Where are all of the Production DBAs?

Is there such a thing as a Production DBA in the SQL Server world or is this
an outdated concept? Is there a market for people who specialize in database
administration as distinct from software development or general network admin?
I believe there are such people in the Oracle world, is the SQL Server
world different in this regard? Can anyone give me suggestions about how
to go about filling such a position?

I am a New York City area employer seeking to fill a position that I think
would be ideal for a DBA with 3-5 years of experience in a production environment.
The salary would be somewhere between $50K and $60K.

The position involves administering a SQL Server cluster and SAN running
our core business application, plus several ancillary SQL Server installations.
The application that we are implementing is a third-party product, so no
real development is being done at our site. It is, however, fairly complex
and requires customization and we do have significant reporting and EDI requirements,
so strong T-SQL skills are required.

We are a medium-sized operation, with 900 employees and an eight person IT
Dept; the organization’s main focus is insurance not IT, so candidates with
a lot of experience might not find it challenging enough, but I think it
would be an excellent opportunity for a candidate who might be stuck in the
back of a large IT Dept. who wants to move up to a more visible position
in a smaller organization.

I would think that there would be a lot of people in this category and, indeed,
we have received a lot of resumes, but few of them are from the type of candidate
that I had in mind. Most of the resumes are from people whose main focus
is development or, if they have had experience in a production environment,
have had 10+ years and are seeking salaries way beyond what we can pay.
As for the former, I would not automatically reject someone whose prior
experience was as a developer—and these skills would certainly be useful
to us--I would just be worried that they wouldn’t be happy if they weren’t
spending all of their time developing.

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