Recruiting a Database Developer vs. a Database Administrator

As a technical recruiter, knowing the difference between the Database Developer and Database Administrator can make your day just a little simpler.

So, what’s the difference?

A Database Developer and Database Administrator may share similar skills, but they are different. The main difference between the two may be as simple as reading a little more into their titles. In the case of the administrator – think of any administrator you know, not just in the technical field, but in general, they take care of things and run things. Whereas the developer creates and builds things from inception to materialization.

The Database Administrator 

Performs the day-to-day task of maintaining the database environment to ensure its availability and that it runs smoothly using database tools to monitor, fix and maintain the physics of the database software and the hardware on which it runs. 

Using an illustration; if the database system is a house, the Database Administrator is the person that ensures the light fixtures, plumbing, foundation, sheetrock, air-conditioning, and security system are all working well,

The Database Developer

On the other hand, the database developer designs and creates new ways of using a software application. The database developer does this by using database objects like stored procedures, tables, views, and XML to name a few.

Using an illustration; the Database Developer is the person that ensures the air is turned on right, and that whenever the outside weather is cold, the house heater should be on and vice versa. The Database Developer ensures that the house is put to good use, whether for bringing up children or taking care of the elderly, for both daycare and home or casino and a bookstore, for rocked-out parties or birthday parties. The Database Developer is the one that makes the house home or conducive to its intended purpose.

From the above explanation, you can see that both the Database Administrator and Database Developer are essential for the running of a well-kept database system.  Some organizations require the skills of 2 separate persons where one person is the Database Administrator and another Database Developer, whilst other organizations (maybe as a result of size) need one person to do both the Database Administrator and Database Developer tasks as well.

So while recruiting for either of these positions, bear in mind the main difference described above and then look below to help to differentiate their skills.

ConceptDatabase DeveloperDatabase Administrator
Overall DatabaseDesigns database solutions using tables, stored procedures, functions, views, and indexes.Maintains and monitors database systems using replication, log-shipping, backup/recovery, and performance monitor.
Database EnvironmentWorks in development and testing environments. These are internal non-customer-facing systems.Works in a production environment. This is the external customer-facing system.
Comparison of a database developer and database administrator

For more in-depth information on their difference, please check out the book ‘Technology Made Simple for the Technical Recruiter’

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