And I would love to see more people who are not techies move into the "database arena", for want of a more all-encompassing phrase - yes, even fundraisers! There are several reasons for this:
- There are more and more roles in "database teams" where it is far more important to be business savvy, fundraising-aware, have an understanding of marketing and to be knowledgeable as to what the charity wants, than it is to know what field or function to use in the database. That can be worked on by other database team members and/or learned by the non-tech person.
- There are so many similar attributes which non-technical roles have which could help database teams: communication skills, analytical skills, attention to detail, insight, understanding of specialist areas such as direct marketing. Specific database skills can be taught - the soft skills are far harder to teach.
- Data knowledge does not necessarily have to mean database knowledge. The database is nothing without data - that's the lifeblood of the database. So if you know/like/understand/find data interesting, then you are half way to being a data(base) person.
- The best database trainers are not the ones who understand SQL - the best ones are those who can relate to the fundraisers.