Shop Talk: 2022-12-19

The Recording

The Panelists

  • Kevin Feasel
  • Mala Mahadevan
  • Mike Chrestensen

Notes: Questions and Topics

TriPASS Election Wrap-Up

We’ve completed another round of TriPASS elections and the slate of candidates passed: Kevin Feasel as President, Rick Pack as VP of Marketing, and Mala Mahadevan as Treasurer. Thank you to any TriPASS member who voted.

The Siren Song of Reusable Queries

Our big topic for this episode was around reusable code and how much of a trap it can be in SQL Server. Thinking about ways to reuse code is great in most procedural languages but we cover in some detail why that plan can fall apart with common T-SQL constructs, including functions and views.

Resume Thoughts

The other topic we covered involved resumes. I looked at it from two angles: me as a hiring manager and me as a candidate. A couple of the big things I’m looking for:

  • Brevity. My resume is 1 page long and I’ve done a few things. Your resume is not a curriculum vitae: it’s not intended to be everything you’ve ever done, just items which are most relevant to the job at hand. As you gain more experience, it’s okay to leave off older jobs, especially when they aren’t directly relevant.
  • Impact. You worked at BigCo for 14 years but what did you do? Pick one or two major projects which had the biggest impact and give me concrete measures of how you made somebody’s life better.
  • Appropriate humility. If you call yourself an expert on something, be prepared: that’s a big target on your back. But at the same time, if you’ve written a book and delivered a 6-lecture series at Oxford on a topic, don’t underplay your level of knowledge. Finding the appropriate level is tough, especially when there aren’t clear, common delineations between levels of expertise in a given field.
  • Hit the HR bullet points. This isn’t something I look for as a hiring manager but it can prevent me from getting your resume. Be sure, when you customize your resume for a particular job, to include as many of the relevant keywords as possible, as automated HR systems act as gatekeepers here. If the job mentions T-SQL, SQL, database administration, query tuning, and database security, fit those in. You should still be able to keep it to 1 page of impact-driven statements, especially if you do include a “Key skills” section with a line or two of relevant skills that you demonstrate (even if between the lines) in your job experience section.

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