Getting Started in SQL Server

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    TalkSql (12/9/2010)


    Great article Craig,

    It was really put well, I now know where to focus more as a developer now and how to steer myself to the next level. I just got laid-off and applying for jobs and whenever the see the job description i get tears in my eyes. They are looking for a superman.

    Regards,

    Bala

    I'm glad I could help. Hopefully you won't be in the hunt for the next logical article after this one (the job hunt), but I wish you luck! This article was primarily written for you and those of your ilk, looking for what to concentrate on to get themselves in the door and having a solid discussion of value trade.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    Stefan Krzywicki (12/9/2010)


    As a consultant I go on many interviews and see even more job listings. Most listings include quite a bit that isn't needed for the job or understood by the people looking for someone to fill the position. For example, most seem to think SSIS/SSAS/SSRS is all of a piece. Frequently they only need one of the three, ususally SSRS or SSIS, but they almost always ask for all 3.

    I agree with this. One good example is there's still a LOT of hybrid jobs out there between developer/SSRS that ignore the SSAS engine completely. The reports run directly off the data warehouses. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's really two separate concentrations getting combined... and you're losing over half the fun of the SSRS/AS combination. πŸ™‚

    I had expected more folks to call me out on not discussing those 'hybrid' jobs, because it's rare a shop ever wants a 'pure' anything, and certainly doesn't advertise it if they think they can also fill in a few other 'holes' while they're at it.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • SQL Server Youngling

    Old Hand

    Points: 360

    Great article!

    "can estimate time and personal expectations well, ..."

    Should this perhaps be:

    "can estimate time and personnel expectations well,..."?

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    SQL Server Youngling (12/9/2010)


    Great article!

    "can estimate time and personal expectations well, ..."

    Should this perhaps be:

    "can estimate time and personnel expectations well,..."?

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

    No, I had meant it as personal. The personnel part would come into play for the other senior position, the team lead. A high end technical guru is not necessarily the person you want as the lead for others. They know their own business very well, though, and can handle all of the tasks being dropped on *their* plates.

    Just to emphasize this: The ability to know which histogram to pull up for getting the proper statistics for a leading edge on an index while simultaneously balancing temp table statistics vs. table variable shortcuts is a deep knowledge skill. They also have a rough idea of how long it will take and what the real priority is to the server and project they're working on.

    It doesn't mean they have a *clue* with what to do about a gold-bricking employee in need of inspiration, someone needing significant and patient mentoring, or project management skills such as keeping happy the person who's task is important to those 3 ppl in their department who have to wait on 4 company wide projects first. There is a very significant difference between a Senior in knowledge, and a Senior from a team perspective. Perhaps I needed to emphasize this more. I'll know for next time. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for that feedback, as well.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • Sioban Krzywicki

    One Orange Chip

    Points: 27770

    Craig Farrell (12/9/2010)


    SQL Server Youngling (12/9/2010)


    Great article!

    "can estimate time and personal expectations well, ..."

    Should this perhaps be:

    "can estimate time and personnel expectations well,..."?

    Thank you. πŸ™‚

    No, I had meant it as personal. The personnel part would come into play for the other senior position, the team lead. A high end technical guru is not necessarily the person you want as the lead for others. They know their own business very well, though, and can handle all of the tasks being dropped on *their* plates.

    Just to emphasize this: The ability to know which histogram to pull up for getting the proper statistics for a leading edge on an index while simultaneously balancing temp table statistics vs. table variable shortcuts is a deep knowledge skill. They also have a rough idea of how long it will take and what the real priority is to the server and project they're working on.

    It doesn't mean they have a *clue* with what to do about a gold-bricking employee in need of inspiration, someone needing significant and patient mentoring, or project management skills such as keeping happy the person who's task is important to those 3 ppl in their department who have to wait on 4 company wide projects first. There is a very significant difference between a Senior in knowledge, and a Senior from a team perspective. Perhaps I needed to emphasize this more. I'll know for next time. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for that feedback, as well.

    What about someone who's been in the industry a long time and knows a wide variety of technologies to a decent depth if not "guru" level and a good deal about how they interact, does the full lifecycle of the project and has great experience in researching how to do what she or he doesn't know? I'd consider that person senior.

    --------------------------------------
    When you encounter a problem, if the solution isn't readily evident go back to the start and check your assumptions.
    --------------------------------------
    It’s unpleasantly like being drunk.
    What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
    You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    Stefan Krzywicki (12/9/2010)


    What about someone who's been in the industry a long time and knows a wide variety of technologies to a decent depth if not "guru" level and a good deal about how they interact, does the full lifecycle of the project and has great experience in researching how to do what she or he doesn't know? I'd consider that person senior.

