I hadn’t put much thought in to this question until I attended PASS Summit earlier this month, when I was talking with previous co-workers, friends and people that I had just met. Usually, one of the first things they asked was what do you do? It was at this point I realized I didn’t have an easy answer. My job title at my current employer is Database Administrator II, and previously I’ve had the job titles Systems Analyst I, Systems Analyst II, Sr. Software Engineer, Database Manager and if you go far enough back, I had the job title, Pizza Delivery Driver. That was my first job when I turned 16. Except for that first job, I am pretty sure my job title has never matched what I actually do. I get it, most companies have titles for positions and they don’t want to attach titles to job duties. This allows movement in the company without having to get a new job title.
Let’s take a look at some of the job titles I have had and what duties I actually performed.
Systems Analyst I: This was my first title out of College and I was an Oracle DBA and SAP Basis Admin.
Systems Analyst II: Promoted while still at the same company and performing the same duties for a few months. Then moved to the Business Intelligence team as the SQL Server DBA for the Data Warehouse. Sometime after that, in the same group, I became the backup DBA and spent more time as a BI Developer and Scrum Master.
Sr. Software Engineer: This was with a different company and when my duties began to explode. In this position, I was still in a Business Intelligence group, but I installed, configured and updated the SQL Server data warehouse environments, I did some development, spent time troubleshooting developer issues, trained new developers, configured and maintained Jenkins and Tableau, was certified in Epic Cogito Data Warehouse, was the Production Release Engineer, and also maintained another ETL system that seems to have slipped my mind.
Database Manager: This may be the only time that I was only an Oracle DBA, no other responsibilities, but I wasn’t at this job very long, so who knows.
Database Administrator II: As I mentioned above, this is my current position, and a position that just continues to grow. I am the only SQL Server DBA, an Oracle DBA, Business Intelligence Architect, mainly in the technology, but will still do some data warehouse development, Power BI admin and developer, scheduling system admin, Azure admin when it comes to Data Platform tools, and quite often, I am tasked with playing around with new items or writing some code.
I can definitely say that I have always enjoyed expanding job duties and learning new things. My goal for my career has always been to work for someone that would pay me to play around with cool stuff and so far I have been pretty lucky.
So once again, what’s your job title and what do you tell people you do? I’ve found it much easier when I am talking with people outside of IT, to just say I am a Software Engineer. I think most people understand that you work in IT. It’s always fun when you run in to someone else in IT and then can expand on what you actually do.
Let me know what you do in the comments below.
disclaimer: picture is from goggle search of images