I spent 10 years as an Oracle database administrator for City banks and consultancies and am currently on a career break.
I have had a couple of years off and want to go back to work in a year's time. This will allow me to spend the next year self-training and by that time the IT market should have picked up.
I have now decided I want to re-train as a web developer. I am well-versed in databases and SQL Server and I hope that these will be a strength. Could the panel advise what skillset I should train in to start as a web developer and supply any other advice?
Business expertise will always stand you in good stead
With a database administration background you should be well placed to get back into the industry. To make yourself more attractive to a potential employer, I suggest you focus on your wider understanding of technology and databases in particular.
With 10 years' experience you will soon pick up skills in other relational databases and catch up with developments in Oracle. Often people with deep expertise can only see what they do not know.
You must also have picked up a reasonable understanding of the businesses you worked in, and relevant business knowledge is always very important to prospective employers.
Your plans to increase your web knowledge will be advantageous. However, do not forget you will be working in a team, and possibly talking to customers or users, so your interpersonal skills will be very important, as will an understanding of project management, application support and the business drivers for IT.
Solution by Terry Watts, chief operating officer, E-Skills UK
The panel: Plan-Net Services, Spring Group, E-Skills UK, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Hudson, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology.
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This was first published in January 2005