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The Case for a Database Engineer

Scott Forstie

Q: What’s a database engineer and why do I need one?

Part of my job encompasses helping clients understand how to improve their IBM i ROI. Most clients can take simple and inexpensive steps—and one of those is hiring a database engineer (DBE).

The DBE role has existed for about a decade. This is someone who can enable your team for success, protect your production system from unnecessary pain and establish order among your vast Db2* for i assets.

For many clients, the DBE might only require staffing that amounts to one person on a part-time basis. My Db2 for i development team has been busy enhancing not only the database features twice per year, but also the tools available to the DBE. Some portions of the DBE’s job can even be automated. In fact, that’s a best practice and a topic I cover in some depth when speaking at industry events.

As clients rightly move to extend their usage of SQL for the data model and SQL for the data access layer, even more reasons exist to embrace a strategy that includes a DBE. The DBE will take care of fun topics like the Index strategy, the SQL Plan Cache strategy and the data model. Moreover, their existence will create opportunities to successfully engage on exciting new computing avenues like web services, data-centric security, Watson*, open source, advanced analytics and even cognitive computing.

The IBM i client owns a spectacular business computing solution, based upon POWER* and years of IBM i and ISV innovation. In many cases, an IBM i client need only unlock the treasure chest by having the proper education, strategy and executive buy-in.

If this topic is still too abstract, please refer to this blog on the DBE job description (bit.ly/2QBhvcc) or this blog on how to become a DBE (bit.ly/2Q70iYR). Both pieces were written by Mike Cain, the leader of a team of Db2 for i experts in IBM Systems Lab Services. Mike and his team can provide whatever level of assistance you need to find the key to unlock the untapped riches within your IBM i.

Scott Forstie is a senior software engineer at IBM. He can be reached at forstie@us.ibm.com.

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