When I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a computer programmer. I had my own Vic-20, and various other machines, and I wrote code that was used to solve problems. I programmed the computer to handle various calculations or manipulations for school or fun and thought that was very cool. I solved many chemistry labs with the help of my computer.
The other day someone asked me what I did for a living and I said that I used to work with computers, but now wrote about them. They asked me if I was a computer programmer in the past. That was something I hadn’t heard in a long time.
I’m not sure when we changed from programmers to developers. Fundamentally we do the same thing, though I’ll admit that developer sounds more important, or more talented. I’m sure at some point a programmer wanted to separate their job from everyone else, called themselves a developer, and the trend caught on.
I haven’t worried about titles for a long time, but at one point in my career I did press to get the senior DBA title after working with SQL Server for about 6 or 7 years. At that time I felt I knew more about SQL Server than the majority of people that I met, and I deserved to be “senior.” I’m still not sure if I had earned it at that time, but it was a title I was proud of.
It seems that us data professionals have tried to separate ourselves from the average DBA with database architects and database developers and any number of other database specialties that sound more important than just DBA or developer.
It makes me wonder what’s coming next. Will we start to advertise ourselves as DSS (data security specialist) or DTS (data transformation specialist) or even BIDS (Business Intelligence developer specialist)? Who knows, those acronyms are already well known in the SQL Server world. They might just impress a manager who knows just a little about SQL Server.