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Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:34 PM


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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Best of luck!







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Post #1514100
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:55 PM


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Sean Lange (11/13/2013)
Grant Fritchey (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


Don't. I can't answer questions about SSRS or SSAS either. I know clustering a tiny amount, but not much. You're fine and I'll bet you did better than you think.


+100

I hate leaving interviews like that. I always second guess myself and replay the answers I gave over and over. The upside is that if they want somebody to spend all their time on SSRS and SSAS you probably aren't a good fit for the position anyway. We all know you are far too talented to spend your time doing something you don't like. You will land on your feet running, the good people like yourself always do.


Heh... my favorite reply for the question "What are SSIS, SSRS, and SSAS?" is "To me, they're 4 letter words and a source of aggrevation."

Lynn, if it makes you feel any better, I've never had to setup a clustered server. I couldn't even tell you where to start. And to me, "VM" is five less than a thousand. I've either worked for smaller shops that didn't need any of that or for larger shops where there was a NetOps team that did all that. I've only worked with SQL Server Replication once and even that was taken over by the NetOps team for "security reasons" (it's actually done through our SANs at the current job which I don't have to touch! YIPPPEEE!!!). I'm actually quite happy that I don't need to know much about any of that anymore.

And, I agree with the others on this... if they really want you to have knowledge of the various SQL Server 4 letter words and be able to be a System DBA and be a Super Developer/Application DBA, then it's not a good fit for what we've all seen you do. Feeling small? Why? You've been a veritable rockstar on the forums and I can almost guarantee they'll not easily find someone like you. I'll bet they didn't even know what a Tally Table is and you should have asked them just to get things going in that direction. Remember, all interviews are a bi-direction flow of knowledge.

What part of the country are you willing to work in?


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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."

(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 #1514109
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 5:14 PM


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Jeff Moden (11/13/2013)
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Grant Fritchey (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


Don't. I can't answer questions about SSRS or SSAS either. I know clustering a tiny amount, but not much. You're fine and I'll bet you did better than you think.


+100

I hate leaving interviews like that. I always second guess myself and replay the answers I gave over and over. The upside is that if they want somebody to spend all their time on SSRS and SSAS you probably aren't a good fit for the position anyway. We all know you are far too talented to spend your time doing something you don't like. You will land on your feet running, the good people like yourself always do.


Heh... my favorite reply for the question "What are SSIS, SSRS, and SSAS?" is "To me, they're 4 letter words and a source of aggrevation."

Lynn, if it makes you feel any better, I've never had to setup a clustered server. I couldn't even tell you where to start. And to me, "VM" is five less than a thousand. I've either worked for smaller shops that didn't need any of that or for larger shops where there was a NetOps team that did all that. I've only worked with SQL Server Replication once and even that was taken over by the NetOps team for "security reasons" (it's actually done through our SANs at the current job which I don't have to touch! YIPPPEEE!!!). I'm actually quite happy that I don't need to know much about any of that anymore.

And, I agree with the others on this... if they really want you to have knowledge of the various SQL Server 4 letter words and be able to be a System DBA and be a Super Developer/Application DBA, then it's not a good fit for what we've all seen you do. Feeling small? Why? You've been a veritable rockstar on the forums and I can almost guarantee they'll not easily find someone like you. I'll bet they didn't even know what a Tally Table is and you should have asked them just to get things going in that direction. Remember, all interviews are a bi-direction flow of knowledge.




What part of the country are you willing to work in?



BWAA-HAAA!!!! Funny you should mention Tally Table. I brought it up during a discussion of tuning code and splitting strings. They hadn't heard of Tally Tables! Tried explaining that and how to use it to split a string, and then mentioned your article. In fact I sent him a link to it via the HR recruiter.

I want to work in Colorado Springs. I have a chance to reconcile with my ex and moving a way from her and my kids (youngest still in high school, oldest living just a few miles away with my grand babies) is hard. This position will (think positive) let me work from home. Things don't look so good at the moment in Colorado Springs. I will also look in Denver, but I won't commute. If I get a job up there I'll get a small apartment and come down on weekends. If I have look further away I start looking one state out from Colorado and go from there.



Lynn Pettis

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Post #1514111
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 5:44 PM


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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


No reason to feel "small"!!

If they're really looking for someone being an expert in each and every field they've mentioned, the number of people being qualified is rather small (if existent at all!). A combination of either SSRS/SSAS or Clustering/Replication would make some kind of sense. But all of it? They're simply not related. One field covers "dealing with the data" while the other one is focussing on the hard-/software setup. Two different areas from my point of view. And then there's the third area: data modelling and performance. Being an expert in one area is great, covering two of it is awesome. But all three at the same time? I'm not sure if that's possible at all...

What's slightly confusing to me: Why would you need to learn about best practices? In which context?
To me you're one of the folks out there teaching "best practice" here at SSC, in your blog and probably at other places, too.

Look at it as a "reminder" that there's more to SQL Server than the stuff you were dealing with usually. Get a broad overview of how the other areas work in general (just the basic concept). And while you're at it, add SSIS and SSSB to the list

If there's an area you're interested in, look deeper into it. But don't even try to become an expert in each and every section.

Like Jeff already mentioned: if they're looking for someone focussing on SSRS/SSAS/Clustering then the job most probably wouldn't satisfy you anyway. Working the majority of your working hours "outside of your technical comfort zone" can be really pain- and stressful...

Think positive, Lynn! (Even though you don't feel it's appropriate at the moment.) And don't put too much pressure on you yourself!




