Database programmers are responsible for maintaining and updating computer programs and databases, and writing new code as requested or required. This role has an emphasis on MS Access, Visual Basic, SQL, and the manipulation of Microsoft Office products to extract information. Daily tasks as a database programmer include database management, troubleshooting, and developing new systems to improve data analysis. This job is well suited to people who enjoy analyzing data, finding new ways to solve problems, and have an aptitude for working with computer systems. Most database programmers work full-time and work in offices for organizations or as contractors.
Database Programmer Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization database programmers work for determines the duties and responsibilities they can expect to undertake. Based on job listings we analyzed, a data programmer’s duties typically involve:
Design and Test Database Plans
Database programmers design, write and modify programs to improve application processing for things such as online applications to websites, data transfer to internal databases, the processing of the application data, and online payment systems.
Provide Database Support
Part of this role is to create technical training manuals to provide support to other teams or users, as well as gathering user requirements so that improvements can be identified to simplify processes and increase productivity.
Modify Databases and Perform Tests
A key responsibility for database programmers is modifying databases according to requests from managers and performing tests to identify ways to solve database usage concerns and malfunctions. This includes researching new database products, services, and protocols that can enhance the systems in place within the company.
Communicate with Different Teams
Database programmers communicate daily with different personalities and departments, responding in a professional manner to queries or requests. They liaise with developers, in particular, to improve applications and establish best practices for the business.
Construct Queries for Business Analysis
Database programmers analyze business requirements and program automated scripts to provide end-user support and regular maintenance to the databases. In order to meet business analysis queries, they create custom-designed queries and codes to manipulate information and achieve the goals of the organization.
Database Programmer Skills and Qualifications
Database programmers need to be organized, have excellent attention to detail, and be able to communicate well with different teams. Typically, this role requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject, as well as the following abilities:
Communication skills – database programmers should be comfortable communicating with different people and personalities, remaining professional at all times, and be able to convey complex information in an easy-to-understand way
Detail-oriented – this role involves identifying patterns and malfunctions within the databases, requiring someone who is able to spot things that might otherwise be overlooked
Troubleshooting abilities – part of the role of a database programmer is to fix issues within the database and streamline the code to ensure that it works effectively to meet business goals. This requires analytical thinking skills to be able to problem-solve issues as and when they arise and to be able to spot ways to improve systems that are in place
Time management – working as part of a larger organization means adhering to deadlines and schedules. Data programmers need to have good time management skills and the ability to prioritize tasks to meet these deadlines effectively, ensuring that all necessary work is completed on time
Writing skills – database programmers are responsible for updating technical user guides and training manuals, so strong writing skills and the ability to condense complex information into an easy-to-follow format is important
Database Programmer Education and Training
Applicants for this role need a bachelor’s degree in database analysis, software programming, computer science, or a related subject. Some employers may prefer applicants who have a master’s degree with a concentration in information systems. Alongside a degree, database programmers have to have previous experience in a similar role as well as additional certification where possible. Database programmers should have skills in SQL Server Reporting Services, Oracle, and Microsoft Excel.