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The Future of Knowledge Measurement Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:34 AM
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djackson 22568 (9/11/2013)
simon.crick (9/11/2013)
Why not base your decision on the candidate's academic qualifications?

College and university exams are far more rigorous and comprehensive than any interview tests can ever be.


Eeek! Depends on where they went to school. I know of one university that values income more than education, and refuses to fail ANYBODY no matter what. I doubt they are unique.

What university would that be?
Post #1493765
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:43 AM
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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (9/11/2013)
djackson 22568 (9/11/2013)
simon.crick (9/11/2013)
Why not base your decision on the candidate's academic qualifications?

College and university exams are far more rigorous and comprehensive than any interview tests can ever be.


Eeek! Depends on where they went to school. I know of one university that values income more than education, and refuses to fail ANYBODY no matter what. I doubt they are unique.

What university would that be?

A university more interested in income does not strike me as one that would hesitate to sue if their name was mentioned, so I don't believe I will say anything more. As I said, I doubt there is only one like that.


Dave
Post #1493770
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:50 AM


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I agree with Dave62 on this, a probation period of 6 months. That's what my company has and it has worked for us, some mistakes but that can be expected. Nothing you do will guarantee a 100% success. I would say looking at someone's work history would help weed out some bad people. If you haven't stayed at a job for more than a year or two would be a giant red flag to me. Either you couldn't do the job or you are only interested in 'moving up'. And what guarantee will I have that you will stay here for very long.

With the easy of, coming to this site, and other online sources to find answers to help you solve any problem, to dismiss someone just because they can't memorize some commands for your test seems pointless.

I'm no DBA, but I'm sure I could find the answers I need if I had to do it. Doesn't mean it would be the best or fastest way to do it and it may take me more time. But it could be done. The willingness to learn is key. IMHO
Post #1493773
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 9:55 AM
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Recently, we were looking for a SQL developer that could become part of our team, could develop, and could convert a user story into a solution. We had run into people who look good on paper, but many who had embellished their SQL skills. To combat this I devised a problem for them to solve.

The problem provides a script to generate 2 tables with data, and then describes what the data and the tables represent. Then we create a hypothetic business problem/objective that can be solved with the information in the tables. The "Correct" solution requires multiple levels of knowledge, requires careful reading and checking of the requirements contained within the business problem. A "basic" solution requires about 30-40 minutes of analysis of the data in the tables and analysis of the requirements. I expect the actual solution to take about 10 minutes to write and test. My own solution is a Select statement of about 8 lines involving an inner JOIN, and either a UNION or OR condition in the where clause, an aggregate function, a GROUP BY, and a HAVING.

After initial screening of resumes, we send out the problem to the candidate and ask them to send their solution in 1-2 days before their interview date and be prepared to discuss their solution in-depth during the interview. I make myself available to the candidate by cell phone if they have questions about a nuance contained in the problem at any time before the interview. I review their solution and may test it if it involves an approach that I wasn't anticipating. The candidate is expected to be able to speak about their solution during the interview

This is what I am trying to achieve: 1) Can the candidate figure out how to run the script to load the data. 2) Can the Candidate read and correctly interpret English (my clients are all English speakers). 3) Does the candidate pay attention to details and nuances contained in the business problem. 4) Does the candidate reach out to someone to clarify a requirement or just "assume" they know what a vague requirement really means. 5) Ascertain whether the candidate is a brute force or elegant solution developer. 6) Whether the candidate understands the basic constructs of SQL. 7) Whether the candidate understands more advanced concepts of set theory (how they combine the tables group where clauses). 8) give a common framework for having the candidate discuss a technical solution.

In reality, I'm not at all interested in whether the candidate produces a solution with the 23 rows that a correct solution produces. I'm concerned with all of the thinking, interpreting, and interacting skills. I can teach the language and the business, but I can't teach how to think, interpret, interact, research and pay attention to details.

If you'd like a copy of this exercise, I'd be happy to forward it to you privately.

Jim
Post #1493777
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10:23 AM


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jmoney 69422 (9/11/2013)
...I devised a problem for them to solve.


I like this approach. If the candidate was inclined to "get help" from somebody else, they would be caught out when discussing the solution with you in the interview. I think I'd like to take a look at your question.


Hakim Ali
www.sqlzen.com
Post #1493793
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10:45 AM


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jmoney 69422 (9/11/2013)
...I devised a problem for them to solve.


Great idea, if I was interviewing I would like this approach. Got any openings? Just kidding, or am I? Guess it would depend on location, benifits and pay.
Post #1493801
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 10:47 AM
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djackson 22568 (9/11/2013)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (9/11/2013)
djackson 22568 (9/11/2013)
simon.crick (9/11/2013)
Why not base your decision on the candidate's academic qualifications?

College and university exams are far more rigorous and comprehensive than any interview tests can ever be.


Eeek! Depends on where they went to school. I know of one university that values income more than education, and refuses to fail ANYBODY no matter what. I doubt they are unique.

What university would that be?

A university more interested in income does not strike me as one that would hesitate to sue if their name was mentioned, so I don't believe I will say anything more. As I said, I doubt there is only one like that.

While I know theres some examples of institutions failing accreditation, this doesn't mean that we should discard the benefits of higher ed, especially in the context of this discussion.
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Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 11:03 AM
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Hi,

If you consider the rise of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC), an open source testing ability with 'reasonable' testing fees and security would be a great thing. Professionals need a way to expand their knowledge and be able to demonstrate that knowledge in an independently verifiable way.

Also, if the testing facilities were separate from the MOOCs, you could ask the students to list the preparation courses they took, and list their efficacy as well. (Test driven teaching anyone?)

People will always game any system. But, we want to have a way for anyone to learn, improve, and prove that knowledge. We will still have to interview, test, and have probation periods, but we can bring more interested and qualified people into the workforce.

Thanks,
Peter

Post #1493808
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:24 PM


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simon.crick (9/11/2013)
I agree 100% with the idea of a probationary period.

However... you still have to decide which candidate to hire for the probationary period, and it is still 6 months wasted if you get the decision wrong.

Therefore, you still need some way to choose the best candidate, and I still believe academic qualifications are the most reliable indicator of long-term potential.

Sitting someone in front of SSMS will tell you how useful they will be on day 1, but not how useful they will be in 6 months or a year.

Simon



Still no guarantee that people will change after that 6 months to a year period and they become the employee from hell. I have seen them slyly work the system and the people they work for until they are in like a tick on a dog's behind. In the government sector it is much harder to get rid of them then. It's not impossible, just much harder.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1493872
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013 8:38 PM


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jmoney 69422 (9/11/2013)
The problem provides a script to generate 2 tables ... a GROUP BY, and a HAVING.


Actually I would be interested in seeing this test as well.

I would probably go through #temp tables to get to it. But I have been doing SPs for enough years that I take a different attitude on some stuff.




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Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
Post #1493976
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