Becoming an Oracle DBA

Friends! Let me greet you for having interest in such a wonderful profile of IT, Oracle DBA.

More the Knowledge you have, more the Experience you will gain!
More the Experience you will have, more the Respect you will earn!
Respect will motivate you for great career ahead!!

You might have visited this blog with atleast any of these 10 questions in your mind, Let me guess & answer it one by one for you

  1. Why to become DBA?      
  2. Why to become Oracle DBA?            
  3. Who can become Oracle DBA?
  4. What is Oracle Database?     
  5. How to become Oracle DBA?         
  6. Responsibility of an Oracle DBA?                              
  7.  Life of an Oracle DBA?             
  8. Risks involved?                                    
  9. Advantage?
10. Becoming Master of Oracle DBA?

        1.       Why to become DBA?

Database Administration, the name itself sounds a huge responsibility, criticality & Uniqueness of the profile. Becoming DBA will give you an opportunity not just to be a part of Software technology but Hardware too

Database Technologies are surrounded by multiple layers & Database remains at central (although known as a backend). I said database is central because (Application > Web > Database < Server < Storage).

So, in case you feel that you will be losing out the opportunity of becoming Developer/Programmer, SysAdmin, Backup admin, Storage admin or Tester then let me tell you the fact that as a DBA you will come across each one of these professional in one or other phase of your assignment. And working with them will give you really good exposure of their technical concepts as well. Only Network Admin concepts will remain untouched by a DBA’s

DBA is known as a whole & soul for Managing the Database, although Sys/Storage/Backup Admin will be supporting you. It feels very proud to be a DBA whose database is the heart of a critical application for a Business.

DBA has lots of technical activities to be performed in order to keep the Database up & running, perfection in any of these activities can make you the expert of it.

DBA has very adventures carrier where a sensible dive can make you a winner & a miss may invite a threat to carrier (don’t get scare, refer risks involved)

       2.       Why to become Oracle DBA?     

Anyone who decided to become a DBA has opted Oracle mostly
If you search for oracle in encyclopaedia it says “Oracle is an agent of god who conveys their signs to people”

Oracle is the world’s largest & reputed database technology known for its consistency & continuous inventions as per business need

Although Oracle has grown in Applications, Middleware & Hardware in recent time its root still held by database

Oracle Database is preferred by most of the businesses for its scalability, support, features & compatibility

Oracle Database technology has control over every module of the databases & has excels to evolve each of them with latest technology. Other database technologies although lagging in most of the areas when compared with oracle features & stability, the cost factor has allowed others to grow in small-mid cap industries

Being an Oracle DBA you will part of a successful technology which will
-Educate you through its trainings & certifications to manage & optimize the database
-Make you capable to deliver the projects by its Oracle docs
-Support you in crisis via Oracle Support where each expert will be a just click/Call away
-Allow you to share your expertise through Oracle Forum to help users all over the world

      3.       Who can become Oracle DBA?

Any of below can opt or turn in to Oracle DBA profession;

=>Graduate/Post-Graduate in commerce, science
=>Engineer with Degree
=>Engineer with Diploma
=>PL/SQL Developer
=>Forms Developer
=>Application DBA
=>System Admin (Mostly of UNIX Platform)
=>Storage Admin
=>Backup Admin

Although all above can become an Oracle DBA but any one with Computer/IT background and has picked up database topics in its optional/vocational subjects will have advantage

     4.       What is Oracle Database?     

     5.       How to become Oracle DBA?

Before you take initial step in Oracle DBA carrier, you should have strong belief in your decision without any doubts.
Should be passionate to learn/experiment all kinds of oracle database technology you will come across.

To become a knowledgeable Oracle DBA you need to achieve various proficiencies in the form of certifications.
Certification is an oracle organized education program which allows us to prepare & apply for exams build on core oracle database concepts.
Oracle Database has below proficiency levels as

 Oracle Certified Associate (OCA)
 Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
 Oracle Certified Expert (OCE)
 Oracle Certified Master (OCM)

You can get more details on

It will take at-least 2-3 years for you to clear all exams till OCE.
OCM is the most difficult exam with vast syllabus & cost also.

Book & oracle doc reading for certification preparation (rather than referring only question/answers) will help you throughout the carrier not only in to attain proficiency but also in getting a job in a reputed organization. Troubleshooting & advance topics need strong base which can be achieved by only honest learning & practice.

Apart from certification you should have good experience & it doesn’t always require hands on project.
A simple testing/experiment on your personnel machine of any Oracle database topic can make you expertise of it.

