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How Do You Find a DBA?


How Do You Find a DBA?

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item How Do You Find a DBA?

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Paul.
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Behind the sofa? That's where you find most things isn't it... ;-)

Seriously, although not a DBA nor a hirer, I'd work out how much time I'd have and pick a few different techniques that I predict won't take me longer than that. Which ones to choose, however, would be beyond my expertise.

Paul

paul.gregory
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I'm a shy guy, and don't find it too easy to build a network of folks. Does that mean I should be disregarded?

I have had people ask me if I know anyone who is looking for a new job as .... and I have sometimes mentioned names of people who I get along with, but I may not have not actually worked with them (especially in large orgs), so it still doesn't bypass the problems of finding the right person.

I saw one job advert once, and they asked the applicants to write the old arcade game Missile Command in Java and send it with the application. That separated the men from the boys (or women from the girls). I'm sure it only took a few seconds to evaluate. Not sure how many new requests for help with code appeared on the internet over the following weeks.......
SuperDBA-207096
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Steve,
I think it depends on what you're looking for - generally I use my network of contacts first, see if anyone is looking or they know someone.

I've got some intersting results in the past. had one person who purported to be a dba and asked them how to do a restore. They didn't know how...

Mark
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Interesting editorial. As someone looking for work (in the UK), I am looking mainly at www.reed.co.uk (which tells you the number of people who have applied), www.cwjobs.co.uk and www.jobsite.co.uk - all user friendly in that you can put in a keyword and your location and get back sensible results (i.e. a defined radius is used). I also check a number of other less-friendly sites.

The irritations are (in no particular order):-

* few, if any, relevent jobs at the moment
* agencies posting the same job multiple times
* agencies lying about where the job is, or not specifying the town or specifying a number of towns



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Jason Miller-476791
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I've stuck with Dice, CareerBuilder and Monster. Though there seems to be a fairly large amount of overlap. My chief complaint right now is 1 job being posted from multiple headhunters. I saw one job with 5 different companies trying to get people.

That said... Anyone looking for a decent dba? I believe the big O is coming to Hartford....

Honor Super Omnia-
Jason Miller
blandry
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I have whined, ranted and raved for years about the lack of a good definition of what a DBA is. In fact, I would like to challenge you (Steve et al) to define what a DBA is! Over the years I have interviewed surely well over 100 people for DBA positions and its nothing less than amazing to find what people "out there" think makes a DBA. Some of the responses I have gotten when asking people why they are applying for a DBA position range from "I know how to write stored procedures!" to "I have done some SQL backups." to "That was the title they gave me at my last job."

We require that our DBAs know .NET as well which has meant over these last couple years that finding good qualified people is like finding a piece of hay in a pile of needles. I am happy to say though that we hooked up with a headhunter a couple years ago who has weeded out good candidates for us twice now, and thankfully I've gotten very good people - but in general, finding a good talented, qualified, team-player DBA has been like finding a good politician - there are thousands of them out there, and rarely one worth what their resumes would have you believe.

There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Grant Fritchey
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Since we've gone through two year searches in the past for DBA's, I sure can't tell you how to find them. While we weren't trying to get them to know .NET like Blandry, we did expect them to know SQL Server. It was extremely frustrating looking through stacks of resumes, most with 3-7 years of experience but with only 1 in 10 able to answer a majority of the questions posted here.

Since I work for a large company, we've had better luck getting people from within the company. There are so many jobs that work with data. You can identify developers or report writers or ETL people working within their area that are likely candidates. Grabbing them and training them up has been more successful than tracking down viable candidates through any of the job sites.

BTW Blandry, if it makes you feel better, we would have found even fewer people if we also required .NET. There are a few of us that came into the DBA job through the programming route that understand .NET languages, but most people came up through systems or ETL and only know databases, TSQL, and servers.

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Samuel Vella
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Grant Fritchey (5/11/2009)
It was extremely frustrating looking through stacks of resumes, most with 3-7 years of experience but with only 1 in 10 able to answer a majority of the questions posted here.


I'm sure I was asked all of those questions at an interview recently... was for a Developer, not DBA contract though.
Problem with the "point and click" interface of SQL Server is that a lot of DBA's can get through their day job without having to *think* about what they're doing.

Also someone with 7 years DBA experience could well have only 6 months. The other 6 and a half years is really developer experience which they have fudged on their CV to look like they were a DBA
Grant Fritchey
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Samuel Vella (5/11/2009)

Also someone with 7 years DBA experience could well have only 6 months. The other 6 and a half years is really developer experience which they have fudged on their CV to look like they were a DBA


Exactly. There's a joke that's developed around here: Do you have twenty years of experience or one year of experience twenty times?

When it's the latter, it's easy to spot.

----------------------------------------------------
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
Theodore Roosevelt

The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server Query Performance Tuning and SQL Server Execution Plans
Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
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