Projects To Showcase Your Skills

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Projects To Showcase Your Skills

  • Regarding the fact, that people are fired but other companies can't find candidates:

    Besides the skill mismatch problem it may be a quality problem too. The IT was booming the last years and now some companies are realizing, that they had overgrown and shrink their staff.

    But who will they fire first? The alpha employees who hold the whole team together, know everything about their part of the app / database or the guy who does only the absolute minimum, makes a ton of mistakes and needs everything explained multiple times before he forgets (or ignores) it again?

    Of course there are some triple A employees on the market too, but usually only very short, while the C-grade-guy may be unemployed for an extended time.

    Another problem may be the local distribution. If someone moved to Silicon Valley a few years ago and bought an overprized house there and now all the big IT companies there set free thousands of employees, there will several who can't afford to sell their houses maybe with losses. And / or they have now family with a good social network that they don't want to break. So there are now several thousand IT guys in the valley but the few companies that still heir there don't need all of them, while this small startup in Alaska is willing to accept almost everyone since they are understaffed since months... (I know, remote work... - but there is the salery problem too, in the valley you usually make a lot more than in Alaska, since the prices are on another level)

    God is real, unless declared integer.

  • Thomas hit the nail on the head. I'd hazard to guess that even with all the recent layoffs in tech, there's still way more demand than supply across the US in aggregate. I think one problem is that a lot of people got into IT because they heard you can make good money, but don't actually have a passion for the work. That's totally fine for those individuals, but when they try to find a job at a company that's looking for top-tier candidates, they're going to have a hard time. I've been on the hiring side and when you're trying to hire talented people who are excited about expanding their skillset, it's easy to sniff out the ones who are only interested in doing the bare minimum.

    Of course, there will always be the talented folks who by sheer misfortunate can't land a job, and my heart goes out to you. You'll get something eventually!

  • Just wanted to add to Thomas Franz's third paragraph - from my experience, when people are being let go, it is SOMETIMES based on how important and how good they are, but it is also about the cost. The triple A employees are often the most expensive employees on the team. So if layoffs are coming due to cost cutting measurements, then the manager isn't looking at performance, they are looking at head count and cost. They can let 3 employees go on their team to meet the cost reduction OR they can let the 1 employee go, you know that 1 employee is going to be let go.


    Another thing that makes hiring someone tricky is the employer is looking at the resume and SOMETIMES the applicant really did do a TON of stuff at their previous job (DBA, DB Developer, Data analyst, .NET Developer, etc) but an employer sees that and thinks that the person will be asking for $200/hour AND/OR that they sucked at their job hence they were let go when in reality the former employer just liked to overwork their employees.

    I would also like to point out that a lot of employers put dumb things in the job requirements. I've seen job postings asking for 5 years experience with SQL Server 2022 for example. So I can only assume they are trying to hire time travelers.

    I do agree that making blog posts and presenting at conferences and SQL Saturday's is a good way to get to know people and to get to test out your skills. Presenting gives you a chance to show a topic that you know (or that you researched and built up a nice slide deck and demo for) AND you can get some good Q&A. It gives you a chance to show what you know and to show where you need to learn more. Plus it gets your name out there. I know if we were hiring a DBA and I saw Brent Ozar apply, I'd be begging my boss to hire him.

    One last problem that I've seen with applicants is that they see the job description and don't apply because they lack a few of the "requirements". Something to know is that for technical jobs, you could have worked with SQL Server for 10+ years and your current employer never had a need for CDC (change data capture) but the new employer has that implemented and expects that since you have 10+ years experience with SQL Server, you must have experience with CDC. So you show up to the interview and a lot of CDC related questions pop up and you answer with a lot of "I don't know" and flunk the interview... OR you answer with "at my previous place of employment, we didn't implement CDC, but my understanding of it is this" and explain what you DO know about CDC and end with something along the lines of "that being said, I am a quick learner and am confident I can pick up CDC pretty quickly." And then explain some other technology that was new to you and how you picked it up and implemented a thing with it. Nothing wrong with not knowing everything when you apply, but know that you WILL need to learn stuff on the job and if you can prove to the employer that you CAN learn it on the job, it is much easier to get in. BUT don't "confidently fake it". I had one applicant when I asked them the difference between UNION and UNION ALL, they confidently told me that UNION joins 2 tables while UNION ALL joins all tables. And when I asked if they were certain, they told me "yes, we used that all the time at my previous job".

    The above is all just my opinion on what you should do. 
    As with all advice you find on a random internet forum - you shouldn't blindly follow it.  Always test on a test server to see if there is negative side effects before making changes to live!
    I recommend you NEVER run "random code" you found online on any system you care about UNLESS you understand and can verify the code OR you don't care if the code trashes your system.

  • For ten years I've used this site to publish articles about interesting problems I've worked on as a consultant.

    Interviewers for new opportunities generally acknowledge this work, so they already have some idea about who I am before meeting me.

    I generally present myself as a creative thinker, rather than a programmer with lots of languages. I do this because I have no formal training in computing, so everything I've learned is self-taught.

    For younger job-seekers I recommend publishing short tutorials on something interesting you've done or discovered. This will give you experience in clearly expressing yourself on technical matters (and this is much harder than it looks).  Criticism from your readers should be welcomed so you can continuously improve your technical communications which won't go unnoticed by your peers at work.






  • Thomas Franz wrote:

    Regarding the fact, that people are fired but other companies can't find candidates:


    But who will they fire first? The alpha employees who hold the whole team together, know everything about their part of the app / database or the guy who does only the absolute minimum, makes a ton of mistakes and needs everything explained multiple times before he forgets (or ignores) it again?


    One would think, but it can depend. A lot of the cuts of "quiet firing" have been occurring at high tech companies looking to get rid of $$$$ people, who are often talented. Of course, I'd expect they can find jobs quickly, but they often don't want to do so.

  • re: applying. Apply if you hit 50-60% of the requirements. Let them tell you those aren't enough.

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