An advice , start preparing for oracle certification (OCA) within a week after finishing your final semester of graduation , so that before the result arrives ( a month or two)  you can have atleast an enough experience/knowledge of oracle administration to attend the interviews.
Clearing atleast one exam before the final semester result will leave good impression in interview & you will not be considered as fresher at all (could be Trainee/Jr. DBA).

      6.       Responsibility of an Oracle DBA?

Oracle DBA owns below responsibilities:

i.      Database Start/Stop : Starting or Stopping of oracle database instance & Listener
ii.     Database Utilization Monitoring : Monitoring tablespace , File System , Memory , IO Usage
iii.    Database Access Monitoring : Monitoring Number of User Connections , Process/Sessions , Cursors Usage

iv.    Archive Log Management : Archive file backup & cleanup
v.     Database Backup : Planning & Implementation of database backup
vi.    Database Restoration/Recovery : Recovery of crashed database or replacing lost database files from valid backup & archive files
vii.   Database Performance Tuning : Database tuning to reduce database wait time & improve response time of DB to user requests in the form of segment , io , sql tuning
viii.  Database Cloning/Restoration : Copying database to other setup
ix.    Oracle Software Patching : Applying security / BUG patches to oracle binaries to keep software at latest patch/support
x.     Oracle Software/Database Upgrade : Upgrading software/database to latest version to get benefit of new features
xi.    Database Access  Management : User & privilege management accessing database
xii.   Database Security Management : To avoid threats to Database by auditing , encryption
xiii.  Database Network Connectivity : Database & oracle client connectivity configuration
xiv.  Oracle Software Installation : Installation of oracle software’s for building a database

xv.   Database creation/configuration : Database creation & its configuration as per application requirement
xvi.  Advance Database Deployment: Deployment High availability architecture like Real Application Cluster, Replications like Data Guard, Streaming etc.
xvii. Database Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting Database in crisis such as ORA- errors, sudden db instance crash etc. 
xviii.Oracle Support SR logging & Follow up : Getting Help from Oracle Technology Network support by a service request logging & supplying the requested details

       7.       Life of an Oracle DBA?

Very Busy!!

Depending on you project contract with the client, working conditions may differ
You need to work in shifts and always be available on call for a quick support

Night hour support is very important as mostly all maintenance activities getting scheduled in low peak hours to have lesser impact on business user base

You may miss celebrating your anniversary, b ’day or other social occasions if did not planned you activities in advance. However in severity 1 database issues planning would also not help!

Only proper planing & Good expertise can give you a Work-Life Balance

       8.       Risks involved?

There are few commands whose usage on inappropriate time/system may give a bad knock
And they are ->

rm –rf *  ; A Unix command to remove all content of the folder forcefully
touch *  ;  A Unix command to create a file with name * , so any operation to operate this file will be mv *,rm  *
crontab –r ; A Unix command to remove all scheduled job from cron
shutdown/shutdown abort ; A database command stops/terminates database instance
drop database; A database command removes all database files (although it need specific stage of database to get executed)

Think twice/thrice before executing these commands, especially on production system to make life good
       9.      Advantage?

Lots of Modules in oracle database to be learned which will not only give you expertise but also give upper hand when it come’s job switch or pay hike

Oracle database will always give you the learning opportunities as much as you can acquire

Oracle DBA is the most dependable role in the team & continuous learning will help you to come out of all kind of difficult situations like Job Loss (Pink Slip), Promotion Delays , Rating etc.

      10.   Becoming Master of Oracle DBA?

        It’s like clearing Oracle Certified Master (OCM)?  Yes, but most of the DBA restrict themselves to OCE (due to high cost, infinite syllabus) & for them there are some alternate paths to become Master is to

            - Keep yourself updated with latest certification related to performance tuning, security etc.
            - Have you own documentation for critical of the projects delivered , Lesson learned
            - Keep reading oracle docs
            - Spend at-least one hour a day to try something unknown to you of oracle database
            - Create your own database blog (use or for free blogging) & keep you experience updated with followers
            - Join Oracle Forum ( ) , help users to resolve their problem
            - Prepare Case Study & have a small presentation within team

 Last Few Words :"Sweat in peace saves blood in war"

Practice as mush as you can before any production deployment to make it perfect !


  1. I wish I had read this article in 2005.

  2. Awesome info to the beginners who wish to choose oracle as their career.

    Excellent work Ajay.



  3. Great info...motivating

  4. Thx for sharing your expertise.