What are certification benefits???

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    Andy and I have a great article coming out on this, but basically, I feel we should view a cerification like a college degree. It is a base level, not implying experience or even anything more than basic compentence. I would venture to guess that most managers view it that way.

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

  • nigelrivett

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5362

    Can't remember what the rules are but solution providers I think need some certified staff so maybe that's a market.


    Cursors never.
    DTS - only when needed and never to control.

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119694

    Two premium cert holders needed to make the cut to be a bottom level solution provider. It's $1500 a year, you get 5 Visual Studio development licenses (worth about $2k each). Definitely worth something if you'll be one of the two people!

    Andy

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    Correct, 2 people to qualify as a MS Solution Provider. They just need to be MCP's, not MCSE or MCDBA.

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119694

    For those who may be interested, try this link: http://www.microsoft.com/certpartner/

    Andy

  • tpantazi

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 472

    I'm an employer and I recently interviewed a good looking candidate. His resume said all the right things. He indicated that he was a MSCD and MSDBA. Someone indicated that the certification eliminates the need for the basic questions. I would have thought so too BUT, I decided to ask a couple anyway. This guy couldn't answer basic questions on:

    Nomalization and Denomalization

    Indices - PK, FK, Clustered, etc.

    Tuning - Profiler, Query Analyzer, Etc.

    Cursors - Types, Why not use them, Etc.

    I have a standard test, which tests design, maintenance and coding. He failed all of it except the coding. It seems he may be a fair developer but he didn't know squat about SQL Server.

    In my never to be humble opinion, the only value in getting certified is personal. It will show you what about the product you don't know and therefore make you a better professional. Don't look for more money until you can turn that knowledge into practiced wisdom. Then your experience should be obvious and the pay should follow as well.

    Just my two cents.

  • PBirch

    SSCrazy Eights

    Points: 8483

    I had the same experience while I was performing technical interviews. I would ask questions like "What is a UNION? What does it do?" and I would hear all sorts of answers.

    It sounds as if your candidate was a production developer trying to move into the DBA field. Some of your questions apply to general database knowledge. He does not have any design or maintenance experience.

    Some people use the certifications to pull themselves into another type of job. If you don't have the experience get the certification. Sometimes that works, most times it doesn't.

    quote:


    I'm an employer and I recently interviewed a good looking candidate. His resume said all the right things. He indicated that he was a MSCD and MSDBA. Someone indicated that the certification eliminates the need for the basic questions. I would have thought so too BUT, I decided to ask a couple anyway. This guy couldn't answer basic questions on:

    Nomalization and Denomalization

    Indices - PK, FK, Clustered, etc.

    Tuning - Profiler, Query Analyzer, Etc.

    Cursors - Types, Why not use them, Etc.

    I have a standard test, which tests design, maintenance and coding. He failed all of it except the coding. It seems he may be a fair developer but he didn't know squat about SQL Server.

    In my never to be humble opinion, the only value in getting certified is personal. It will show you what about the product you don't know and therefore make you a better professional. Don't look for more money until you can turn that knowledge into practiced wisdom. Then your experience should be obvious and the pay should follow as well.

    Just my two cents.


    Patrick Birch

    Quand on parle du loup, on en voit la queue

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119694

    I would add that many people do not interview well or test well, so it might be worth digging a little deeper to find out. I think the real point is that there is a tremendous amount of confusion about what a DBA is - everyone has their own definition. I'd like to think I'm pretty good at what I do, but if you started hitting me with questions about clustering - it's not something I use. Or OLAP. So I "might" look like I didn't know what I was doing.

    Andy

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    I would add that most people stink in this business. I think the curve for IT people (especially DBAs) is bent to the left.

    I'd be interested in knowing how he answered these questions, or what defined "not knowing".

    If you passed the tests without knowing normalization and PK/FK, you memorized the Transcenders. Or you are the luckiest person I know.

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

  • tpantazi

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 472

    On normalization, he couldn't give a simple definition. He didn't recognize the terms first normal form, second normal form or third normal form.

    Ergo, he couldn't explain denormalization.

    He didn't understand how a PK works differently from a unique key (ie. Constraint). He didn't understand the concept of a foriegn key. He thought the only way to maintain referential integrity was through triggers. On that note, he thought that was all triggers were used for.

    quote:


    I would add that most people stink in this business. I think the curve for IT people (especially DBAs) is bent to the left.

    I'd be interested in knowing how he answered these questions, or what defined "not knowing".

    If you passed the tests without knowing normalization and PK/FK, you memorized the Transcenders. Or you are the luckiest person I know.

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net


  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    The Bell Curve just shifted again!!!!!!!

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

  • nigelrivett

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5362

    Microsoft used to say that an identity is always a bad choice for a clustered index.

    So I asked interviewees when it was a good or bad idea to do this - to see if they'd just read the stuff or thought about it.

    I changed to preface with - do you know what a clustered index is - and got lots of weird answers (something to do with sorting, using multiple servers, a compound index, ...).


    Cursors never.
    DTS - only when needed and never to control.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    I have a standard test as well. I had an article on it (maybe still do). I used to get some really funny things as well.

    What was really amazing to me was in the last 2 years, I have been on about 20 or so interviews. Of those, only 4 actually had a technical person spend more than 5 minutes asking questions, many just had a manager.

    Amazing!!!!!

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

  • jamyer

    Default port

    Points: 1433

    We prefer certified people when possible. If you compete outside of your organization for work, then qualifications do matter. We have had a number of applications tell us they were paper certified, but lacked experience. That is fine we can train! Honesty is great too.

    Two of the in tangibles I look for are maturity (how will they handle the organizational politics) and raw problem solving speed.

    So if you know of a diplomatic, strategic, fast problem solver we will certainly hire them given opennings! If they are certified that is a bonus for external work.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720994

    Personally, I vote for people skills first. Can't really teach those, I can teach all teh SQL stuff. Of course, the skill level depends on how motivated I am to train at any given time.

    Steve Jones

    steve@dkranch.net

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