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Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 7:26 PM
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I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.
Post #1115972
Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 4:38 AM


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sherifffruitfly (5/8/2011)
re: certs - what would be a good one or ones to get?

Me: Street programmer, dotnet/sql, got advanced degree in math, put the word "programmer" on my resume, and have been working (and learning furiously to not get fired lols) ever since (approx 5 yrs).

I never EVER want to be a dba, but I love programming sql, coming up with solutions to fit new and ever-changing business needs. I want to eventually get into database business intelligence (turn some of those math skills into data mining etc. routines).

But I'm sure there's a jillion "holes" that I have that could be filled in with some "book learning". What would be relevant certs along these lines?


Since Craig didn't really answer your question yet...

There are two different cert paths you can go. SQL Server Developer, which requires the programming skills as well as the T-SQL Skills (this is the one you sound most qualified for at the moment), or SQL Server Business Intelligence.

Understand, BI is not as programming intensive as the Dev path. Yes, you need to have some programming skills, but BI is more about logic and data manipulation using interface objects (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS) than it is about actual coding. While coding does require logic and the ability to manipulate data, it's not as visual as BI is. And honestly, I don't know how to describe it in more detail.

I would honestly recommend the SQL Server Developer route for you, since you love the coding so much. It's better to take the path of your passion than it is to go another route. You can find more details at: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx#tab3[url=http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/cert-sql-server.aspx#tab3][/url]


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Post #1116118
Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 4:51 AM


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I have to honestly say that I got into IT right as, and after, the big IT crash and right before the DotCom bubble burst. This was the point where people realized a lot of "experienced DBAs" were getting their qualifications by going to boot camps and reading brain dumps before passing their certification exams. Where I came from, we called them the PaperCerts. People who had the creds, but not the knowledge to back it up because they'd forgotten everything.

This was the beginning of the end of the high-paying, willing to pay you while you sit on the bench, contracts waiting in the pipeline era of DBA work. The backlash in the States was horrendous. And for good reason. Many good IT people ended up out of work for no other reason than companies just started cutting everyone. Most of the bad ones ended up without a job too and never got their foot back in the door.

Yet, I got in just at this point because I did work my tail off to learn SQL Server, not just study it. That being said, I have to agree that doctors, lawyers, etc. do work a lot harder in their professions (especially in the States) than the 1 & 1/2 years that it took me to get my MCDBA.

It is harder to get a DBA job now, for several reasons.

1) You have to prove you know your skills instead of just providing the certificate proof of your skills.

2) DBA skills have evolved into more of a blue collar worker skill set instead of the white collar skill set of the old days. Anyone can learn SQL Server and the proof of that is that it's being taught in college and cert books can be found in any bookstore.

3) Most employers these days aren't putting up with the arrogant "I'm a god and you have to treat me well" attitude of DBAs. They'd rather hire someone hungry to learn who can work with a team and has a decent amount of social skills then hire an expert. Do not underestimate the importance of the "soft skills" in today's IT world. It's becoming more and more relevant as time goes on.

So, yes, salaries are going down as more people enter the workforce. It happened with programming, now it's hitting the database sector. In the States, it has just happened with welders. I remember when the Tulsa school of Welding would promise newly graduated welders salaries of $70k to start. This year, they're advertising starting salaries of $40k. That's how many highly-skilled welders they've put out in the workforce.

The same thing happens (in cycles) to doctors and nurses. Lawyers bill by the hour (I have relatives who are lawyers), so good ones can make a mint while average or poor lawyers make less than some fast food employees.

It's all a matter of perspective.


Brandie Tarvin, MCITP Database Administrator

Webpage: http://www.BrandieTarvin.net
LiveJournal Blog: http://brandietarvin.livejournal.com/
On LinkedIn!, Google+, and Twitter.

Freelance Writer: Shadowrun
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Post #1116125
Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 6:16 AM
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Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.


I guess what I don't understand is why you're bothering to hang out here on a SQL Server forum if you've left the field, had a bunch of bad experiences in it, and don't want to work in it any more.


-Ki
Post #1116172
Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 8:03 AM
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Kiara (5/27/2011)
Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.


I guess what I don't understand is why you're bothering to hang out here on a SQL Server forum if you've left the field, had a bunch of bad experiences in it, and don't want to work in it any more.


Like I said, satisfaction. The article popped up in my Inbox, the title piqued my interest, I read it and replied. Not every member of this website spends 37.5 hours per week handcuffed to an instance of SQL, or even per month.
Post #1116260
Posted Friday, May 27, 2011 8:34 AM


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Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.


I definitely feel for you. I know plenty of people who are in jobs they hate, and feel chained to them. You escaped, and that's a good thing.

My experiences as a DBA haven't been anywhere near so bad as yours. For one, I'm making a very good income for the amount of work I have to do. For another, and much more important to me, I have a good employer and a good job and really enjoy the work.

