SpinOff: Recruitment Question

  • oogibah

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 802

    I didn't want to hijack the other thread but some of the responses were very interesting to me. Especially this one a quote from Jeff Moden from the original thread:

    I can tell you that filling such a job (especially one with such wide requirements) 
    is going to be difficult.  In the past, I've interviewed people applying for Sr. DBA,
    Sr. Database Developer, and Sr. WebDeveloper and (I stopped counting) but even with
    each claiming more than 10 years of experience, 20 out of 22 didn't even know how to
    get the current date and time with T-SQL and most of the DBAs didn't even know how
    to do a native backup and restore.   I even had one "expert" performance tuner
    tell me that he never used clustered indexes because he never worked on clustered
    servers before. <head-desk>

    I know that fake it until you make it seems to be a huge thing in IT.  I'm curious as to what skill sets you actual DBAs look for in Jr. DBA or even standard DBAs?  I've only been in the game for about a year now and curious where the general consensus lies.  I know one person mentioned VMWare in that thread.. Is it typical for a DBA to know VMWare?

    I'd be very interested to see your responses.  Thank you!

    • This topic was modified 8 months ago by  oogibah. Reason: syntax
    • This topic was modified 8 months ago by  oogibah. Reason: Clarification
  • Sue_H

    SSC Guru

    Points: 90793

    I think it's typical for a DBA to need to know the differences between a virtual machine and a physical machine as there are some differences in configuration, behavior and having to manage both types is common.

    Sue

  • Jeffery Williams

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6441

    oogibah You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Are you saying that you ran into a SQL dev that could not produce the current date/time let alone datepart?

    #Scary

    AND A DBA that believed that a Clustered index had something to do with Clustered servers?

    <hr noshade size=1 width=250 color=#BBC8E5> Regards,Jeffery Williams http://www.linkedin.com/in/jwilliamsoh

  • x

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 23595

    I confess that I didn't know how to take a native backup for the longest time during my first DBA job. I googled the syntax, wrote the stored procedures for the backup jobs, then promptly forgot the syntax again. I still routinely don't type out backup commands all that much.

    It does make me wonder how I'd look in an interview, probably not good heh on the other hand, I have experience clerking in convenience stores so I'm probably ok in any case 🙂

     

     

     

  • oogibah

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 802

    Jeffery Williams wrote:

    oogibah You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Are you saying that you ran into a SQL dev that could not produce the current date/time let alone datepart?

    #Scary

    AND A DBA that believed that a Clustered index had something to do with Clustered servers?

     

    I should have prefaced that better, thats a quote from Jeff on the forums here lol and I was like "REALLY? maybe I'm way better than I thought"

  • Jeffery Williams

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6441

    Gotcha..

     

    Well knowing those basics I would warn against a basis of measure lol.

    If this is what the job community is running into then that is a serious problem for all of us. That certainly does not engender trust or confidence in the consulting pool to stay the least.

     

    Everyone has to start somewhere but I would think one would be further along; by a long stretch, before submitting to positions requiring a seasoned SQL Developer / DBA.

     

    <hr noshade size=1 width=250 color=#BBC8E5> Regards,Jeffery Williams http://www.linkedin.com/in/jwilliamsoh

  • Beatrix Kiddo

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 32407

    I've done a lot of interviewing recently for roughly mid-level DBAs, and the quality of the applicants has been so varied. 90% of them failed even the  most basic questions on the the technical test (e.g. what are the recovery models called). In addition we've had some blatant cheats (one of which had a friend with him for the telephone interview who was feeding him the answers). Why would you want to get a job you literally have no chance of being able to do?

    That said, I've never been a big fan of things like the FizzBuzz question for hiring DBAs, because although I can pick my way through it, I don't (personally) think it's all that pertinent to the work we do. (Obviously development-aligned DBAs would need to know this.) Being really solid on backups, restores, security, configuration, etc. seems much more important to me.

    I can return the date with T-SQL though :-D.

     

  • oogibah

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 802

    Beatrix Kiddo wrote:

    I've done a lot of interviewing recently for roughly mid-level DBAs, and the quality of the applicants has been so varied. 90% of them failed even the  most basic questions on the the technical test (e.g. what are the recovery models called). In addition we've had some blatant cheats (one of which had a friend with him for the telephone interview who was feeding him the answers). Why would you want to get a job you literally have no chance of being able to do?

    That said, I've never been a big fan of things like the FizzBuzz question for hiring DBAs, because although I can pick my way through it, I don't (personally) think it's all that pertinent to the work we do. (Obviously development-aligned DBAs would need to know this.) Being really solid on backups, restores, security, configuration, etc. seems much more important to me.

    I can return the date with T-SQL though :-D.

    We've had this issue at my work as well for a biztalk developer where the person on the phone interview was definitely not the same person who came in.

    I do wonder if sometimes questions being too simple and too basic throw people off like the recovery model question, like I'd be thinking do they mean full, simple, and bulk-logged or are they actually asking about what model i like for recovery?

  • Beatrix Kiddo

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 32407

    It seems to happen a lot. I'd be terrified of being summarily fired if I were them. (I mean, I'd never do that, but do they not think it will catch up with them quite quickly?)

    Re the questions, some were very basic, agreed (we had some basic, some intermediate, and some advanced) but they were very clearly worded. Even with coaching, some applicants struggled to answer at all.

  • oogibah

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 802

    Yeah, the "biztalk developer" here lasted less than two weeks. Any chance you could shoot me a message with the kind of questions you ask in an interview, I'm kind of trying to figure out where I'm at from a recruiting standpoint because at some point I'd like to move but I wouldn't want to move until I was sure I could find a similar job in the field.

     

    Thanks!

  • x

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 23595

    oogibah wrote:

    Yeah, the "biztalk developer" here lasted less than two weeks. Any chance you could shoot me a message with the kind of questions you ask in an interview, I'm kind of trying to figure out where I'm at from a recruiting standpoint because at some point I'd like to move but I wouldn't want to move until I was sure I could find a similar job in the field.

    Thanks!

    you could google "SQL Server interview questions."

  • oogibah

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 802

    Fair enough 🙂

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 997215

    Jeffery Williams wrote:

    oogibah You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Are you saying that you ran into a SQL dev that could not produce the current date/time let alone datepart?

    #Scary

    AND A DBA that believed that a Clustered index had something to do with Clustered servers?

    That's actually what I had happen.  And, no... such things are too bloody fantastic for me to make up... especially that last one about Clustered Indexes.  I was totally gobsmacked by the answer.  Obviously, it wasn't a DBA... it was someone that thought they were.

    --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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