Recruiter Training – SQL Server

Hello Recruiters!

Just to start off I want to say that the whole purpose of this post and video is to help you find the right candidates and ask your clients the right questions. If you don’t know what they want, you can’t effectively ask me or my counterparts if we are a fit for the position.

You can watch the video or skip it…whatever works best for you:

Far too many of the job descriptions we see look like this:

  • SQL Server, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS
  • SQL 2016 – 5 years
  • SQL 2019 – 1 years
  • SQL 2013 – 5 years
  • Azure, AWS
  • Responsible for installation, troubleshooting, Stored Procedures, data warehouse, and Power BI.
  • Must also be able to interface with the development team and provide 24x7x365 support

When we see these, this is what happens in our heads:

  • SQL Server, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS
    • So, everything Microsoft ever released? Nope.
  • SQL 2016 – 5 years
    • Math error 2019-2016 = 3, not 5. Who wrote this?
  • SQL 2019 – 1 years
    • Its not even released yet!!!!
  • SQL 2013 – 5 years
    • No such thing as SQL Server 2013
  • Azure, AWS
    • Both? really? which one are you using?
  • Responsible for installation, troubleshooting, Stored Procedures, data warehouse, and Power BI.
    • Again…everything under the sun and you want expert level.
  • Must also be able to work with the development team and provide 24x7x365 support
    • Wait…developer, development DBA or Prod DBA?

We call these the “Kitchen Sink” job descriptions…and we assume they were written by an HR intern.

Please just go to the client and get the top 5 skills in order of priority.

So…to make all of the above easier I offer you this info, which I will update on the blog post from time to time, but not the video. Please share with your peers:

SQL Server has many different facets to it, and finding someone that knows all of them very deeply is a true unicorn hunt. I know exactly one person that can do all of these well, and he charges almost $500/hr.

Basic terminology:

SQL (S-Q-L) is a language for querying data from a relational database. Invented in 1974 and still used everyday.

SQL Server (pronounced Sequel Server) is Micro soft’s database product, just like Oracle database comes from Oracle. Both do the same thing, but in different ways. Other vendors/products are MySQL, DB2, Postgre SQL (or just Postgres).

MongoDB, NoSQL and others are a different type of database

Azure and AWS are not databases…they are cloud offerings from Microsoft and Amazon respectively, that allow you to do cool things on someone elses servers…databases, applications, website hosting, etc.

Within the SQL Server world, there are several divisions:

Developers: this group generally writes code within SQL Server, designs and creates databases, etc. This might also encompass Report Writers using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), and maybe even PowerBI.

    • T-SQL – Microsoft’s implementation of the SQL language
    • PL/SQL – Oracle’s implementation of SQL

Database Admins: mostly responsible for installs, configuration, maintenance, security and performance of the SQL installation itself. There is some cross-over between Developers and Admins, and many DBAs started as developers and migrated (myself included). It is very possible to find an expert Developer that also have awesome DBA skills. Expect to pay top dollar.

    • OLTP – Online transaction processing (you buy a thing from Amazon, it goes in this db)
    • HA – High Availability
    • DR – Disaster Recover
    • Always On – PLEASE ask your client if they mean AlwaysOn Failover Instance or AlwaysOn Availability Groups. 2 different things.

Data Warehouse/BI: Anything related to aggregation and reporting on the data. There could be some Architect and Developer here, as well as SSRS, Tableau and PowerBI

    • ETL – Extract, Transform, Load
    • SSIS – Microsoft’s ETL tool
    • SSAS – SQL Server Analysis Services

Data Architect: This is a higher level position that is responsible for the overall data strategy for a product, division or company. The architect might be involved in decisions regarding vendor selection, cloud choice, hardware, database design, etc. They may also have some developer and admin duties. A good Data Architect will have examples on their resume and will be able to talk at length about migration strategies, differences between cloud providers, security issues and hardware.

That’s it for now!  Comments are encouraged…negative ones will not pass moderation!

Thanks for reading!


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