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What skills are needed? Where is the money?

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I would like to find out what type of programming jobs are available these days and how much people are getting paid for them. I asked an old teacher of mine what type of offshore programming jobs were available in my country and he said database management and tech support. I have been hearing about database management for a while now but never needed to use or manage one. Tech support seems way to stressful to me because I get annoyed with people that cant grasp ideas fast and if you are in need of tech support chances are you are going to annoy the person you are asking for help. Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair. What other type of skills are needed and what type of degree are people looking for? My current degree is CS + electronics but I could change it to CS + physics or electronics + physics. Regardless of what degree I get I will still be good at programming. What jobs do you have and what jobs will be available in the future?

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Just about every company in the known universe wants a database-based 'solution' to aid them in the running of the company. As the company's business gets more complicated, they need a more complicated database app (or apps) to describe what they're doing. Programming is a relatively rare skill. Within programming, database programming is pretty common because it's not too hard to write simple database apps, and there's a lot of demand so people can get jobs fairly easily. Arguably, however, it's quite dull. The fact that it's a skilled job combined with the opinion that it's not very inspiring, further combined with the fact that those companies with the most demand are probably the ones that are making the most money means that database programming is pretty well-paid.

What do you have to do? You need to design normalised database schemae, set up the database server(s) and configure it (them), create sql queries and stored procedures, maybe learn the intricacies of Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL or whatever it is you're using. The management side comes more into force when you're dealing with changing customer requirements, the customers being those that define what it is the app should do. People will ask for one thing, probably get something similar (but not quite) what they asked for, expect something slightly different again, and then once they start using it, realise they actually wanted something just a little different to what they thought. It's true of just about all programming, and it can go on like that in a cycle for a very long time, slowly improving but never quite being 'right'.

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Quote:
Original post by try_catch_this
What makes those positions so highly demanded.

I've not done any database work, but from what I can gather database work in general is quite boring. Boring enough that the few Americans who are willing to do it, are only willing to do it for vast quantities of money. It's not that you need any uber skills other than boredom resistance.

There's more than money to worry about for some people. I took a huge cut to go from a contract consulting firm with massive paycheque, massive benefits, etc. to work in the games industry. I make enough to get by. I won't be rich, but I now enjoy my job. Most people I work with would never have made that kind of switch, as they enjoy collecting money too much.

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Depends on the database. There's a lot to it, but you could think of it as being similar to a job in programming.

As far as tech support goes, forget it, it's nothing like programming and you won't (in general) have any path from there into anything technical. Tech support people just get a list of questions and answers, or a troubleshooting flowchart. I'm talking here about tech support in terms of large companies with phone-in support for end-users. In a small company of course it could have a totally different meaning (but then, so do the other jobs named ;) ).

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I was a database application programmer for three years,
and compared to game development I found it to be very easy.

The back-end (relational databases) tend to be fairly simple tables of data
that are associated via relations, one to one, one to many, many to many, all using 'join' tables.

The front-end (applications) were there to enter data, retrive data, and change data, while maintaining the correct relationships.

so again, compared to game programming, it's pretty easy =)

as far as database admininistration, that ususaly includes insuring the database is 'up' and working, and possibly upgrading the machine(s) doing data migration, not 'much' programming =)

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