SQLServerCentral Editorial

The T-SQL Test


Many of us have a T-SQL test or quiz that we give to prospective employees when they're being interviewed. It's a quick way to get an idea of how much knowledge the person has. It could be interactive on a whiteboard, a written test, or some other format, but it's a test and you should expect some T-SQL questions if you're interviewing as a DBA or SQL developer.

So why don't we have a T-SQL exam from Microsoft?

I saw a post recently where a person was studying for one of the exams and asked how much T-SQL would they need to know. I don't think you need to know too much, but I was intrigued by the question. After all, I've taken the 431, 441, 443, and 444 exams for SQL Server 2005 and none of them required much T-SQL. So how much T-SQL do you need to know?

I don't think too much, which is a little dis-heartening. While the GUI is nice and I think it can really save some time, there are always options not built into the GUI and you should have some knowledge of how to get to them through T-SQL. Not to mention that you really need T-SQL so you can get all those reports written. You know, the ones that you're constantly being asked for by the business people.

I see lots of T-SQL tests on the Internet that you can use in your company. Or if you're smart, use to prepare for an interview. Heck, I've even written one, though it's a bit dated right now. It doesn't have any of the 2005 stuff in it, but it's not a bad basic test.

But where's the "official" test? Where's the one that should make you build queries, views, etc. using T-SQL and solve a series of real life issues? They should be able to give you a version of SSMS that would let you write queries, check syntax, compile, and look for the results. They probably have a testing engine that does some of this to check the validity of the optimizer and execution engines.

And coming up with questions would be easy. Just scan the T-SQL forums (2005 and 2000) here on the site and pick up some nice SQL puzzles here. They could compile them into a T-SQL certification, maybe a basic one that matches up with the 431 exam.

Maybe we could even come up with a few to get Microsoft started. If you're interested, drop the T-SQL question you think every interviewee should know in the discussion for this editorial. I'll get you started.

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