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rekon32
Starting Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2013 :  17:15:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just found this forum recently and I am very impressed by all the useful information.

A little about myself:

I am 25 years old and I currently attend school part-time -- working on a B.S., Information Systems degree. I also work fulltime for a financial competitive research firm that tracks tons of data for banking products. e.g., consumer loans, mortgages, deposits. I started in 2009 as a Researcher and have climbed up the ladder to a Data Analyst Supervisor. When I started I had basic knowledge of Excel and Access. Over the years, I have worked so much with developers on several projects that I have learned T-SQL! T-SQL has allowed me to audit, create reports and run analytics effectively across multiple databases, tables and millions of rows.

With that said, I find SQL Server extremely fascinating and I enjoy always learning new technologies. I am trying to advance my career by training myself accordingly. I recently bought training kits for the MSCA/MSCE exams and have been studying rigorously. I plan on getting certified by 2014. I believe with the certification, experience at my current job and home test environment, I can leap forward into a DBA roll. My company only hires Sr. DBAs so I believe I would have to venture to another company if I would want to break into a junior/mid-level DBA position.

Now that I have shared a brief bio about myself, am I heading in the right direction? Is there any advice you guys can share with me that would help me achieve my goals? This website seems like a good place to learn a lot!

Mar
Starting Member

45 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2013 :  08:23:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Be wary of certificates. I just took two classes at New Horizons and I learned what I have read about regarding certificates.

What I read was that some places desire candidates with them and others disregard them. Why? A certificate does not necessarily indicate someone is skilled in a particular area. It could mean that someone is good at passing exams.

The first class I took had someone with 29 certifications. 3 different occasions I asked for help with a lab. Once i figured it out myself, the other two times he could not help me. And he was teaching the course. He had minimal talent, but he could pass exam tests.

The second class I took did not have an instructor who bragged about being certified. The first lab I had a problem with not only did he solve but by watching him I learned things so I was able to complete the rest of the labs with no trouble at all.

I learned then and there that certificates by themselves do not mean much. I suspect any employers who ended up in the same situation I was in learned to mistrust the certifications.

Certifications are not bad, but you need more than just the cert. Make a portfolio. Displaying your work will help prove your worth.
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James K
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

3723 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2013 :  08:41:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While some companies do value certifications, my impression is that most employers do not give any credence to Microsoft certifications. Microsoft's certification tests are quite good, but unfortunately of very little value because of all the brain dumps and cheaters out there. If you are taking the tests to measure yourself, by all means, please do get certified.

Take a look at this thread where I had posted some brilliant observations and suggestions on how to advance your career in SQL. That thread is focused more towards SQL programmer than DBA. But you might still find it useful: http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=187248

PS: Ok, alright. The observations are not THAT brilliant. Oh well, I tried!! :)
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rekon32
Starting Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2013 :  00:02:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by James K

While some companies do value certifications, my impression is that most employers do not give any credence to Microsoft certifications. Microsoft's certification tests are quite good, but unfortunately of very little value because of all the brain dumps and cheaters out there. If you are taking the tests to measure yourself, by all means, please do get certified.

Take a look at this thread where I had posted some brilliant observations and suggestions on how to advance your career in SQL. That thread is focused more towards SQL programmer than DBA. But you might still find it useful: http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=187248

PS: Ok, alright. The observations are not THAT brilliant. Oh well, I tried!! :)



Thanks James. The 5 things posted on http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=187248 definitely helps. I agree with the books by Itizik Ben-Gan. I am half way through on his T-SQL training kit book. So far it's a great read and I'm learning a lot. I want to take the exams for self accomplishment. Not sure if it would help too much on my resume but I believe I will learn a lot by studying for them!

What position is a good career path for a DBA? I am currently in the business department as a data analyst. I do simple reporting and QC audits from SQL but I want something more challenging and preferably in the IT dept. Some developers suggested I transition to a developer or business analyst position so I can gain more experience but I'm not sure if that's a good move for someone that wants to be a DBA. Thoughts?




Data Analyst
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jackv
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
2067 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2013 :  07:49:55  Show Profile  Visit jackv's Homepage  Reply with Quote
hi rekon32, A career as a DBA requires strategic thinking. DBA skills are critical but you must also think about what other skills you can develop in a rapidly changing IT environment. Read up on my notes: http://www.sqlserver-dba.com/2013/06/career-in-dba.html

Jack Vamvas
--------------------
http://www.sqlserver-dba.com
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erikhaselhofer
Starting Member

30 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  01:46:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really believe in certs as a learning tool. When you buy a book, and we all do this, you chug the easy parts then think "hey, I should build something" and off you go skipping 1/2 the content. If you cert, however, it'll force you, at least one time, to dig into areas you'd blow right past and you'll know it's out there.

On the other hand I'm convinced my certs, and I've got a lot, somehow transmit in an electronic form of invisible ink. It's like they aren't on my resume based on the questions I usually get. Dude, even if I cheated, on every one of those, I still couldn't possibly not know what a left join is.

Or, on the other hand, it's taken as a personal challenge by the local "genius" to hit you with something obscure that he spent all night looking up just for the chance to nail you. Of course, it's the kind of thing that you Google and get the answer to in 5 minutes but under duress in an interview, it's "hey, boss, this guys sucks".

I've honestly thought about taking them off the resume but I still think they're a good learning tool.
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erikhaselhofer
Starting Member

30 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2013 :  01:47:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by erikhaselhofer

I really believe in certs as a learning tool. When you buy a book, and we all do this, you chug the easy parts then think "hey, I should build something" and off you go skipping 1/2 the content. If you cert, however, it'll force you, at least one time, to dig into areas you'd blow right past and you'll know it's out there.

On the other hand I'm convinced my certs, and I've got a lot, somehow transmit in an electronic form of invisible ink. It's like they aren't on my resume based on the questions I usually get. Dude, even if I cheated, on every one of those, I still couldn't possibly not know what a left join is.

Or, on the other hand, it's taken as a personal challenge by the local "genius" to hit you with something obscure that he spent all night looking up just for the chance to nail you. Of course, it's the kind of thing that you Google and get the answer to in 5 minutes but under duress in an interview, it's "hey, boss, this guy sucks".

I've honestly thought about taking them off the resume but I still think they're a good learning tool.

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