We are looking for a T-SQL developer. We don't care what you know about Oracle, MySQL, Sybase, or DB2. That you know all six levels of the normal form or that you graduated from MIT won't impress us (well, maybe a little). What we want is someone who can look at a problem and develop a competent solution. That means that your code won't bring our production system to its knees a few years from now because you accidentally created a scalar function within a WHILE loop inside a trigger that only fires at midnight on February 29th.
1 - You know the names Steve Jones, Brad McGehee and Jeff Moden--and why anyone would care.
2 - You know how to use Google, BOL, and MSDN--with extra credit if Pinal Dave ever helped get you out of a jam.
3 - You heard somewhere the term "Red Gate"...or was that a movie...hmmmm.
4 - You can split strings--or put them back together--using set-based logic only.
5 - You can describe and explain the purpose behind a "numbers" or "tally" table and how that relates to the term "RBAR".
6 - You know the difference between a table scan and an index seek (sorry if I start to get too technical here).
7 - You know the difference between an SVF, a multi-statement TVF, and an inline TVF.
8 - You know what "INFORMATION_SCHEMA" is and have actually made use of it.
9 - You know what a "heap" is and why anyone would care.
10 - You never, ever use the terms "field" and "record" unless you are doing an inventory of your livetock (and prepared for Joe Celko to set you straight).
At the conclusion of our interview you will be asked to generate some code examples. You will have no resources other than a standard SSMS installation with Red Gate's SQL Toolbelt pre-installed. (Ooops, just gave away the answer to #3). You will be allowed unlimited access to the web. And for Pete's sake you will surely have a thumbdrive in your pocket with your personal library of links, scripts, functions, and stored procedures. If you can't learn from experience then you are probably not a good candidate for this position.
Which reminds me of perhaps the most important qualification of all:
SET Salary = 0
WHERE LastUpdateDate <= GETDATE()
If you've never run a query like this and felt your heart fall to the floor with a big thud, then either you are way too inexperienced for us or you're a good liar. The ideal candidate for this position has made every mistake possible at some time or another. If you don't consider this truism to be valid, then you really have made your first mistake and just wasting our valuable time.