I thought about going into medicine, many, many years ago, but after a few months as a volunteer EMT, I decided it wasn't for me. I love helping people, and am not at all squeemish about the human body's more interesting features and failures, but an experience with someone wanting to "keep his options open" (regarding the potential to sue me over saving his life), kind of soured me on the field. I literally saved the guy's life, and he was looking into legal options because his nose might be slightly disfigured by what I had to do to keep him from bleeding to death. I haven't run into anything like that in the DBA world. Not yet, anyway.

So, you're getting out of IT/DBA work for similar reasons to why I never really got all the way into medical work. I definitely sympathize with that. I guess anything can be wrong for some people.

Best of luck and success in your new endeavor. May it be all you hope for. Best of your past surpassed by worst of your future, and all that.


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Post #1116292
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2011 10:22 PM


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Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
...there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope,...


If you stated it, I'm sorry I missed it. Which new field did you jump into?


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Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

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Post #1116716
Posted Sunday, May 29, 2011 4:47 AM
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GSquared (5/27/2011)
Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.


I definitely feel for you. I know plenty of people who are in jobs they hate, and feel chained to them. You escaped, and that's a good thing.

My experiences as a DBA haven't been anywhere near so bad as yours. For one, I'm making a very good income for the amount of work I have to do. For another, and much more important to me, I have a good employer and a good job and really enjoy the work.

I thought about going into medicine, many, many years ago, but after a few months as a volunteer EMT, I decided it wasn't for me. I love helping people, and am not at all squeemish about the human body's more interesting features and failures, but an experience with someone wanting to "keep his options open" (regarding the potential to sue me over saving his life), kind of soured me on the field. I literally saved the guy's life, and he was looking into legal options because his nose might be slightly disfigured by what I had to do to keep him from bleeding to death. I haven't run into anything like that in the DBA world. Not yet, anyway.

So, you're getting out of IT/DBA work for similar reasons to why I never really got all the way into medical work. I definitely sympathize with that. I guess anything can be wrong for some people.

Best of luck and success in your new endeavor. May it be all you hope for. Best of your past surpassed by worst of your future, and all that.


Many, many thanks indeed for the kind wishes. Computing is something I learned, but never loved, and I was never one of those kids who would look at code that had nothing to with me, and yearn to understand it. I have no bitterness to Microsoft, the product or anything technical, nor the chaps overseas who do our jobs, but rather what market forces have reduced our role to (here at least, you seem to be well insulated over there in the US). They say before you make peace with a bad experience, you need to understand why it happened. I'm just finishing up working it all out now, and I've always had a pretty good bounceback from anything.

And in fact, I will still be using SSIS, but for my own purposes. And there's nothing to say that if I do take that last contract, I won't post up here an issue I came across!

I daresay you may have been a bit premature with that incident of the chap threatening to sue you. You weren't being paid, hadn't been trained, therefore you didn't owe him any duty of professionalism. I also daresay one of your colleagues got you to pinch his nose precisely because you could get away with those things they can't, and that nasal disfigurement, when caused by rushed emergency circumstances, is neither an uncommon occurrence nor easily avoided. And if I'm right, then the most grievous injustice is that none of your colleagues told you the score afterwards - but again, it's just me guessing here.

As for the fella himself, I imagine he was just reacting to the advice given to him by the bowtie who you saw running after you through the back window of the vehicle. He might have stood to make a few years coin on the back of a maladjusted nose. I doubt he meant you personally any ill-will.

Did he end up suing, or didn't he? And if not, did you ever find out why not?
Post #1116758
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011 6:35 AM


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Jake Shelton (5/29/2011)
GSquared (5/27/2011)
Jake Shelton (5/26/2011)
I'm quite happy now Jan, don't get me wrong, BUT....just because I've moved on from the poor experience that doesn't mean I forget it. The article just brought up a LOT of bad memories.

I can also assure you that most GP's in England earn comfortably something between 80 and 130K GBP, depending on location. Salaries for those in private practice are about double, then if you want to hire the specialists of the medical field, the "Rock Stars" as our friend Craig puts it, you're not looking at getting much change back out of half a mil p/a. Those figures are gross, pun only barely unintended.

As for your final-job question, there are aspects of my new field that take time to develope, and there isn't anything I can do to speed the process (and though there were corners I could cut, I wouldn't). I could take a contract without it impeding on it. Lastly, I guess it's satisfaction; I don't depend on the money from IT any more, and so I'd get a big kick out of my last gig being one where I'm not in constant fear of the sack, far from it.

But it WOULD be my last gig in this beastly profession. I'm just lucky to walk away with my good spirits, dignity, integrity and, most importantly, soul intact.


I definitely feel for you. I know plenty of people who are in jobs they hate, and feel chained to them. You escaped, and that's a good thing.

My experiences as a DBA haven't been anywhere near so bad as yours. For one, I'm making a very good income for the amount of work I have to do. For another, and much more important to me, I have a good employer and a good job and really enjoy the work.

