Is it a lie?

  • My company hired a SQL Server developer, on his resume he put down he had over ten years SQL Server experiences including DBA skills.  He was a contractor and his last assignment was a developer working on a data warehouse project for a hospital. 

    After one year working with him, I found out his SQL skills is beginner level, his experience with SQL Server is not that good.  Every time he wrote a procedure, he always asked my boss or other co-workers to check it.  One time my boss told him to write an update statement and explained which fields needed to be updated and the criteria when to update.  An hour later, he asked me he did not know how to do it. 

    Later I talked to a recruiter who knew him.  The recruiter said he was a nice guy and a good 'Project Manager'.  Then I understand why his SQL skill is so poor.  The whole time he said he was the developer, actually he was the project manager who co-ordinated the project or maybe did some testing.  That's why he could write some simple SQL.

    Was he lying on his resume?  He was referred by a recruiting company, was the recruiting company lying for him too? 

    I could not tell my boss, he might think I was prejudice against him.  However I felt so unfair that he lied to get the job which he did not deserved.  Also he made so many mistakes that sometimes I had to pick it up to correct it.

     

  • I feel for you - I've been in situations like that.  I don't understand the concept, but having been in the job pool recently, I got the distinct impression that lying/enhancing/stretching/<insert your own> in regards to experience, education, etc... is very common.  On the technical jobs it may be hard to find up front, especially if the decision-makers aren't technical.  It would be nice if they CONSULTED the internal tech folks before making a decision, but even then - it's not always easy to catch.

    I guess you need to ask yourself - am I going to let this bad situation own you/eat at you?  A bad match like that is bound to come out on its own, especially if everyone else around this person is busy and doesn't spend their time propping him up.  Not knowing is one thing, and quite honestly is a rather common situation in a developer's life; on the other hand - taking that unknown task which is assigned to you and laying it at the feet of someone else is inexcusable.  There is a right way to say - "I'm sorry, but right now my plate is too full to help you with that. You need to work on this first, and come back when you're further along".

    If it's egregious, and you feel you can't live with letting him fall on his own, then DOCUMENT specific examples of things he clearly should have known.  With the right amount of info, and presented *very carefully* (analytical only, nothing personal, nothing emotional), you should be able to show your manager.  Just be sure it's NOT sour grapes, or a culture difference (some companies actually have code review processes, where it's expected that they have code reviewed by other before it's rolled out).  Again - this can be a "team-buster", so you'd better be damn sure that you're being objective, and that you're not holding him to a different standard than anyone else on the team.

    ugh...

     

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?

  • Yes... it IS a lie... and there is no lower form of life than someone who lies especially on a resume.  But, it's not that person's fault they (s)he got hired... it's your boss' fault... the interview process failed.  And, if you think that recruiters do any type of real checking, guess again... most just want to get a body in the spot (there are exceptions, though).

    Matt's suggestions are spot on.

    --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)

  • And sometimes recruiters rewrite a resume to match better with what the requirements is for the job.  Which is why I demand when I go trough a recruiter to see the actual resume they submit to a company before they are allowed to submit it.  *I* certainly don't want it to come accross as ME lying on MY resume if someone else took creative action with it.

    Personally I'd rather loose out on an opportunity than overstate my skills.  But, that is me, and I have lost out on a few jobs I really wanted because of it.  But I sleep better at night

  • You know, it's actually not a big problem if his SQL skills were not so good when you hired him.

    Problem is that after a year working with you as a SQL developer he has not really improved.

    That means he's miserable. He does not learn.

    Remind yourself, how long did it take for you to learn how to build effective UPDATE statements?

    And this is a real problem, this is the thing you may address to your boss.

  • How about these questions?

    Is this person holding back a project because of their lack of knowledge?

    Is this person causing others to have an increased workload because they're performing extra work/rework?

    Does this person have the desire to learn, or are they just being lazy, or aren't showing initiatve by researching and learning on their own.  Who can't easilly "google", or look in the BOL for the proper syntax of an UPDATE statement.  Is this the type of person a company wants to keep?

    All of these questions cause the company to lose money via loss of efficiency.

