short & part time contracts

  • So I'm interested in finding short term contracts or the kind of work where I can be on call for issues & upgrades on a contract basis or a couple of days a week.  Over the course of my career I have found that a full time DBA or developer is often not required and yet most contracts / jobs ask for just that.

     

    I have found that there will generally be a period of fervent activity, fixing issues left for want of a DBA, setting up proactive fixes and meeting requirements.  After that it's a matter of needing to check in periodically rather than every day, or just to be on call for admins who are not DBAs.

     

    Any advice on how to tout for that kind of work or find those kind of requirements?

     

    I'm UK based.

     

    Thanks.

  • My opinion on this - it depends.  If the demand for DBA's and Developers is low in the area you live in, finding contracts may be tricky.  I imagine the best way would be to make sure your name is out there (make a blog, present at SQL events, etc).  Once your name is out there, getting the contracts should be a bit easier as you have a portfolio that the employer can look up.

    On top of that, setting up a website where people can hire you could help and you could work as a contractor.  Having a website with your rates is what companies tend to like.

    Alternately, if you know of companies that are tight on DBA's, cold-calling them MAY work, or may just irritate them.  I would avoid cold-calling unless you are certain they could use another DBA but lacked the budget and MAYBE they didn't think about hiring a consultant.

    But I think that getting your name out there is the big thing.  If you come across as "just some random guy" asking for a contracting job and you have no references or credentials to back yourself up, you may not get hired.  Or worse, you could get hired for a job you lack the skills for.  For example, if all of your DBA work was on SQL Server 2008 with no AG or failover and they want help setting up their SQL 2019 cluster with always on AG's, that may be outside your scope.  And from the developer world, that is a very vague term.  If you are applying to be a contractor for development work, make sure you list the languages you support.  It would suck to get hired in expecting to do ASP.NET development only to find out their language of choice is FORTRAN.

    Alternately, there are consulting companies that MAY be looking for DBA's to hire out in the UK.  Look for consulting companies to work for so you can get a good grasp of contracting work before branching out on your own.  I live out in Canada and know of a few people who do contracting work.

    Lastly, if you are desperate for work, find a company you want to work for as a DBA/developer and apply for whatever position they have that you are qualified for.  I started out as an assembler (soldering components onto circuit boards) and moved from there to Tier 1 IT (basic troubleshooting of Windows machines and running far too much network cable) to my current DBA/Developer role.

  • Hi Brian,

     

    Thanks for taking the time to answer.  You raise some really good points.  I guess I was thinking from my side as the DBA that I suspect there's a real requirement for an ad-hoc resource / a part time consultant but the customers need to have confidence that you can do the job & know you are there to hire.  You've made me really think about how to demonstrate that then make contacts.

    Thank you.

     

  • Yep.  Alternately to making your presence known online, if you know people in your community who are looking for DBA's or even a DBA group (SQL Server user group in your area or a SQL Saturday for example), it may be a good idea to reach out to some of them and let them know you are looking.

    Or if you follow any DBA's on twitter, I've seen how posting on there can get you a DBA job/contract too.

    But it is far more likely to get hired if you know someone and they know you are looking OR you have some online presence that they can search or reference and see your qualifications.

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