How to Hire a Database Expert
We can summarize our major points about databases from the previous articles as:
- Beware the ghost database. Check your network, and install security patches.
- A thorough maintenance plan keeps databases running reliably.
- Get the best data performance through maximum use of your physical server and improved queries.
- Protect your data (and your company) via disaster recovery procedures.
Where does this leave us? Searching for a database engineer or consultant in order to implement best practice and preventative procedures.
How to Know You've Got a Good One
We've talked about hiring an outside database consultant to help you with your database servers. But how do you go about finding the right one for your organization? Database knowledge is highly specialized; many IT professionals don’t have the in-depth knowledge that is necessary for ensuring that your database is secure and reliable.
Databases are also highly sensitive. You wouldn't want your private records being handed to other companies by a DBA as "proof of work," would you? So how do you talk with a database consultant – figure out their qualifications, and decide if they are a suitable fit for your company's strategy?
The best way to do this is to talk with them concerning your current issues. Describe your situation as best you can. This way, the database consultant can ask questions, and help you flush out what you’re really after with a new or updated database.
Then, ask the DBA to describe similar projects they’ve worked on. Chances are their story will not only demonstrate ample qualifications, but the answers will also tell you if this person’s “the good one” you should trust your company records to.
In-House or Contract?
The question many people ask now is, "Would a consultant be the right person, or should I just hire a full-time engineer for my database work?"
Good question. An in-house engineer has certain advantages; so do contracted consultants. Let's examine both.
In-House Engineer: An in-house database engineer or administrator is just that, in-house. Always there for maintenance and in case there’s an emergency. Over time, they gain familiarity with your systems and your people. They’ll mold your database server into their own well-oiled machine.
Contracted Consultant: On the other hand, a contracted consultant is there only when needed. However, their advantages are numerous – they bring in a multitude of experiences, and an outside perspective which could make an unexpected but helpful recommendation. And since consultants become familiar with your systems over time too, they’re equipped to give you a higher growth potential.
Both choices have their own niches. Initially, if you’re installing a new database, it’s probably better to hire a consultant. They could even help you find a qualified engineer to take over later.
We called this the Health Check Series because we wanted to identify, start to finish, every major area where databases need attention. With these areas covered – security, maintenance, backup, and following best practice – databases provide not only storage for company records. They provide the peace of mind, knowing everything you know about your business, is stored and always available or recoverable.
Databases fill a crucial piece of the puzzle for becoming a successful company, online or off. Make sure when you deploy one, it'll pass its Health Check. Questions? Email our DBA team at email@example.com.
Or call us at 408-341-8770 to schedule an appointment.