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How Do You Find a DBA?


How Do You Find a DBA?

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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Core6430 (12/24/2013)
The recruiter spent an hour talking about his car. Didn't ask me anything about my skills, experience, or work history. Utter waste of time.


Heh... I agree. You didn't say much about that previously, though.

I also agree on about the companies that you'd prefer not to deal with at all for any reason. I also agree that there are a wad of recruiters out there that "succeed" only by body count and that's just not right.

As for practice interviews or any other type of interview, I wouldn't let such a thing take 4-6 hours. Folks like you and I have had enough "practice" to not need to do such a thing anymore. People just starting out can't make the same claim, though, and a few practice interviews can do nothing but help them get over a bad case of the shakes.

So far as going in prepared goes, you've absolutely hit the nail on the head. I normally don't even let them start. I dig stuff out of my briefcase and say "Before you start, let me show you some of the things I've done."

--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.
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Jim P.
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Jeff Moden (12/24/2013)

So far as going in prepared goes, you've absolutely hit the nail on the head. I normally don't even let them start. I dig stuff out of my briefcase and say "Before you start, let me show you some of the things I've done."
I'm not that quite aggressive, but I have a nice portfolio that has my resume's, my certifications from websites that show I'm not a newbie (EE), examples of code I usually use, education, and some other stuff.

When I drop that on the table and open it up it gives the interviewer an idea that I have a clue and not a blowing it out my butt.

But one of Steve's post I have to argue about. The DBA Job Description: What type of DBA are you? post has the comment:
I don’t like this model because it creates a divide between production and development DBAs. This divide could lead to the production DBA asking the development DBA, “How in the world could you hand me this?


I was in that situation. If you have a good dev staff with a good dev DBA that should never happen. You will always have end-user abuse of a DB. That is what the support DBA does. When he does find a bad programming stuff he then reports it back to the dev team to correct. A good dev DBA means it is usually user error. Only rarely should a support DBA have to say WTF?!?! And if he is it should go up-channel.

Having been mostly a production DBA in an end-user company and a SW company, none of it is cut and dried.



----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
ccd3000
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blandry (5/11/2009)
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.


I wouldn't get too hung up on definitions, but to my mind a DBA (junior) at least spends most of their time on administration tasks like account management, backups, restores, index tuning, etc. I think you should modify the definition by what your organization needs. If 80% of the tasks fall within a few categories then that is what I would emphasize. I would also make the distinction between a production support DBA and a Development DBA. I would require some reasonable soft skills if they are going to be working a lot with developers.

Your .NET requirement for you DBA's raised my eyebrows. I'm a Sr.DBA working in a fairly large city in the midwest (US). I've been working in .NET since v1 since most of my DBA career has been in development work. However, most of the other DBA's I know do not have that kind of experience. That's just my experience though...:-)
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If anyone does need a freelance DBA then let me know. ;-)

qh

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.
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