Work Experience - What work would you give someone?

  • We have a work experience lad with us for a week and I've been informed by the development manager that I'll be looking after him for two days. Unfortunately, I don't have any "simple" or compartmentalised projects on the go at the moment so I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him!

    I'd rather give him something vaguely useful/interesting to do than something boring. All I've come up with is to try to set him a simple BIDS project to work on. Any ideas?


    Forever trying to learn
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  • In case someone else ends up in a similar position, here is what I've decided.

    I'm going to have him design and write a very simple inventory system, allowing us to keep track of all of the equipment in the office. The idea is that it'll give him a small taste of database design and stored-procedures in SQL Server and allow him to explore the .Net framework to build a simple front-end.


    Forever trying to learn
    My blog - http://www.cadavre.co.uk/
    For better, quicker answers on T-SQL questions, click on the following...http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/
    For better, quicker answers on SQL Server performance related questions, click on the following...http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/SQLServerCentral/66909/

  • That's similar to what I've done in the past. I always try to find a task that I'd like to get done but don't have time to do because it's so low priority. That way they're doing something real and I get something out of their time.

    ----------------------------------------------------The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood... Theodore RooseveltThe Scary DBAAuthor of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd EditionProduct Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • our shop has a relationship with a local schools database programming class, and they intern every once and a while in house for a couple of days; sounds like something very similar.

    our typical thing we get them to look at is:

    1. looking at/creating/enhancing the data dictionary to describe tables and columns in end-user understandable format,

    2. have them create/update database diagrams,

    3. learn how to SSIS data from SQL server to Oracle, or sometimes the reverse...data from Oracle into our SQL server.

    4. they also get to sit in with our dba creating/reviewing the typical dba stuff; backups/statistics/indexes/disaster recovery; they end up creating their own instance on a virtual, restore a few databases on it, and then use one server as a model to create their own maintenance plans and stuff for practice.

    all those things give them a taste of both the real world and stuff they've never seen before.

    Lowell


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  • The task you chose is very similar to what I would have done. I do the same thing for Junior DBAs. Have them doing something meaningful and productive until their feet are wet enough and they can move on to more and more mission critical projects.

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • Having a new person dig into documentation improvement is guaranteed to keep them in people's hair for a while, as they ask questions about it, but it's also a great way to start orienting someone to the system.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • GSquared (4/4/2011)


    Having a new person dig into documentation improvement is guaranteed to keep them in people's hair for a while, as they ask questions about it, but it's also a great way to start orienting someone to the system.

    And since documentation is lacking in so many places - there never seems to be a shortage of work for new people coming on.:hehe:

    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    _______________________________________________
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    SQL RNNR
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
    Learn Extended Events

  • I like the inventory project. Ought to be fairly simple, and it can be useful.

  • I think a lot of people miss a real opportunity to make a difference in a young person's life during "work experience". Let them "belt loop" you which is an old Navy expression for "where I go, you MUST follow". Show them what YOU do every day. Show them stuff! Show them your thought process for how YOU handle problems. Mentor them. It's only for 2 days. Don't shove them in the corner on some task like writing an inventory program or DB by themselves.

    --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".

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

  • Jeff Moden (4/4/2011)


    I think a lot of people miss a real opportunity to make a difference in a young person's life during "work experience". Let them "belt loop" you which is an old Navy expression for "where I go, you MUST follow". Show them what YOU do every day. Show them stuff! Show them your thought process for how YOU handle problems. Mentor them. It's only for 2 days. Don't shove them in the corner on some task like writing an inventory program or DB by themselves.

    I agree. Apprenticeship is the exact solution to all kinds of issues in getting people up to speed in the workplace.

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • Please bear in mind that when I said "work experience lad", I meant a 15 year old school kid. In the UK that means the extent that school had taught him in database terms was how to play with Access.

    In the end I had him with me for 3 days:

    1 of which I sat with him and explained how our systems worked, before having him sit with me and talking him through each of the problems I received during the day.

    For the other 2 days I had him create an inventory system - including a simple .Net front end. I didn't just give him the problem then let him loose. I talked over the problem with him, showed him the current spreadsheet that the Support Team had been using then asked him to think about how many tables he'd need to have a normalised (I explained the term first) database. I let him sit and think for a bit, then came back to him and explained where he had gone wrong and why, and finished off by showing him how I wanted it. I followed a similar process with each part of the design and implementation of his solution.


    Forever trying to learn
    My blog - http://www.cadavre.co.uk/
    For better, quicker answers on T-SQL questions, click on the following...http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/
    For better, quicker answers on SQL Server performance related questions, click on the following...http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/SQLServerCentral/66909/

  • skcadavre (4/7/2011)


    Please bear in mind that when I said "work experience lad", I meant a 15 year old school kid. In the UK that means the extent that school had taught him in database terms was how to play with Access.

    In the end I had him with me for 3 days:

    1 of which I sat with him and explained how our systems worked, before having him sit with me and talking him through each of the problems I received during the day.

    For the other 2 days I had him create an inventory system - including a simple .Net front end. I didn't just give him the problem then let him loose. I talked over the problem with him, showed him the current spreadsheet that the Support Team had been using then asked him to think about how many tables he'd need to have a normalised (I explained the term first) database. I let him sit and think for a bit, then came back to him and explained where he had gone wrong and why, and finished off by showing him how I wanted it. I followed a similar process with each part of the design and implementation of his solution.

    15 or 50, I see no difference in training methods except the older one is going to have to take a water break more often. 🙂 It sounds like you did it absolutely right.

    --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".

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

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