    You could, and that's where the line between Level II and Level III can get fuzzy. We've both been through too many interviews\shops to not know that the II/III line is usually subjective.

    But my case here wasn't their knowledge as a senior, but their ability to team lead and mentor. It's an additional skillset which is why a II, even a weaker one, can be a 'senior' to a team because of the multiple job tasks actually required to perform that managing position well.

    An example: I worked with someone who pretty much was Celko's online personality in real life. Incredible knowledge, absolute ***, yet could make the system spin on his finger like the Globetrotters and had a lot of extra-SQL knowledge that he brought to the table as well. A definate level III.

    Our manager was a Level II, skillwise. He certainly hadn't done the necessary deep dives to truly understand the mechanics of the system, but he was more than competant. As you mention, he'd gone around the block a lot and had been in the industry a while. He knew lifecycles, etc etc. He also used the technical knowledge of said III as part of his team leading. He was definately the senior DBA on the team though, even though others had more knowledge and skill.

    I would still, however, consider him a level II in skill. Please note: I am, for most tasks, merely a level II, and a Level I in the SSAS/SSRS arena. I am well versed in most of these things as well, and do not consider myself a level III except in very specific topics. However, I can be a Senior DBA, and a Team Lead, and a mentor.

    To my understanding (and opinion, I admit), a Level III is as much about being able to do their own research as knowing there's something TO research at that depth. Also, the price for a Level III usually involves the fact that they don't need to do research on 95% of incredibly technical items. You're paying for the speed that they already know it, understand it, and can apply it with little research. This is a rare skill to have across the boards.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • Krishna Chaitanya Kilaru

    Grasshopper

    Points: 19

    Great article Craig!

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 997104

    NICE! Well done, Craig! This is one of those that should be required reading... especially for recruiters, job seekers, and managers that don't have an SQL background.

    --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".
    "Dear Lord... I'm a DBA so please give me patience because, if you give me strength, I'm going to need bail money too!"

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

  • jasona.work

    SSC-Forever

    Points: 49994

    I currently fall into a similar situation at my employer. I learned the hard way, that I am not a "manager" or "supervisor" sort of person, I just don't have the skillset to motivate people, nor am I able to be the sort of person that "frightens" employees into doing the work needed (which is a bad way to do this, but that's beyond the point.)

    But, I am the person at my job who everyone comes to when they can't find the answer. I am the office "geek" who if I don't know, can often either find the answer quickly, or make the call that it's something that another person in the office might have the solution.

    I think my "official" job title is currently:

    Senior hardware tech / network & server Admin

    ^There's that "Senior" word again!:-D

    Do I consider myself a LvlIII? No, not really. I'd lean more towards LvLII for many things, LvLI for a lot of SQL stuff.

    But, I know in general what I do and don't know, and I know where to go to try to find answers to the don't knows, and am willing to say upfront when I don't know something.

    Jason

  • SQLRNNR

    SSC Guru

    Points: 281252

    Thanks for the article Craig. One note is that too many times people read DBA or Database Developer and pigeon hole a candidate into being exclusively a production dba or development dba. Many times a DBA is a combination of all of the jobs. πŸ˜€

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    CirquedeSQLeil (12/10/2010)


    Thanks for the article Craig. One note is that too many times people read DBA or Database Developer and pigeon hole a candidate into being exclusively a production dba or development dba. Many times a DBA is a combination of all of the jobs. πŸ˜€

    I'd agree in reality this is true. It's also far too much for a Junior to be able to handle. One thing I can hope this article will start to do is get people thinking about removing that generic name and making DBA mean what it's supposed to, rather then the catch-all.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • Grumpy DBA

    SSChampion

    Points: 11712

    Great article, Craig!

    Not only did I enjoy the content of the article I applaud your writing style - clear, concise, well organized. Looking forward to more articles.

  • FargoUT

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 853

    This was an excellent article! I even forwarded it on to the manager of a company who was asking me for help in determining what sort of skill requirements someone should have so he could screen out potential applicants.

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    Grumpy DBA (12/10/2010)


    Great article, Craig!

    Not only did I enjoy the content of the article I applaud your writing style - clear, concise, well organized. Looking forward to more articles.

    Thank you for that. I must admit Steve Jones helped me out with making sure my rambling stayed where it was supposed to... in my head. πŸ˜€


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    FargoUT (12/10/2010)


    This was an excellent article! I even forwarded it on to the manager of a company who was asking me for help in determining what sort of skill requirements someone should have so he could screen out potential applicants.

    That just made my day.


    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

    For better assistance in answering your questions[/url] | Forum Netiquette
    For index/tuning help, follow these directions.[/url] |Tally Tables[/url]

    Twitter: @AnyWayDBA

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