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Industry Experience... Required? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:33 AM
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DBA is different from SQL Developer and I think being a developer, industrial experience is very important. I used to work with people coming out of college without any industrial experience vs people have years of industrial experiences, it is day and night. The trend of thought is totally different and it affects the way you design the system, how to work with the customers and how to implement the system. As for DBA it is nice to have industrial experiences too, it really makes a difference when you work with other departments and developers. You look at things at all different angles vs one angle.

my 2 cents
Post #628763
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:35 AM


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After all, just because you know insurance doesn't mean that you've got an instance understanding of some new set of business requirements that have occured because of a change in the law or moving into new territories in a new country... Any of these situations will require you to learn the new concepts and determine storage models, code, etc., to meet them.


Exactly - at the companies I have worked at, we often have *more* problems with the people that do have industry experience because no two companies do anything the same way - just because you know how things worked at Bank X doesn't mean you will understand how things are at Bank Y - and often the preconceived notions you have from Bank X interfere with learning how Bank Y does things.



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Post #628766
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:38 AM


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DBA is different from SQL Developer and I think being a developer, industrial experience is very important. I used to work with people coming out of college without any industrial experience vs people have years of industrial experiences, it is day and night.


There is a definite difference between a developer (or DBA) that is just out of school versus one with some work experience, but I disagree that it is relevant to be in the given industry - even for a developer. Just like data is data for a DBA, code is still code for a developer, and it doesn't matter if the web app you are developing is to display bank balances and process online charges or to allow new patient entries into a hospital and track medications, the code is still the same (or at least similar enough to quickly absorb the differences).



AndyG
Post #628769
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:46 AM


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AndyG (1/2/2009)
Exactly - at the companies I have worked at, we often have *more* problems with the people that do have industry experience because no two companies do anything the same way - just because you know how things worked at Bank X doesn't mean you will understand how things are at Bank Y - and often the preconceived notions you have from Bank X interfere with learning how Bank Y does things.


Absolutely. One of the biggest problems we have where I work, an ANCIENT insurance company, is the entrenched knowledge, "We've always done it this way," even though what we're trying to do is something new and different. So "knowledge" can work against you if you let it.


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Post #628773
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:47 AM
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Loner (1/2/2009)
DBA is different from SQL Developer and I think being a developer, industrial experience is very important. I used to work with people coming out of college without any industrial experience vs people have years of industrial experiences, it is day and night. The trend of thought is totally different and it affects the way you design the system, how to work with the customers and how to implement the system. As for DBA it is nice to have industrial experiences too, it really makes a difference when you work with other departments and developers. You look at things at all different angles vs one angle.

my 2 cents


Correct. I hope everyone knows the difference between the two positions.

There are scenarios in high end DBA positions in which the architecture of applications utilizing a data mining methodology may require industry experience. Science, Finance, Government, Product Procurement are all generic sectors that would fall into this category. The Developers would then implement the actual bulk of the stored procedures while working with any application engineers and UI designers.
Post #628775
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:51 AM


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Adrian - always good to hear from a new voice.

I'll jump on board with the 'nice to have' group. There's nothing wrong with hoping that a new hire can hit the ground running with minimal mentoring. Of course, I hope the employer is willing to pay for higher levels of experience.

On the other hand, if an employer is too sticky about this during the interview process, I think it's a red flag. It's often an excuse for poor managers who don't have the foggiest idea of what's going on in their department. They don't want to mentor someone because they don't know how!

Many of you have seen the 'demotivational poster' series (if not, click on www.despair.com). Some of them are very funny. One of my favorites is "Tradition" - it's a picture of the Spanish 'running with the bulls' event with the caption, "Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." 'Industry experience' may mean someone has been doing it all wrong for a long, long time. In this case poor managers who hide behind the 'only experienced need to reply' banner deserve what they get.


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Post #628776
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 6:55 AM
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The problem that is faced in requiring industry experience in both development dba's and non dev is that they often do not ask important questions because they 'understand' the industry. Sometimes it is more important to hire someone who can think, grasp and move quickly. They may not even be a stellar sql gee golly wizbang but because they can think on their feet, adapt and grow quickly you will get much better product from them.

Industry experience at one company may be completely different than the industry experience at a competitor of that company. It really goes back to the fact that you cannot hire someone based on a multiple choice test or a short interview. You need to hire the person and their abilities not their knowledge. Their abilities to grow and adapt will take them much further than their outdated MCDBA... (oh did they forget to mention it was for SQL 7)
Post #628778
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 7:28 AM


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One of the toughest things is just trying to get your foot in the door at something like a pharma. You know you can go in, you know you can do a good job, but they won't even look at your resume because you don't have Pfizer on it or something. It makes me wonder how people even get started in those places, as you have to have worked there previously. Real catch 22 situations there.


Oh, and Adrian, nice morph avatar. Haven't seen morph in so long it's ridiculous.




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Post #628791
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 7:39 AM


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Loner (1/2/2009)
DBA is different from SQL Developer and I think being a developer, industrial experience is very important.


Completely agreed here. Being in a development role, I have learned equal amounts about the specific area I am working in now as I have learned about SQL Server since I started my new position in July of 2008. The business users talk in their own language and if you don't learn it yourself, you won't be thriving, and certainly won't be able to ask that "right question" that allows whatever you're creating to add value rather than bandaid a problem.

Thinking of times when I have had to troubleshoot or fix a system that is broken, I have relied on basically no industry knowledge and it's all just tech.
Post #628798
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 7:40 AM
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The answer really depends on what the expectations are for the role of the DBA are within an organization. If the organization expects a DBA to do design as well as implementation, then industry experience is important. If the organization has Business Analysts that do the client facing work, then the organization wants a DBA that is very good at DBA work, and industry experience is not needed.

So, if you are in a job search situation that states industry experience required and the job responsibilities do not list any client facing tasks, it is a question that begs asking in the interview.

Mark
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