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SQL database administrators (DBA) are tasked with setting up and maintaining databases, so that developers are able to work efficiently. There are two types of database administrators that companies hire: development and production DBAs. The skills and experience that a staffing agency looks for depends on the kind of SQL server DBA that the company needs. Read on to learn more about the differences between production and development DBAs, as well as the unique qualifications for each position.

SQL DBA Definition

A development DBA helps keep the database functioning properly. While this position doesn't require a lot of coding, the administrator may be required to create code inside the database. This kind of administrator focuses on testing new code to ensure it meets company standards, studying the most resource-intensive database queries and looking for ways to improve performance, designing indexes for existing applications, and helping developers understand the most efficient database designs. On the other hand, a production DBA focuses on installing and configuring SQL servers, troubleshooting performance issues, backing up servers, and testing server backups.

SQL DBA Qualifications

A staffing agency looks for different skill sets depending on whether it's seeking a development or production DBA.

A production DBA is expected to have experience in the following areas:

  • At least one year of on-call troubleshooting experience with at least one production SQL server.
  • Knows how to find DMV queries to better understand server-level performance.
  • Understands how to diagnose performance issues and server reliability by using free tools, such as sp_WhoIsActive and sp_Blitz®.

A development DBA should have experience in the following:

  • At least one year of experience writing and improving SQL Server T-SQL queries.
  • Knows how to design tables and pick data types.
  • Can find the most frequently run queries by using Profiler traces and other tools.
  • Knows how to learn more about index usage by using free tools such as sp_BlitzIndex® and DMV queries.