I thought about going into medicine, many, many years ago, but after a few months as a volunteer EMT, I decided it wasn't for me. I love helping people, and am not at all squeemish about the human body's more interesting features and failures, but an experience with someone wanting to "keep his options open" (regarding the potential to sue me over saving his life), kind of soured me on the field. I literally saved the guy's life, and he was looking into legal options because his nose might be slightly disfigured by what I had to do to keep him from bleeding to death. I haven't run into anything like that in the DBA world. Not yet, anyway.

So, you're getting out of IT/DBA work for similar reasons to why I never really got all the way into medical work. I definitely sympathize with that. I guess anything can be wrong for some people.

Best of luck and success in your new endeavor. May it be all you hope for. Best of your past surpassed by worst of your future, and all that.


Many, many thanks indeed for the kind wishes. Computing is something I learned, but never loved, and I was never one of those kids who would look at code that had nothing to with me, and yearn to understand it. I have no bitterness to Microsoft, the product or anything technical, nor the chaps overseas who do our jobs, but rather what market forces have reduced our role to (here at least, you seem to be well insulated over there in the US). They say before you make peace with a bad experience, you need to understand why it happened. I'm just finishing up working it all out now, and I've always had a pretty good bounceback from anything.

And in fact, I will still be using SSIS, but for my own purposes. And there's nothing to say that if I do take that last contract, I won't post up here an issue I came across!

I daresay you may have been a bit premature with that incident of the chap threatening to sue you. You weren't being paid, hadn't been trained, therefore you didn't owe him any duty of professionalism. I also daresay one of your colleagues got you to pinch his nose precisely because you could get away with those things they can't, and that nasal disfigurement, when caused by rushed emergency circumstances, is neither an uncommon occurrence nor easily avoided. And if I'm right, then the most grievous injustice is that none of your colleagues told you the score afterwards - but again, it's just me guessing here.

As for the fella himself, I imagine he was just reacting to the advice given to him by the bowtie who you saw running after you through the back window of the vehicle. He might have stood to make a few years coin on the back of a maladjusted nose. I doubt he meant you personally any ill-will.

Did he end up suing, or didn't he? And if not, did you ever find out why not?


Nothing to do with any colleagues. None around till afterwards.

Guy was in a car crash, and hit the bridge of nose on the steering wheel. Was bleeding out because of bone fragments piercing a small artery, and I had to stuff his nose with wadded up cotton gauze, and get him to lie down on his stomach so nothing would drain into his lungs. He was lucky the bone fragments didn't kill him outright (prefrontal lobes are right there), and it took a lot of care to keep from making things worse while I stopped the bleeding. I was first on the scene, made all the decisions and took all the actions on my own. ER docs afterwards informed me that most of them would have been scared to do what I did, but that it definitely saved his life, and nothing else would have. But it did end up distorting the shape of the bridge of the nose a bit. Possibly more than the impact had already done, possibly not.

The guy didn't need a lawyer chasing an ambulance, this was in Los Angeles, California, the world capital of frivolous litigation. He ended up not suing because I convinced him to sign a waiver. (Mild durress was involved, including a strongly worded request for him to return my gauze.)

Anyway, it makes a great story, but it did leave a sour taste in my mouth regarding the whole field of endeavor.


- Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
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Post #1117369
Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 4:24 PM


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This has been a great article for me personally. I have been out of the game for quite some time (5 months unfortunately), so I have been focusing a lot of my time and efforts into SQL server(and other applications), but not as a DBA but for other, smaller roles like a analyst that might open that door for me in the distant future. I myself believe that a lot of my learning is gained when I am using software/hardware hands on, so for the time being after I complete my degree, I will not be rushing to get certs.

I believe with my limited( ) experiences that I learned in the classroom environment and the extra time I take on my own personal projects should at least get me in that door. I have been on a ton of interviews (going on 10 and i'm 0-9 ) and I don't believe my old resume as of last week was anything special(pm me if you want see it and laugh). However, I usually run into trouble during interviews, but that's a different issue and one that I am addressing.

Anyway ranting aside, I believe your article was very informative for a struggling dude like me, and this site has been detrimental for me staying on target and being motivated through these tough times.

Man there is so much I want to ask, but I'll uh, chill out. Anyway good article man.

Sorry, the other guy has experience supporting the same suite of apps you do, but in addition he used to write Macros in Excel.


Funny thing, the past few data analyst jobs I interviewed for asked me a lot about that. I see suites as something that is done on an "as needed" basis pertaining to the jobs function. It is good to keep that skill up, but honestly if I am going to spend most of my non-working time on something it will be on other aspects of the job that systems/data/report writer(analyst) etc... etc.. do that can be a bit more complicated and can't be answered with a youtube tutorial, at least that is how I see it from here, not to knock on any excel guru's or anything.
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