RE: RE: How do you conduct technical interviews ?

From: Michael McMullen <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 11:39:47 -0400
Message-ID: <BAY141-DAV8419827CC272358B6146AA66D0@phx.gbl>
Message-ID: <>

I enjoyed this post because it sounds similar to my org. We're a small group of consultants with the same company for 8 years. Hired/Fired lots of people and really it all seems to be a crap shoot. Until they get in the chair you never can tell how they'll work out.
It's that same old mantra "DBA is the oldest profession in the world". Not that one, but "Good work is hard to find"

-----Original Message-----

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: August 14, 2008 7:29 PM
To: 'Oracle-L'
Subject: Re: RE: How do you conduct technical interviews ?

It's rare that I get to keep up w/these list these days but the mail still flows and occassionally i have a peek. i'm responding to this thread b/c as a manager of a group of dba's, it's quite important to me and something i am pretty opinionated on.

we work in a reasonably high end environment for a very visible entity here in Australia. lots of big systems, big projects, big pressure and so on. we are highly projectised and delivery focused. we work in between networks, storage, OS and development groups. that's probably like quite a lot of groups out there, nothing out of the ordinary.

but what i feel as a hiring manager is it is *very* hard to find (i think reflecting the sentiment of the original poster) _that_ dba. you know, the one that goes the extra mile, doesn't faff around, gets the job done, takes it seriously.

over time i've managed to build an eclectic team makeup that meets our needs. but it hasn't been easy. i've turfed a number of dbas (we're all contractors so "turfed" (or boned in local nonmenclature) simply means no renewal) b/c their performance wasn't what i and the business required.

and so often i find people in interviews that are db "administrators" only. a lot know nothing about modelling. a lot really know nothing about development, storage and even core OS issues. certainly not all, but a lot. i also find some really just not good enough in a generic IT sense. limited peripheral knowledge.

mind you, some people that had that broad mix, simply did not perform. lots of good peripheral knowledge, but man o man delivering a project on time was just impossible. another example is of fantastic out of left field technical knowledge, but hopeless time management. leaving me picking up project pieces w/my head in my hands, yet reluctant to rant b/c i know the individual has "that idea" just waiting in the back of their head. i had one quite unique situation where i was told "my 4 hours are worth 8 from others". so late arrivals, long lunches and early departures were the norm. you're joking right? nope. boned.

maybe i am describing standard mgmt, but the main point is -- there is no silver bullet. it takes time to build a team and even the best hiring questions/practices might not be enough.

-- Received on Fri Aug 15 2008 - 10:39:47 CDT

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