Lutz
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Post #1514119
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 9:02 PM


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wolfkillj (11/13/2013)
Ed Wagner (11/13/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/13/2013)
venoym (11/13/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (11/12/2013)
wolfkillj (11/12/2013)
My new blog post on appropriate data types for storing latitude and longitude coordinates is up.

Thanks for indulging me in a little bit of self-promotion. I'm finding that it's hard to hit the critical mass of audience where a new post gets attention just by virtue of being posted.

Interesting article. I don't like the terminology though: a number like 123.456789 has 9 decimal places, not 6. It has 6 decimal places after the point and 3 before, making 9 in all. But I guess terminology is different in different places.


In this case I believe 9 would refer to Significant Digits (or Figures)(in many math/physics classes you hear the refrain of "Sig Figs" a lot). It's fairly common practice, in the US at least, to refer to the number of digits after the decimal point as "Decimal Places"


I was taught size (how many places for numbers) and precision, as some systems do not store the decimal point in the raw data, but have it defined in a data dictionary.
I'm sure with Steve this may bring back JDE memories.

I was taught 9 significant digits with 6 decimal places. I also thought the article was pretty interesting reading - good job.


Thanks for the feedback and discussion, everyone. It's nice to know you're reading my posts.

I take some comfort in having L'Eomot Inverse around to point out any errors or inconsistencies in my discourses on mathematics. I'll cop to muddling the terminology a bit. I used the term "decimal places" in the colloquial sense common in the U.S. to mean "digits to the right of the decimal point." I could have been more definite by stating that nine significant digits are necessary to represent latitude (as measured by augmented GPS) with appropriate precision - three for the integer part and six for the fractional part - while representing latitude with appropriate precision requires eight significant digits - two for the integer part and six for the fractional part. When writing for a global audience, it's good to remember that conventions for talking about and representing numbers can differ from place to place. At least we English-speakers have finally agreed that "billion" means a thousand millions and "trillion" means a million millions!


I believe that MS uses the terminology "precision" and "scale." I knew what you meant though.

SELECT a.name, b. name, a.precision, a.scale
FROM sys.all_columns a
JOIN sys.types b ON a.system_type_id = b.system_type_id
WHERE a.scale <> 0;






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The path of least resistance can be a slippery slope. Take care that fixing your fixes of fixes doesn't snowball and end up costing you more than fixing the root cause would have in the first place.


Need to UNPIVOT? Why not CROSS APPLY VALUES instead?
Since random numbers are too important to be left to chance, let's generate some!
Learn to understand recursive CTEs by example.
Splitting strings based on patterns can be fast!
Post #1514136
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 4:52 AM


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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.

Don't be silly Lynn, you've no excuse for feeling small. I agree with Grant and Jeff and the three others who have commented so far: your big, not small, in the SQL community.

For myself, I don't claim to understand the first thing about SSAS or SSRS or SSIS or DQS or SSDT. I know some relational theory, T-SQL, and snapshot and transactional replication. I haven't the first clue about clustering, and merge replication is a complete mystery to me. But I don't feel small - why should I? And if I don't, why should you?
As for best practices, I get the impression that you are quite hot on that area, at least so far as best SQL practices are concerend; I don't think I'd ask you about best practice for configuring RAID arrays or choice of network gear or configuring complex hardware geometries, but none of that is about best SQL Server practice. No-one expects you to be totally on top of best practice in every area of IT operations and development, with every type of technology - no-one expects it because (apart perhaps for the odd genius like Wilkes, and of course in his day there was far less of it him to know about) it isn't humanly possible.


Tom
Post #1514219
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:47 AM
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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.

So you don't know the MS alphabet soup of SQL Server...if that's what they're after then it isn't a good fit for either one of you. I know this is hypothetical, but here's a possibility to consider. When you last did an interview, tell me you didn't look the person up online. From what I hear, it's a pretty common practice nowadays. If they found you online and did their research, do you think they were fit to interview you on writing good T-SQL code? Obviously, I don't know that's what actually happened, but it is possible. My guess is that if they figure out how strong you are then you're going to get an offer anyway. Either way, there are more companies than just that one in your metro area.

I know what you mean about feeling small. I read some of the questions posted about SSAS, SSRS and SSIS and have no clue. There's a whole world of stuff out there for SQL Server I have no idea about, but we can't all know everything. I've seen some of the stuff you post here and it's great. So the MS alphabet soup isn't in your wheelhouse...so what? There are plenty of companies that need exactly what you do and it's up to you to find them. It isn't easy, but things in life that are worthwhile are rarely easy.



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Post #1514237
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:08 AM


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Grant Fritchey (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


Don't. I can't answer questions about SSRS or SSAS either. I know clustering a tiny amount, but not much. You're fine and I'll bet you did better than you think.


+1. I can answer some SSRS questions, but can barely spell SSAS. I know just a tiny bit about clustering, replication, log-shipping.




Jack Corbett

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Post #1514266
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:26 AM


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Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.


Post #1514276
Posted Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:28 AM
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Greg Edwards-268690 (11/14/2013)
Show me the person who is a master of all things SQL Server.
They are as rare as seeing a unicorn!

SQL Server covers such a broad range of products, I would hope they were more on an exploratory mission to see what you had been exposed to, as well as a feel for your capacity to pick up and fill in some blanks as needed.

Any company large enough to need everything from clustering to SSAS is likely staffed with more than one person. Jack of all Trades, Master of None? I'd rather have a master of 1 or 2 trades that could work with the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians when some in the house needs fixing.



Very well said.



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