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Just Enough know-how


Just Enough know-how

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Jim Youmans-439383
Jim Youmans-439383
Right there with Babe
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Group: General Forum Members
Points: 715 Visits: 567
Last week, the developer asked me if it would be OK to add indexes to columns A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H, and I on TableA? I was a bit confused and asked him why? He said it would speed up the query so I asked to see the query. He said he didn't have it because EF created it, but indexes speed up queries right?

Seriously, I couldn't make that up. And this is the lead developer for the project.
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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BWFC (5/12/2014)
Jeff Moden (5/12/2014)
I've started a real pushback on all of this. It's amazing how many of the candidates (something like 22 out of 24) can't answer the first question, which is "using T-SQL, how do you select the current date and time"? If they can't answer that, the interview is over. It's a total waste of time if they can't get beyond that.


I've only been using T-SQL for just over twelve months and I'm largely self-taught as are the other members of the team. A question like 'how do you select the current date and time?' would actually make me a little nervous. I know how I'd do it:
Select GETDATE()
but I'd be worried about the sharp intake of breath and termination of the interview that may follow. I know I don't know the in depth stuff, and I'm constantly learning, but I wouldn't be at all surprised that the basics I thought I knew were wrong.



If you only had a year's worth of experience, I wouldn't be trying to hire you for a Senior position. :-) The other thing is that I start the interview off by explaining to the candidate that I ask no trick questions and that the obvious answer is good enough. Although I'd love for a candidate to be able to actually explain he (s)he'd use Itzik's cascading CTE method to produce a table containing a single column of whole numbers from 1 to a million, I won't fault someone for correctly describing the way to do it with a While loop... that's just a matter of training that I can take care of after we hire someone. Just like the "GETDATE()" or "CURRENTTIMESTAMP" question, though, very few candidates have a clue as to how to do such a thing even with a While loop. It's terribly difficult for me to believe that someone claiming 5 to more than 10 years of experience can't do either.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

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Nevyn
Nevyn
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Gary Varga (5/12/2014)

Having seen the (terrible) level of knowledge that developers who think that they are experts in SQL Server have as well, I am little surprised at Jeff's frustration. It appears that the level to satisfy "just enough know-how" is far lower than it should be across the board. This must not be deemed acceptable so that we can raise the bar(s).
.


Having experienced it myself, I will say one of the things with SQL Server and database work in general is that you actual have to increase your knowledge past a certain point before you even grasp how much you don't know.

As a result, a lot of those "just enough" people don't even realize how limited their knowledge is.

As an example, my abilities in SQL server are light years ahead of where I was a few years ago. But despite all that progress, I also have way more on my "to learn" list now than then. Because on many topics, I knew so little that I wasn't even aware of what the holes in my knowledge were, much less how deep those holes were.
Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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Group: General Forum Members
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Nevyn (5/13/2014)
Gary Varga (5/12/2014)

Having seen the (terrible) level of knowledge that developers who think that they are experts in SQL Server have as well, I am little surprised at Jeff's frustration. It appears that the level to satisfy "just enough know-how" is far lower than it should be across the board. This must not be deemed acceptable so that we can raise the bar(s).
.


Having experienced it myself, I will say one of the things with SQL Server and database work in general is that you actual have to increase your knowledge past a certain point before you even grasp how much you don't know.

As a result, a lot of those "just enough" people don't even realize how limited their knowledge is.

As an example, my abilities in SQL server are light years ahead of where I was a few years ago. But despite all that progress, I also have way more on my "to learn" list now than then. Because on many topics, I knew so little that I wasn't even aware of what the holes in my knowledge were, much less how deep those holes were.


Me too.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Go


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