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advice on how to promote my skillset? Expand / Collapse
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:04 AM


Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:30 AM
Points: 15, Visits: 162
Hi everybody,

I didn't really know where to post this question, but I guess this sub-forum could do. I apologise in advance if I missed the right forum for it.

for the TL;DR; people out there, I need some advice on how to promote my SQL Server skills apart from MS Certifications.

Just to give you a bit of background, I started years ago (13) as junior SQL developer (Oracle, but that doesn't really matter), and over the years I gradually moved towards software/web development and other tasks, reducing the exposure to SQL Server to little.
I tried to keep up to date with the latest features and improvements (I'm MCTS SQL 2005 and I'll be taking the 70-461 exam for SQL 2012 in a couple of weeks) and I did (and do now) develop and administer various DBs and instances for my company and its clients, but since I work for a web development agency the DB-side-of-things is not really "challenging".
After a years of meditation I think it's time for me to go back to full time DB development since web development is not "my thing", but of course I have no hands on experience in BI and my times on Datawarehouse are long gone.

Since I'm out of the loop a while, I can't find a job in those positions that easily since most of them require X years of experience (in order to maintain the salary level consistent to my current one) and I don't really want to start as Junior again.
Also, given all the new features that SQL Server ships with now, I don't think my years spent as C# (and for that matters) and sysadmin should go wasted either.

The question is, apart from certifications (which don't really mean much I guess - don't take me wrong, I value them but I don't think they can be my only "selling point") is there a way to further promote my skillset?

Many friends recommended to "work on some side project". In the world of web development people seeking for a new job would roll out some cool website or collaborate on some other project to display their skillset. But DBDs & DBAs are different breeds (at least, I reckon so) and I reckon I can't make up a database from nothing (and for no reason). And even pretending I could, how could I showcase it? This doesn't seem like a viable way... or maybe I'm wrong?

What's the best way to get "back in the loop" according to you?

I hope this makes sense :)

Thanks in advance!

Post #1422172
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:17 AM



Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Saturday, December 3, 2016 5:18 AM
Points: 45,619, Visits: 44,147
Start a blog, write some articles, present at conferences/SQLSaturdays, answer questions on forums.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass

Post #1422190
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:29 AM


Group: General Forum Members
Last Login: Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:30 AM
Points: 15, Visits: 162
Hi GM, thanks for reading and replying.

About the blog, that's something I thought of, but since I don't really work much on SQL I wouldn't have many topics to discuss (and that haven#t been covered in every flavour already). I guess writing a blog out of the blue would be as difficult as making up a DB?

I tried the community approach (answering questions on forums and even teaching basic SQL to some other people) but that's hard to showcase (companies and recruites look at experience on the job here, they don;t really check side activities - I know it's mad, but I can't blame them). Also I do recognise that I have a learning curve ahead of me (I'm not saying I'm a guru on the matter).

I'll see if there's a SQL group meeting where I live (Dublin, Ireland) and I'll take it from there with some luck.

Thanks for the advices in the meanwhile :)
Post #1422198
Posted Monday, February 25, 2013 6:19 AM



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The blog can show the stuff you're learning too. It doesn't just have to be "look at me, I'm awesome." In fact the posts that say "Hey, I ran into a problem and here's how I fixed it" or "Wow, I just figured this out" are very useful to others trying to figure out the same thing.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of:
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Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1423586
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