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The Voice of the DBA

Big Data Comes to Hiring

I remember first seeing kiosks a few years back in some stores such as Best Buy, Target, Barnes and Nobles, etc. The devices had banners above them that invited people to apply for a job using the computerized system. This was just before my oldest son started applying for jobs, and shortly thereafter I found a few articles that stated quite a few of these large corporations were using the same company to manage the kiosks and pre-screen candidates. Not only were they considering the applications, but they were examining employment records, noting which candidates might have been terminated or left another job quickly. They were trying to use analytics to decide which applicants to interview.

That entire process reminded me of the "black mark" on your record that I heard about as a kid. It was a reminder to not make too many mistakes, at least not serious ones, that might follow you forever. It appears now that it's not just entry level jobs that are starting to use data and analysis for hiring decisions. It seems as though some companies are starting to evaluate candidates with different types of algorithms and applications for a wide range of positions. This piece from the Atlantic talks about the history of hiring and a few ways in which data is being gathered about workers and used to analyze their performance. Even more interesting the section about halfway down that talks about how they analyze developer's work from afar.

It's expensive, time consuming, and stressful to hire people. We've proven in technology over and over that many of the hiring decisions made, aren't made that well. We find talented people being underpaid and quick to leave, while other employees are overpaid and are happy to toil away in their positions for years. Neither situation is good for the employer, and often not good for the employee either. It's less than motivating for any of us when we don't find some challenge and enjoyment in our jobs.

Ultimately I know more "people analytics" will be used in the hiring process by some companies, but I find that even with the data, there's one thing that seems to matter more: personal referrals. Networking matters, and there is no shortage of companies that are placing lots of value on their employees' networks. Some of them are even looking to conduct the majority of their hires through networking. So make sure you're networking with others in technology. You never know when it will be the way you get your next job.

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

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The Voice of the DBA Podcast

Listen to the MP3 Audio ( 2.8MB) podcast or subscribe to the feed at iTunes and Mevio . feed

The Voice of the DBA podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at www.everydayjones.com.

Everyday Jones

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DBA Team - 5 worst days in a dba's life

The 5 worst days in a DBA's life

Find out how to avoid them in this new article series. In Part 1, Black Day at I/O Gulch, find out how wait stats can get you out of a jam. Read this new article.

Deployment Manager

Deployment Manager 2 is now free!

The new version includes tons of new features and we've launched a completely free Starter Edition! Get Deployment Manager here.

SQL Server Backup and Restore eBook

FREE eBook - SQL Server Backup and Restore

Download Shawn McGehee's free eBook and learn how to set up a reliable backup and restore plan. Then, use SQL Compare to compare and synchronize databases straight from a backup. Get the eBook.

Featured Contents


Data Mining Introduction Part 8: Microsoft Sequence Cluster

Daniel Calbimonte from SQLServerCentral.com

This is an introduction to the SQL Server Microsoft Sequence Cluster Algorithm. More »


New Cartoons at SQLServerCentral

Steve Jones from SQLServerCentral.com

SQLServerCentral has commissioned a new cartoon that will be coming later this week. More »


Five Tips to Get Your Organisation Releasing Software Frequently

Additional Articles from SimpleTalk

The frequency of releasing software varies widely in the industry. If the test and release process is made as reliable and predictable as possible, then everyone gains. But how do you get started? More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Negative session_ids

Kenneth Fisher from SQLServerCentral Blogs

I probably had the most fun all week when a query I was running came up blocked. Sounds strange right?... More »


From the SQLServerCentral Blogs - Vote on Connect Items for SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 and 2012 Service Packs

As we get closer to the end of mainstream support for both SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2... More »

Question of the Day

Today's Question (by Steven Neumersky):

A week of Analysis Services

SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) loves memory. From time to time you may need control the amount of memory consumed by SSAS especially if you have other SQL Server components on the same server.

What structures WITHIN SSAS have "shrinkable" memory structures? Shrinkable is defined by SSAS as "structures that gradually build up to increase performance". (Choose 3)

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.

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This question is worth 2 points in this category: Analysis Services (SSAS).

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Professional SQL Server 2012 Internals and Troubleshooting

The 2012 release of SQL Server is the most significant one since 2005 and introduces an abundance of new features. This critical book provides in-depth coverage of best practices for troubleshooting performance problems based on a solid understanding of both SQL Server and Windows internals and shows experienced DBAs how to ensure reliable performance. The team of authors shows you how to master the use of specific troubleshooting tools and how to interpret their output so you can quickly identify and resolve any performance issue on any server running SQL Server. Get your copy from Amazon today.

Yesterday's Question of the Day

Yesterday's Question (by Steve Jones):

Which query would I run if I wanted to get the execution plan of a query that I could open and see graphically in SSMS?

Answer: SELECT query_plan FROM sys.dm_exec_cached_plans c CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_query_plan(c.plan_handle) p


The graphical plan that you see in SSMS is the representation of an XML execution plan. You get this from sys.dm_exec_query_plan with the plan handle. You get the plan handles that are in cache from sys.dm_exec_cached_plans. With a CROSS APPLY, you can join them.

The query_plan is the XML plan. Click on the results and a graphical plan will open. 


» Discuss this question and answer on the forums

Featured Script

Convert Months,Days,ShortMonths to different Languages

William McLaughlin from SQLServerCentral.com

This script allows you to convert date languages without exsplicitly setting the language in sql server it can be used in views,storedprocedures and select statements

 posible input values Months,Days,ShortMonths
 Returns all values for the language selected
 select * from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','Months')
 select * from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','Days')
 select * from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','ShortMonths')

'Direct query example returns current month for current date
select item as dutchmonth from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','months') where row = DATEPART(m, getdate())
 'Select the dayname for the current day
 select item as dutchday from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','days') where row = DATEPART(weekday, getdate())

 'Table Query Examples
  select myfield,(select item as dutchmonth from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','months') where row = DATEPART(m, mydatefield)) as dutchmonth from mytable
  select myfield,(select item as dutchday from dbo.FN_ConvertLanguageValues('Dutch','days') where row = DATEPART(weekday, mydatefield)) as dutchday from mytable

 Helper Functions

--Example select the day name for the given date

--select dbo.dayNames('Dutch',GetDATE()) as dayname

--Example Select the MonthName for the Given Date

--select dbo.monthNames('Dutch',GetDATE()) as monthname

 -- additional example

Select dbo.daynames('dutch',GetDate()) + ' ' + convert(varchar,Datepart(day,getdate())) + ' ' + dbo.monthnames('dutch',getdate()) + ' ' + convert(varchar(4),year(getdate()))

More »

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