in Production. That's the easy bit in a way. Managing a codebase with various branches going on is quite challenging with application code but a database is way harder because it has not only schema but data. This the biggest challenge in this area in my opinion. I would ask how they deal with this.

Other questions (in no particular order): Who maintains the Test servers and databases? How would you interface with the developers? How would you interface with the DBAs? Do they do Agile development? How often do they release changes? Do they do automated testing? What database testing do they do? What source control system do they use? Would you be involved in the table design? Who writes the stored procs? Do they use an ORM? Which one?

Good luck. A 50% pay rise would be awesome but just make sure you have a good idea what you're walking into.

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answered Jun 21, 2016 at 09:23 AM

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David Wimbush
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@David Thank you! Some great advice.

Jun 21, 2016 at 09:58 PM jst_jdennis
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asked: Jun 21, 2016 at 08:12 AM

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