Practice Job Description Review

Job Description Review Exercises

This page includes a few sample reviews on technical job descriptions. The purpose of this review exercise is to add more insight into what to look for and the questions to ask your hiring managers before starting a candidate recruiting process.

SQL Server DBA

As the DBA, you’ll be tasked with supporting our production and development SQL Server databases and ensuring their performance, availability and security. You’ll spend approximately 60% of your time on production DBA support, with the other 40% on development support. You will be responsible for :

  1. Ensuring availability and performance of the databases that support applications (e.g. system monitoring, performance tuning, routine maintenance tasks)
  2. Building database schema, tables, procedures and permissions
  3. Creating and executing SQL Server backup and recovery policies, and maintain integrity and reliability of access to information;
  4. Working with development teams to assist in overall database design, helping developers tune queries, assign proper indexes, create triggers and stored procedures;
  5. Importing and exporting data to and from the SQL Server databases;
  6. Monitoring the database systems and jobs to ensure minimum downtime;
  7. Troubleshooting and problem solving of SQL databases;
  8. Creating and optimizing all database objects, stored procedures, tables, views, triggers, indexes, user-defined functions and SSIS packages;

Required Experience

  1. BS degree in Computer Science
  2. 3-5 years Microsoft SQL Server experience;
  3. 2-3 years IT operation experience with strong understanding of database structures, theories, principles and practices;
  4. In-depth SQL Server database administration experience;
  5. Experience managing multiple MS SQL 2005 & 2008 RDBMS in production, testing and development environments;
  6. Experience monitoring and tuning a database to provide a high availability of service;
  7. Experience supporting database access from .NET based windows

Sample Questions to Ask and Answer

In order to understand the job description better an IT Recruiter should seek answers to the following questions.

  • How big is this company- how many employees does it have?
  • Do you have a database development team?
  • Have many other DBAs that perform the same role are in your team? – This question is asked not just for the obvious reason of knowing how big the team is but because the job description is asking for DBA (administration) and DBE (development) skills in one person. This is usually a tell-tale sign that the hiring company is
    • Maybe Small;
    • Does not have a full fledged database/software development environment.
    • Looking for the best of both worlds

My thought:

Though it’s sometimes common to find persons good at both development and administrative tasks, the innate skill sets are a little different. Its like having a recruiter also do an account manager’s job. You can do both but you’re better at one.

If the hiring company needs the type of development required only for performance tuning, and other tasks related to production environments, then that’s commonplace. DBAs are familiar with that requirement. But, it looks like this job may be looking for more development skill than the average database administrator has or cares to give.

In which case the IT Recruiter may be well served to start a search looking for DBE who has done DBA work or vice versa. Or ask the hiring manager to choose which skills s(he’d) rather have more of, DBA or DBE. The job description, though it says 60/40 is still close to 50/50. A clear distinction of 80/20 would help the recruiter better locate a person quickly.

Remember to push for realistic goals!

Mid-level C# Developer

Seeking experienced mid-level C# developer (1-2+ year experience) with strong technical, analytical skills.  In this permanent role, you will work with a small team of developers in a .NET environment (C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server, XML, Web Services). Experience with SSRS and SSIS is a plus.

On reviewing this job description, there  are a few bright red flags.

  1. First the notion that a mid-level developer would have 1 – 2 years experience is not entirely correct. Mid-level experience is closer to 4–6 years.
  2. The second flag is the requirement for the mid-level C# developer to have experience in SSRS and SSIS. It is very possible for a mid-level C# developer to have experience in SQL Server, but not to the extent of having experience in SSRS and SSIS. These are tools used by SQL Server Developers and Data Analysts and not necessarily C# Developers.
  3. Another flag was the term ‘Analytic’ found near the terms SSRS and SSIS which point to the fact that this position was mismatched.

My Thoughts

This  hiring manager is most likely looking for a SQL Server Developer with C# development experience and not a C# developer.