The IT Employee Benchmark

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717408

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The IT Employee Benchmark

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 995652

    Wow! Someone finally wrote a national article on exactly how I feel about certifications, degrees, and "boomers". Great "catch of the day", Steve!

    --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.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 717408

    Thanks! Glad you liked it, we'll see how everyone else feels in the am.

  • tomski_boy

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 229

    Great find Steve,

    After been a DBA for 10 years and 3 years as an IT Manage I can safely say that I have a personal dislike of certifications and am fairly neutral about degree (having one myself). All too many times have I recruited staff that held certifications such as MCSE, MCDBA etc etc and found that individuals who boast their credentials actually failed by a long shot during my grilling sessions.

    People that I have hired and had the pleasure of working with had minimal academic or IT training yet were self confessed 'geeks' since they could talk. These individuals have the passion to play on a few spare Linux or NT boxes at home or who can reminisce about old versions of DOS and how, as a 10 year old fixed their aunties PC's back in the days.

    That's the type of passion and love of IT I like to see in people I hire.

    Cheers

    Tom

  • pollockk

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 81

    In general, I agree, and certainly the attitude to certificates as described has been a widespread attitude anywhere I have ever worked over the last 15 years (UK).

    There is distinct difference, I find, in people with and without a CS degree. It's a subtle thing, but it is in database design that I actually see it come out. People with the solid theory design less problematic databases and usually have a better feel for set-based operations.

    In the non-database end of things, grads are more likely to have 'got' pointers.

    But maybe its correlation not causality ๐Ÿ™‚

    Passion? hmm, it's just a job after all, maybe that's expecting too much from most of us.

  • majorbloodnock

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 9267

    This all links in, of course, with one of the previous editorials, where the ensuing discussion thread included a lot of "soft skills" in the list of "essential DBA skills". In that discussion, we did touch on the topic of what job requirements are advertised, and there certainly seems to be something of a dichotomy - advertise based on specific technical skills and HR cliches, but interview for attitude and recruit based on breadth of ability.

    How to find someone with good instincts? If you can ever find the answer, you'll be able to write your own pay cheque, I'd expect.

    Semper in excretia, sumus solum profundum variat

  • Damus

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 275

    A good programmer loves what he does. He does not do it for passion to the project or to the job or anything.

    He just loves programming and the sense of achievement when a task is successfully completed, especially tasks requiring research and new discovery.

    Certificates? well, a good programmer will never boast about his certificates "if they ever exist", you would not see papers on the wall with his name on it. It means little to nothing. All what he needs is the theoretical knowledge acquired in a BS.

  • scott.w.white

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 85

    Nice perspective, my point of view is similar. I think ultimately you have to have passion for technology, and unfortunately too many candidates with degrees are not passionate about technology. Some of the best I've worked with have been hobbiest programmer types that grew up with technology, some of which didn't care about school a whole lot.

    To me this does not take away from their value as a potential resource.

  • James Stover

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3343

    Accounting says: IT = cost center.

    Shareholder says: maximize profits.

    CIO says: freezing wages; outsourcing 1/2 the team.

    And I'm supposed to be enthusiastic about this?


    James Stover, McDBA

  • Loner

    SSC-Insane

    Points: 21279

    It is a good article but where do you find those people? Some of the quality that they are looking for has to do with the company. How do the company motivate their employees and provide growth opportunities for their employees? With the dot.com bust and company downsizing and outsourcing, who can go to work with enthusiasm, they go to work worrying about if they still have a job the next day. Also when the IT department has to cut budget, the first thing they cut is training budget. The minute the employees see the training budget is gone, they immediately see the job is a dead end job.

    When the company hires people fresh out of college, they may be willing to learn but they are lack of business skills. Also there a high turnover rate of young people, they are the job hoppers.

  • Someguy

    SSCrazy

    Points: 2207

    Thanks for bringing this article to our attention, Steve.

    Among other good points, I think that the article hit one of the major challenges of IT; the 'moving target' of technology. A general 'instinct' for the machines is certainly valuable. A good instinct coupled with passion will make the difference between a worker who is good today and dated tomorrow. If the instinct and passion are joined with the ability to discern business needs, then get out the checkbook because someone with these qualities is worth a lot.

    Can you measure these qualities completely with a piece of paper, whether a degree or a certification? No, of course not. On the other hand, instinct is difficult to measure objectively without a long standing personal relationship. People with any of the above qualities tend to set high goals for themselves and that often includes pieces of paper. A person without paper had better have some good (and current) references to show that they have a track record of acheivement.

    I like the statement in the article that better managers are leaning towards developing talent internally, because that's a good way to develop the long-standing relationships needed to measure personal quality.

    ___________________________________________________
    โ€œPoliticians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.โ€

  • SuperDBA-207096

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8176

    Good point! I always try to ask 'thinking' questions whenever I interview a candidate to get an idea of how they think.

    Long-standing relationships are the way to go, whenever possible. it's impossible to know for sure after talking to someone for an hour or two how they'll do in a job.

    I've intereviewed book smart people who knew all the answers but couldn't do the job, and vice versa... but it's good to find someone who is both book smart and has the knowelege to 'get the job done'.

    Mark

  • jburkman

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 768

    It's why every IT department should have one or two openings permanently available in case someone that's really valuable comes along. Identifying that person can be hard, and to a large extent a hiring manager needs to trust the recommendations of his staff or friends at other companies, but when that great talent becomes available, you want to be able to secure it.

    Sadly, as I've found from personal experience, this can be a dual-edged sword. I'm one of those "catches", yet a year later my company still doesn't know what to do with me. In the interim, I'm stuck in a position that utilizes only a very small part of my strengths. Frustration all around.

    Yes, keep a slot open. But no fair catching a cat then expecting it not to yowl terribly while being shut in a wet cardboard box all day.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 995652

    James Stover (7/22/2008)


    Accounting says: IT = cost center.

    Shareholder says: maximize profits.

    CIO says: freezing wages; outsourcing 1/2 the team.

    And I'm supposed to be enthusiastic about this?

    When it comes to losing good people, absolutely NOT!

    When it comes to an opportunity to shine, absolutely! You know as well as anyone that when it gets outsourced, it's going to come back with some really crap code in it and that it's going to hit "tipping points" where performance and scalability jumps right in the toilet. And, I'll just bet you and your team know how to fix it! AND, when you and your team do fix it, make darned sure that management is made fully aware of the before and after performance so that the next time they get a real case of ignorance going, you can remind them that IT isn't just a cost center... it's a value center! ๐Ÿ™‚

    --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.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 995652

    jburkman (7/22/2008)


    It's why every IT department should have one or two openings permanently available in case someone that's really valuable comes along. Identifying that person can be hard, and to a large extent a hiring manager needs to trust the recommendations of his staff or friends at other companies, but when that great talent becomes available, you want to be able to secure it.

    Sadly, as I've found from personal experience, this can be a dual-edged sword. I'm one of those "catches", yet a year later my company still doesn't know what to do with me. In the interim, I'm stuck in a position that utilizes only a very small part of my strengths. Frustration all around.

    Yes, keep a slot open. But no fair catching a cat then expecting it not to yowl terribly while being shut in a wet cardboard box all day.

    Heh... I was in the same boat for 4 1/2 years... I would only occasionally be given something that really used the talent they hired me for... and now everyone knows why I have over 10,000 posts! ๐Ÿ˜€ Gotta keep my hand in it somehow! :hehe:

    --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.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

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