Why is a manhole cover round? How many cows are in Canada? How would you cure world hunger?
There's no shortage of strange interview questions you might be asked in the tech world. If you like these questions, and want to interview, or be interviewed in this way, grab a copy of How Would You Move Mount Fuji and start studying. These are the types of questions that Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and many other tech companies have been asking candidates for years. Since so many technology people read about the practices from these companies, I wouldn't be surprised if many of you had been asked these types of questions in other interviews.
Personally I've never been asked any of these strange questions, and am not sure how I'd respond. My interviews have often been very technical, but have included a number of "how would you.." or "tell me about a time when.." questions. However ultimately I'd like to think that my soft skills, and my social skills came through positively and that was the reason I often received job offers.
Many IT managers are starting to feel that these types of questions, and even highly technical questions, aren't the best way to evaluate a candidate. Hiring costs are up, both in direct costs spent on finding people and the indirect costs of the lost work from current employees interviewing people. There is pressure to hire well, and find people that can be productive. It seems that many managers are starting to look to evaluate candidates in other ways beyond the technical skills. Those skills are important, but not necessarily more important than soft skills.
That's been the way I've looked at hiring for years. I can often teach someone technical skills, but I can't teach them to fit in with a group, or be a team player, or even just be someone that won't annoy the rest of the team. Those social fits are very important if you want your team to function well together, providing support, help, and inspiration to each other.
Building culture is hard, and while technical skills are important, employees that bond together help push each other to do better work for the team. Employees that dislike each other can bring down overall quality and coordination very quickly. The sooner managers learn that, and learn to respect employees while challenging them, the sooner their departments will start to shine.
With ODBC, you can summarise, and select just the data you need, in an Excel workbook before importing it into SQL Server. You can join data from different areas or worksheets. You can even get data from the result of a SQL Server SELECT statement into an Excel spreadsheet. Phil Factor shows how, and warns of some of the pitfalls. More »
SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes is an example-based guide to the Transact-SQL language that is at the core of SQL Server 2012. It provides ready-to-implement solutions to common programming and database administration tasks. Learn to create databases, insert and update data, generate reports, secure your data, and more. Tasks and their solutions are broken down into a problem/solution format that is quick and easy to read so that you can get the job done fast when the pressure is on. Get your copy from Amazon today.
Yesterday's Question of the Day
(by Vinay Kulkarni):
What technique is used by the SQL Server to maintain Durability of Transactions?
Answer: Write Ahead Logging
Explanation: Write Ahead Logging (WAL) maintains the Durability part of the ACID property by ensuring that "log record" pertaining to a data modification is first written to disk before the data modification is written to the respective data pages on disk. Further information could be found at the
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