If you’re a technical employment recruiter and you place SQL Server database professionals, drop everything and go read Craig Farrell’s article “The Job Posting – Do I really have to be the SQL God?” at SQL Server Central.
SQL Server Jobs
As Craig points out, there are several occupations for people who use SQL Server and the tools surrounding the platform. The fields he lists are:
- T-SQL Development
These are not the same job!
Allow me to borrow from my engineering background. I received education and training in the field of electronics engineering. Later I became an electrician. If you read those statements on my resume, you may think I didn’t change careers. You would be incorrect. There are actually three fields listed there – did you catch them all? There’s electronics, electrician, and engineering.
Engineering is a general skill. It shouldn’t be downplayed just because I use the word “general”. All engineers possess the ability to learn and analyze. Those are skills that will serve any employee well – in any discipline or career.
Electronics deals with circuitry. Electronics engineering includes the ability to design and troubleshoot circuit boards to the component level – although that’s increasingly rare these days for economic reasons. It’s cheaper to yank the board and replace it than to pay someone to troubleshoot it and repair it. How many television repair shops do you see these days? There are a few out there, but not as many as there once was. We worked with transistors back in the day (I even learned vacuum tubes), and Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL) circuits; then later with Integrated Circuits (ICs). The voltages were occasionally 12VDC, but mostly 5VDC and less. The wattage? It tickled if you felt it at all.
During the 90’s I became an electrician. I held a Journeyman Electrician’s license, then a Master Electrician’s license, and finally an Electrical Contractor’s license. But I never once wired a house. All of my electrical work was done inside manufacturing plants. 120 VAC? That was control voltage in machine controls. We worked with 3-phase 480VAC. One thing about placing your hand across a couple legs of 277 (the voltage of a single phase of 3-phase 480VAC) – it wouldn’t grab you and hold you; it would take off your hand.
My point? All three careers work with electricity, but they vary wildly. I know some outstanding electricians who know very little about electronics. And I know some great electronics technicians that I wouldn’t allow within 100 yards of the breaker panel in my home.
These are not the same job!
Bringing It Back To Database Technology
I saw an ad a couple weeks ago like the one near the end of Craig’s (excellent) article. They wanted someone with SQL Server administration skills, performance tuning, SSIS development, and SSAS development skills. My first thought was, “This job must pay $125,000 per year to start!” I bet it didn’t…
I wonder how many hours they expected the successful candidate to spend on each task? That would have been a good question for the interview: “Assuming 32 productive hours per week – 40-hour workweek, subtracting for meetings (non-productive time) – how much time do you wish the successful candidate to spend on each task?”
There are at least two jobs in that list of skills. Depending on the workload, there could be as many as four jobs there.
Like electricity, people who work with SQL Server perform varying tasks with it. Don’t confuse the technology with the many careers and positions who utilize it.