Looking for Work in SQL Server

  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Looking for Work in SQL Server


    - 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.

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  • sherifffruitfly

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1198

    re: certs - what would be a good one or ones to get?

    Me: Street programmer, dotnet/sql, got advanced degree in math, put the word "programmer" on my resume, and have been working (and learning furiously to not get fired lols) ever since (approx 5 yrs).

    I never EVER want to be a dba, but I love programming sql, coming up with solutions to fit new and ever-changing business needs. I want to eventually get into database business intelligence (turn some of those math skills into data mining etc. routines).

    But I'm sure there's a jillion "holes" that I have that could be filled in with some "book learning". What would be relevant certs along these lines?

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258965

    Nice article Craig!

    Really enjoyed reading it, despite it's lack of pretty pictures 🙂

    @sherifffruitfly: check out the MCTS 70-448 and MCTS 70-433 certification exams

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • M&M

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 21699

    Thank you Craig. The article was great.

    M&M

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 996858

    Nicely written and sage advice all around. Well done, Craig.

    --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".
    "If "pre-optimization" is the root of all evil, then what does the resulting no optimization lead to?"

    Helpful Links:
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  • Anipaul

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 24681

    Good article. I think a few more sample questions would have help the freshers more.

  • calvo

    SSChampion

    Points: 12930

    sherifffruitfly (5/8/2011)Me: Street programmer, dotnet/sql, got advanced degree in math, put the word "programmer" on my resume, and have been working (and learning furiously to not get fired lols) ever since (approx 5 yrs). ...

    This made me laugh. I needed it on a Monday morning.

    I laugh because I use to feel this way quite often. Slowly, after continuous learning and taking on more responsibility, I've felt less like I'm trying furiously not to get fired. I've been doing this for over 5 years and I feel more and more part of the community and more and more comfortable in my role as a DBA.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Invest your time and others will invest in you.

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  • alen teplitsky

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 30014

    one of the easiest ways is to use a product like Operations Manager or some other management software that requires SQL server. play around with the small databases and get some experience to pass an interview in a small environment

  • Peter Trast

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4332

    One of the most important things I have done is to create and maintain a LinkedIn presence. I get so many inquiries because of that site. I have my ACTUAL job experience and resume information. You would be surprised how many recruiters are looking there. Even with my relatively low experience (compared to the people who frequent this site) I regularly get called for decent and even some high end positions. So there is definitely a web marketing aspect but just be as honest as you can. Many people over or undersell themselves.

    Certs help ALOT, too. While many people have more experience than I do, having alot of certs usually indicates someone who is getting "book" educated on the technology. I cannot tell you how many experienced DBA's I have met who are unaware of the available feature sets of the newest version, and even some older ones. While experience gives you the most valuable knowledge, that does not negate book knowledge and many HR people agree. In the end, you have to interview and do the work so no shortcuts on certifying.

    Many people will disagree with me about certs, but they work well IF you can back them up with real skills.

    Peter Trast
    Microsoft Certified ...(insert many literal strings here)
    Microsoft Design Architect with Alexander Open Systems

  • yan-160997

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1179

    Craig,

    I have been working for a financial company for over 10 years as a system analyst. During those years I have managed many SQL server both in production and dev environment. I have done the followings: installation, upgrade, backup, restore, create maintaiance plan, create queiries, sp, gereate reports, database tuning, system troubleshotting....etc. I want to concentrate on SQL Server as a true SQL DBA rather than a system analyst who does many other tasks. I know that I need to gain more knowledge to be qualified as SQL DBA, but it is hard for me to swich from System Analyst to SQL DBA because interviewer read my resume and question my position: "you are system analyst not dba? we need SQL Server expert" What should I do?

    Thank you

    Yan

  • sherifffruitfly

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1198

    Koen: Thanks for the pointers to relevant certs.

    I think one reason I haven't yet jumped into the cert game is that it appeared to me from the outside like they (MS) simply changed the cert tests and stuff waaaaay too often, so that the moment I ponied up my $1k (or however much it costs), they would have changed it, and I'd be left holding a big bag of nothing.

    Is that perception on my part mistaken?

    Thanks again!

  • GoofyGuy

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6029

    Good article, Craig, thank you.

    I do have what I hope isn't a 'stupid question', please. To be a competent SQL Server DBA, how good should my T-SQL skills be?

    I know some DBAs gravitate more toward development work, which I imagine would require good T-SQL skills.

    But what about DBAs who are more on the admin side? Do they still need to be reasonably proficient at T-SQL?

    And what about DBAs working in small shops? I would guess you have to wear more hats and specialize less than in a big shop - and again, I'd guess T-SQL skills would be important.

    What do you think?

  • sherifffruitfly

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1198

    Craig-315134 (5/9/2011)


    Good article, Craig, thank you.

    I do have what I hope isn't a 'stupid question', please. To be a competent SQL Server DBA, how good should my T-SQL skills be?

    For practicality, I recommend that you at least be better than the weakest developer at your work. Otherwise you are almost certain to be held in contempt by the devs - especially when they have company policies that FORCE them to come to you for various tasks. They will be saying in their heads "wtf do I have to waste my time going to this idiot when I could do it 10x faster, and right the first time, myself?".

    This is just my own experience with devs at a couple of locations - possibly it is not representative - others with more experience could speak to that.

    -sff

  • Peter Trast

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4332

    sherifffruitfly (5/9/2011)


    Koen: Thanks for the pointers to relevant certs.

    I think one reason I haven't yet jumped into the cert game is that it appeared to me from the outside like they (MS) simply changed the cert tests and stuff waaaaay too often, so that the moment I ponied up my $1k (or however much it costs), they would have changed it, and I'd be left holding a big bag of nothing.

    Is that perception on my part mistaken?

    Thanks again!

    Just so you know, I hold certs in multiple levels of SQL, Windows server and clients, infrastructure, AD and so on. I re-certify with every new version for the last 9 years and it only costs about $135, not $1000 per test ($67 if you are MCT as I am, except the MCT which is $400 per YEAR 🙂 ) and it only takes one or two tests to upgrade each cert once you have them. They even have 2-for-1 specials on the cert tests. The ROI from certification is huge. I make about 15% more than the IT pros I know with the same amount of experience and no certs. Plus, certs are important to the companies I want to work for.

    Basically each certification on my transcript is worth about $900 a year EACH if you average it out compared to my peers, way more than I dared hope 9 years ago when I got my first certification. And the weekly offers are amazing. But that is my experience. Your mileage, as they say, may vary...

    And for the record, MCITP DBA and/or Dev are probably where you want to start to progress as a DBA/Dev.

    Peter Trast
    Microsoft Certified ...(insert many literal strings here)
    Microsoft Design Architect with Alexander Open Systems

  • kiran.konankal

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 206

    Craig,

    It's an Excellent artilce!!!!!

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