You're not really that good at SQL Server

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I really hate to say it, but more and more it seems to be true. Some of you reading this aren't good at your jobs; some are very good, but I think plenty of you are not. I talk to friends that hire people, and I hear from technical workers that interview people. I see the questions posted at SQLServercentral and elsewhere about the difficulties you are having with SQL Server, and I believe it is true.

You aren't that good at your jobs.

It's not all your fault. Perhaps your job doesn't demand it or you employer won't support you. However, some of it is your fault because you ought to be looking to improve your skills and become better at working on the platform, even if there isn't the need at your current job. That's part of being a professional: stretching your abilities and growing your skill set. The way that the MCMs, the MVPs, and the experts become better is by practicing their craft.

The longer I'm in this business, the more I think that many people with 5 years working with SQL Server usually don't have 1 year of experience 5 times. I'm really starting to think that many people have 1 month of experience repeated 60 times. They aren't asked to much with SQL Server at their company, and they don't face tough challenges. They learn just enough to solve the problems they face and close the tickets they see, and that's it.

I get it. You need to get work done. When things aren't broken, or you don't have deadlines, you don't want to increase your stress or workload. You have a secure job and don't see the need to learn about APPLY or LEAD and LAG if you don't develop software. You don't care about replication because your employer doesn't use it. It's human, and it's how most people approach their jobs.

However you will need a new job at some point. You will want to relocate or change companies or want a raise, or any of a hundred other reasons you'll interview for a position. At that time, do you want to be the person that appears as a joke on Twitter, The Daily WTF, or a blog because you don't know what Foreign Keys are or how to query a DMV or how to write a CTE? Do you want to be the Dilbert character that all the interviewers laugh about?

Or do you want to be the person with the job offer? If so, make an effort to regularly and continuously improve your skills. Even if you are strong in some areas, practice those skills and build others.

Please feel free to pass this along. I'd like to see most SQL Server professionals as craftsman, not factory workers.

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