What is a Database Engineer?

At DVLA, a Database Engineer is capable of designing, building, deploying, and maintaining a database which satisfies the requirements and objectives of the business, offering resilience, high availability, integrity, security, performance, and recoverability. All of these must sit within the context of DVLA standards and policies, as well as our technical and architectural framework.

One of the main objectives of a Database Engineer is to minimise support incidents by proactive monitoring and maintenance of our databases.

Building database systems involves technical operations executed with the appropriate technical skills. To be regarded as a Database Engineer, you must have an arsenal of technical skills that you can acquire through training. Database engineering involves a great deal of programming. Therefore, you must have a solid foundation in major programming languages.

What are the main responsibilities of a Database Engineer? 

The main responsibilities of a Database Engineer are:

  • backup and recovery
  • replication
  • performance
  • patching
  • storage management
  • proactive monitoring
  • legislative and non-legislative data changes
  • data corrections
  • reference data management
  • security and access management
  • incident management
  • problem management

What do typical activities include?

Typical activities include:

  • data modelling
  • database design
  • database build and deployment (including automation)
  • planning (tasks, resources, estimates and timescales)
  • making sure DVLA standards and policies are adopted consistently for things such as data access and passwords
  • defining database standards
  • configuring and providing configuration information relating to the set-up of new databases for aspects such as Memory, CPU, Storage, IOPS, high availability and resilience, as well as providing recommendations for the most appropriate database technology
  • advising on the use, replication, and transformation of data to make sure that data integrity is maintained between various representations of similar data
  • making sure the databases are configured to support optimal performance for the various uses of a database
  • advising on the data model definition so that it will support the performance requirements for a given database
  • providing support to the development team throughout the development life cycle, making sure that project releases are successful regarding the database build, and validating that everything is as expected
  • migrating data (if required) to the new database

What skills does a Database Engineer need?

  • Good communication skills

    Database Engineers must clearly articulate issues, problems, and requirements to peers, management, and stakeholders both verbally and in writing.

  • Ability to adapt

    Database Engineers must collaborate with engineers from other disciplines and work well within a team, whilst being able to work alone and under pressure to resolve a complex database issue which could happen any time of day or night.

  • Strong organisational skills and an eye for detail

    Database Engineers often face complex tasks and take on large projects. Therefore, you must be solution-oriented, creative, and deadline-driven. Furthermore, Database Engineers regularly analyse and process large quantities of data. It helps if you have analytical thinking skills as they will come in handy as you venture into the field.

    At DVLA, Database engineers can extend their skills and knowledge to a range of database technologies from proprietary cloud provider databases to more mainstream technologies such as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, SQL Server, and Oracle.

    The role of Database Engineer at DVLA is a role that evolves and changes over time. More and more databases are being built within a cloud environment rather than in the traditional data centre, and with this change comes the opportunity to gain new skills and help shape the future of data and database management at DVLA.

How long does it typically take to become a Database Engineer?

It takes most people 4 to 5 years to become a Database Engineer Factors that can influence this timeframe include studying for a bachelor’s degree or being a part-time student.

Does a Database Engineer role sound like it’s right for you? Apply now!

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