    So perhaps it's time to have a talk with this person, and inform them that you can no longer do their work.  You've made efforts to provide them with reference material and have already assisted them beyond the "normal" assistance we render to our peers.  If after your talk they don't seem to improve, you can always tactfully talk with your boss.

    Good luck

  • My boss knew he was not good at SQL skills. Sometimes he was very impatient with him because it took a long time for him to do anything. He tried to learn but his learning ability was very slow. The thing was whenever there was a new project, the first he said to the users and the managers was he was new to the company and it might take him longer to do the work to cover his ass.

    When we interviewed him, we did not do a technical interview because we thought he already had 10 years experiences which was a big mistake.

    I tried to mention to my boss that I was surprised that his SQL skill was not as good as I thought. My boss thought I was bad mouth against him, he asked me what we could do, we could not just get rid of him. He said maybe I should teach him, however when I tried to show him something, that guy was very offensive. He did not want anyone to know he was not good. Unless he asked you question otherwise you could not teach him anything.

    These days it was better to keep my mouth shut.

  • You know... that's a much better answer...

    --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)

  • Reading this story, two questions came to mind:

    1) How has someone with limited SQL skills made it through a year as a SQL developer?

    2) How come after a year, the guy doesn't know how to do an update statement?

    Skills on a resume often get exaggerated, but it's pretty hard to fake your abilities for a whole year without it being noticed.

    Scott

  • I don't know Scott, ever seen "Office Space"

    It's not entirely fiction. I've seen people go through careers without really knowing much

  • Scott,

    I once came across that same sort of situation.  The DBA had all sorts of certifications.  Was a professor at a college.  Could quote line for line the documentation.  In the interview.  Everyone that interviewed this person said "Something isn't right here, DON'T HIRE THIS ONE!"

    For diversity reasons, Female Minority (FYI, I recommended the previous woman who was great). 

    After about 3 weeks I went to my Bosses Boss and suggested that her hiring was a mistake, that it was very obvious that her skills were NOT as advertised. 

    I was formally scolded, and called a Racist Male Chauvinist Bigot....

    I apologized (because I was told to), and I later QUIT!  After a YEAR and several mishaps (servers corrupted, dropped, systems begin down for hours).  Under pressure of the others in the group.  She then quit. 

    FYI, I am much happier now  

    So if you want to take the chance, go right ahead.  Oh Yeh!  The reason she was hired.  My Bosses Boss made him do it.  (apparently I went to the wrong person).

  • OK, when in doubt refer to a classic funny movie to help in explaining the real world.

    Scott

  • quote

    My company hired a SQL Server developer, on his resume he put down he had over ten years SQL Server experiences including DBA skills.

    ... 

    When we interviewed him, we did not do a technical interview because we thought he already had 10 years experiences which was a big mistake.

    We?  WE????   Does that mean that YOU were part of the interviewing process???   If you were, YOU need to quitcherbitchin about the guy and help him learn what he needs to know to do the job YOU hired him for because YOU guys are the one that made the awful mistake of hiring someone without an adequate interview

    Never trust a resume... always verify the knowledge and claims...

    --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)

  • Yes I interviewed him and I did not like him. However my boss liked him and that was all mattered. I DID not hire him, my boss did. My boss said he asked him about data warehouse questions and he seemed to know the answer and of course he was the project manager. At least he knew the concept. When I interviewed him I already knew my boss wanted to hire him so even I did not like him because he did not tell me anything about the technical side, I thought I better kept my mouth shut. Who am I? Just another developer !

  • Who are you?  Why, you're part of a TEAM... and the TEAM failed.  You're not just another developer if you were part of the interviewing TEAM.  You should have asked technical questions and you should have told your boss.  Since you didn't, your boss has room to blame you for that person's failures all because you decided to keep your mouth shut. 

    So, what's next... you gonna keep your mouth shut when you find a problem in the code?  TEAM-work doesn't NOT always mean agreeing with everyone else or the boss.  Sure, sure... the right kind of candy coating is important to survival... but ya gotta tell people when you see something wrong!  And you should have asked technical questions on the interview and then told your boss.  You failed... now, you need to make it better.  Instead of bitchin' about the guy, teach him!  There's no prouder moment the when you teach someone something good and they get it.  And, bosses love it when the TEAM helps the weaker links. 

    --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)

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