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Re: Case study for interviewing Oracle DBA

From: david wendelken <>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 08:58:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Message-ID: <>

>We used to laugh at those who tried to "buy" their way into knowledge
>and experience by means of "certifications" and "degrees". Along the
>way I can't help feeling we lost the plot in IT, when we now need
>to listen to an HR idiot tell us we need this or that certificate
>in order to apply for a job.

How many of you, if asked to find a good CFO or a good tax attorney or a good Mongolian linguist would know how to tell the difference between a good one and a bs artist?

Let's look at it from management's point of view.

They desperately need a team of really good IT folks to do work for them.

They don't have a clue in heck of how to tell a really good IT person from a nimrod -- before they hire them and waste 6 months to a year finding out they made a mistake.

Since the proportion of nimrods to really good IT folks is 5 to 1 (I'm feeling charitable today, it's probably higher), they're looking for something that will help them weed out the worst of the worst.

It's our fault, you see. We've failed to teach management how to tell the difference - before they've hired someone - between a good IT person and a worthless one. We're the ones who know how to tell. They aren't.

I don't get mad at my young child because they don't know how to do something, and I don't complain to my friends about it, I teach my child how to do it! (I might ask my friends for advice on how best to go about teaching my child.)

The original poster's manager did a good thing - they asked an IT person whom they believed to have demonstrated competence to find a way to weed out the nimrods and find them a good junior DBA. That manager should be congratulated. They suggested a case study because that's how much of management training is done. It's something they were familiar with. They didn't have to get a case study back. 99.9% of managers would be happy with **any** practical and affordable method that helped them make a good hire.

One of my goals for next year is to start writing a series of articles for management and airline magazines on "things managers need to know about IT". I would love to hear from you all **off list** as to what needs to be included in that series.

Received on Tue Mar 01 2005 - 09:02:04 CST

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