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Just Enough know-how Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 11:02 AM
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Just Enough know-how


Post #1569535
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 9:43 PM


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Having done a couple of dozen interviews for Senior Level Developers and DBAs over the last 2 years or so, I'm totally amazed at how low the bar has been set for "just enough know-how".

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

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Post #1569574
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 3:03 AM


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Jeff Moden (5/10/2014)
Having done a couple of dozen interviews for Senior Level Developers and DBAs over the last 2 years or so, I'm totally amazed at how low the bar has been set for "just enough know-how".


Having seen the (terrible) level of knowledge that developers who think that they are experts in SQL Server have as well, I am little surprised at Jeff's frustration. It appears that the level to satisfy "just enough know-how" is far lower than it should be across the board. This must not be deemed acceptable so that we can raise the bar(s).

Some people will work hard across a broad range of technologies but, due to the requirement for a width of knowledge, will stop targeting learning in one area once they perceive that they have gained an accepted level of expertise.

The more we push back, the better this situation will become.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1569727
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 7:59 AM


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I've started a real pushback on all of this. It's amazing how many of the candidates (something like 22 out of 24) can't answer the first question, which is "using T-SQL, how do you select the current date and time"? If they can't answer that, the interview is over. It's a total waste of time if they can't get beyond that.

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1569857
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:12 AM
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I totally agree! And now I see more and more developers embracing ORMs like Entity Framework so that they "don't have to mess with all that database crap" and it scares me. What scares me more is some of the code and database designs that come out of those packages.

The thinking goes, lets do a few small programs using EF and see how that goes. Well small programs can be extremely badly designed and still seem to work fine so everything looks great. Then you do a major enterprise application using the same tool and all of a sudden, all hell is breaking loose because the application is not scalable and it runs like molasses.

This happens because the people in charge don't have a level of knowledge that they should have and they won't listen to the people who do. I find it all very frustrating.
Post #1569865
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:31 AM


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I find that it is all too much driven by a "deliver now" culture. On top of that Agile is rolled out as an argument when someone talks of performance and design. It appears that there is a generation of "deliver quickly" developers regardless of the future issues it creates. They end up popular with the managers and rarely seem to stay long enough to reap what they have sown :-(

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1569876
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:38 AM
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Jeff Moden (5/12/2014)
I've started a real pushback on all of this. It's amazing how many of the candidates (something like 22 out of 24) can't answer the first question, which is "using T-SQL, how do you select the current date and time"? If they can't answer that, the interview is over. It's a total waste of time if they can't get beyond that.


I've only been using T-SQL for just over twelve months and I'm largely self-taught as are the other members of the team. A question like 'how do you select the current date and time?' would actually make me a little nervous. I know how I'd do it:
Select GETDATE()
but I'd be worried about the sharp intake of breath and termination of the interview that may follow. I know I don't know the in depth stuff, and I'm constantly learning, but I wouldn't be at all surprised that the basics I thought I knew were wrong.




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Post #1569881
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:38 AM
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Jeff Moden (5/12/2014)
I've started a real pushback on all of this. It's amazing how many of the candidates (something like 22 out of 24) can't answer the first question, which is "using T-SQL, how do you select the current date and time"? If they can't answer that, the interview is over. It's a total waste of time if they can't get beyond that.


Yeah, that would clearly show a lack of use of SQL Server :).



Post #1569882
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:40 AM
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Jim Youmans-439383 (5/12/2014)
I totally agree! And now I see more and more developers embracing ORMs like Entity Framework so that they "don't have to mess with all that database crap" and it scares me. What scares me more is some of the code and database designs that come out of those packages.


ORM users are one of the groups of "programmers" I tend to think of as "users". Not because ORMs are bad per se, but minimally, using the 1 level deeper example, you ought to know what code the ORM is generating, and how to override it if it turns out to be a less than adequate solution.

Just hoping that someone else's code does a good job is not being a programmer at all.



Post #1569885
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 8:48 AM
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BWFC (5/12/2014)
Jeff Moden (5/12/2014)
I've started a real pushback on all of this. It's amazing how many of the candidates (something like 22 out of 24) can't answer the first question, which is "using T-SQL, how do you select the current date and time"? If they can't answer that, the interview is over. It's a total waste of time if they can't get beyond that.


I've only been using T-SQL for just over twelve months and I'm largely self-taught as are the other members of the team. A question like 'how do you select the current date and time?' would actually make me a little nervous. I know how I'd do it:
Select GETDATE()


And the interview would continue. Obviously using T-SQL for 12 months (depending on whether it was your only task or not), one might not expect you to know everything (like GETUTCDATE(), SYSDATETIME(), CURRENT_TIMESTAMP, and SYSDATETIMEOFFSET() (I looked up the last two because they weren't in active RAM either), but I can't imagine anyone not fetching the current point in time from SQL Server.

If you gave me a wrong answer, I would at least ask you how you could have ever gotten by not getting the current time, partly for my amusement, but also because that is a very common operation and if you actually have a good reason why you hadn't, I might try a few other areas. Of course, that would have to be only for a very junior position :)



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