Am I Good At My Job?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Am I Good At My Job?

  • 'Half of us are below the average.' is a powerful statement. It reminds us to keep striving to get better.

  • I love this topic! I'm more of a platform infrastructure person, but I've had to dip into data projects from time to time (which is why I subscribe to this newsletter). I don't consider myself a database person, but I've encountered more than one SQL Server DBA who appeared to have less knowledge about SQL Server than I do. I always assumed they were just coasting and didn't have a real interest in their career. But I also could have been assuming they had more experience than they did. Maybe they were only a year into their role and in my 20 years of working on small SQL projects, I've picked up as much as a more experienced DBA.

    On the other hand, I started off as a Java developer my first year out of college and felt like a real fraud because my slightly more experienced colleagues seemed to have such a more solid grasp on the frameworks and design patterns than I did. I hope those colleagues were less judgmental about my lack of knowledge than I had been about those DBAs I met later in my career as I became more confident in my skills.

  • From the Article:

    That's a different standard, and while most people in surveys think they are better than average, that's not how averages work. Half of us are below the average.

    Sorry but that's NOT how averages work either and if I've ever said they work that way, I'll apologize for that mistake now.

    If you have 9 people that have a typical level of knowledge, say just 10 out of 100 (which seems incredibly typical according to what I've seen on even some of the larger forums and, certainly, on LinkedIn, especially according to the "polls" and the discussions after the polls) and just a couple of people with barely passable knowledge (also a part of the norm), then way more than half have less than the average knowledge and...

    ... the average is a really low bar.  The really bad part about these not-so-atypical values is that 100% of the people (from this sample set) need to do a whole lot more to get up to "passable" and almost all of them do actually think they're better than average even though they're all much worse than expected/what's needed.

    A recent example is that I interviewed two people for the position of "System DBA" for a friend.  Both claimed almost 10 years of DBA experience on their resumes.  When I asked if a point-in-time restore could actually be done if the database was in the Bulk Logged Recovery model, one told me "No... because log file backups are not possible om the Bulk Logged Recovery Model" and the other one didn't know such a Recovery Model existed.

    p.s. The really bad part is that I asked one of them to study the problem and come back in a week with a new answer as a part of their 2nd interview.  Apparently, they spent zero time doing so.

    p.p.s.  And, it doesn't take many above average people to throw things off even if you use higher values.  All but one person in the following is below average and the above average person is still not that smart.  The really bad part is that the overall maximum knowledge is still in the pits.


    --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.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

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