I had some nice comments on my last post about the database developer role. Most believed there is still a place for database developers, and not necessarily the graveyard. An organisation that is small enough (and hasn't out-sourced everything) can allow someone to spread out out either a DBA or developer role to combine the two. In my experience this is harder in large organisations where DBAs tend to be put under the 'infrastructure' umbrella while developers are grouped into projects or applications.
Some suggested the title of 'Architect'. I have mixed feelings on this term, but @ddelmoli summed up my thoughts with his tweet "I don't know what db architects do. All I know is they're rarely around when the SQL is tough or the db needs recovery".
I'm all in favour of a good achitecture and design. It won't work otherwise. But to my mind it is a first step and there's an important job in turning that design into a working system. Joel Spolsky talks of 'Astronaut Architects' who have believed the hype of the latest and greatest. And then leave you to implement some new architecture where the software is still in 0.X version. Or in some cases, 16.X because they are releasing new versions every month, each highly incompatible with the last.
And then there are the 'Cookie Cutter Architects' who use the same design for everything, changing the names to protect the innocent. You'll quickly find that in their haste to reuse and recycle, they've missed some essential facet of the business that makes the solution unworkable.
And that's the key. If it doesn't work, it doesn't count.
I recall a year or so ago seeing a student on the train with a folder bearing the prominent sticker "Engineers make it work". I know when I've delivered a screen or batch program, and watched it run in Production, there's a great feeling of accomplishment...at least when it doesn't fall over. I've never felt that when I've produced a design document. Then its more of a feeling of "Great, that is out of the way. Let's get things happening."
So I definitely prefer the term 'database engineer'. I think that's what I want to be when I grow up