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Industry Experience... Required?

By Adrian Nichols,

Industry ExperienceIndustry Experience... Required?

How many industry sectors have you worked across as a SQL DBA or Developer? Personally, I've covered quite a few ranging from aerospace to automotive and food logistics to leisure and loyalty.

One of my past roles involved creating applications to analyse stress data from jet aircraft. Being a DBA at the time, I knew a fair bit about stress but sadly not when it came to predicting the life of a military aircraft. Like most job adverts, industry experience featured on the vacancy specification; so how did I land this one? With the following arguments...

For and Against

Firstly, data is data is data, no matter what the source; it all boils to tables, functions and procedures. Secondly, there's poor coding - unnecessary cursor, poor table joins etc - something easily spotted by a decent DBA/Developer and just as easily rectified; and in my experience, giving the highest performance gains.

Having experience within an industry sector can give an insight in to how the data is used and someone with industry experience may be able to finer tune queries. Although I find during the first few weeks in a new position, industry experienced or not, one of the first tasks is to trawl through the DDL, procedures and functions, finding the poor code and getting to get to know the rest of it.

So my question is:

Do you need industry experience in a DBA/Developer role?

Colleagues and friends of mine have been in similar situations and at other times industry experience has been a non-negotiable requirement. Are you put off applying for a role that requires experience? Let me know what you think.

Adrian Nichols


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