Stefan Krzywicki (12/9/2010)
What about someone who's been in the industry a long time and knows a wide variety of technologies to a decent depth if not "guru" level and a good deal about how they interact, does the full lifecycle of the project and has great experience in researching how to do what she or he doesn't know? I'd consider that person senior.
You could, and that's where the line between Level II and Level III can get fuzzy. We've both been through too many interviews\shops to not know that the II/III line is usually subjective.
But my case here wasn't their knowledge as a senior, but their ability to team lead and mentor. It's an additional skillset which is why a II, even a weaker one, can be a 'senior' to a team because of the multiple job tasks actually required to perform that managing position well.
An example: I worked with someone who pretty much was Celko's online personality in real life. Incredible knowledge, absolute ***, yet could make the system spin on his finger like the Globetrotters and had a lot of extra-SQL knowledge that he brought to the table as well. A definate level III.
Our manager was a Level II, skillwise. He certainly hadn't done the necessary deep dives to truly understand the mechanics of the system, but he was more than competant. As you mention, he'd gone around the block a lot and had been in the industry a while. He knew lifecycles, etc etc. He also used the technical knowledge of said III as part of his team leading. He was definately the senior DBA on the team though, even though others had more knowledge and skill.
I would still, however, consider him a level II in skill. Please note: I am, for most tasks, merely a level II, and a Level I in the SSAS/SSRS arena. I am well versed in most of these things as well, and do not
consider myself a level III except in very specific topics. However, I can
be a Senior DBA, and a Team Lead, and a mentor.
To my understanding (and opinion, I admit), a Level III is as much about being able to do their own research as knowing there's something TO research at that depth. Also, the price for a Level III usually involves the fact that they don't need to do research on 95% of incredibly technical items. You're paying for the speed that they already know it, understand it, and can apply it with little research. This is a rare skill to have across the boards.
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