Professional Development

Go Big or Go Special

Watching Shark Tank tonight and the first presentation was by Mango Mango Preserves and it highlighted an interesting contrast in business trends today and how to capitalize on opportunities.  <Spoiler Alert> Even though every one of the sharks was raving about the product samples they tried, with two of them going for second and third servings, none of them made a deal to invest in the company.</Spoiler>  In fact, one of the sharks, Kevin O’Leary, kept ripping into the owners with statements to the effect that he thinks they are headed over a financial cliff because he felt their costs...

What Did You Do? is a Bad Question

Brian Moran (blog | Twitter) did a great presentation today for the PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter on The Art of Questions.  One of the points that Brian made was that there are good questions and bad (or at least not-as-good) questions.  Good questions tend to open-up the conversation and engender positive reactions (perhaps even trust and respect) between the participants; and bad questions tend to close-down a conversation either through the narrow list of possible responses (e.g. strictly Yes/No) or through the negative reactions they can produce.  And this explains why I so frequently had problems troubleshooting real-time problems...

More Quick Interview Tips

In the last couple of years I have conducted a lot of interviews for application and database developers for my company, and I can tell you that the little things can mean a lot.  Here are a few quick tips to help you make a good first impression. A year ago I gave you my #1 interview tip: Do some basic research!  And a year later, I am still stunned by how few technical people do the most basic of research.  I can only guess that it is because it is so engrained in our psyche that technical competence...

Summit Time!

Boy, how time flies!  I can hardly believe that the 2011 PASS Summit is just one week away.  Maybe it snuck up on me because it’s a few weeks earlier than last year.  Whatever the cause, I am really looking forward to next week.  The PASS Summit is the largest SQL Server conference in the world and a fantastic networking opportunity thrown in for no additional charge.  Here are a few thoughts to help you maximize the week. Networking As Karen Lopez (blog | @DataChick) mentioned in her presentation for the Professional Development Virtual Chapter just a couple...

Interview Tip: Do Some Basic Research

A lot of job candidates out there are wondering how they can set themselves apart from the crowd and increase the odds of landing the job they want.  Well here’s a really easy way… Do your basic research and due diligence on the prospective employer before your first interview.  This is good practice whether you’re looking for full-time employment or just a little contract work.  Show the interviewer that you are at least interested enough in the work to hit a search engine or two. I have conducted numerous interviews for application and database developers over the past...

Play Your Position Until the Play Breaks Down…then Do Whatever it Takes.

If I didn’t know better, I would think that K. Brian Kelley (blog | twitter) has been listening in on conversations with my boss. In his recent blog post Successful Teams: Knowing When to Step Out of Your Role, Brian describes quite clearly a philosophy that my boss has been trying to get across to everyone in the department.  We have been using sports analogies, like how important it is to play your position, until the play breaks down (such as a fumble) and then do whatever it takes it to cover each other / recover the ball /...

Speakers, Please Check Your Time

Woodrow Wilson was once asked how long it would take him to prepare for a 10 minute speech. He replied "Two weeks". He was then asked how long it would take for a 1 hour speech. "One week", he replied. 2 hour speech? "I'm ready right now," he replied.  Whether that is a true story or an urban legend, I don’t really know, but either way, it is a poignant reminder for all speakers, and particularly apropos this week leading up to the PASS Community Summit. (Cross-posted to the PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter blog #PASSProfDev.) What’s the...

How to Answer a Stupid Interview Question the Right Way

Have you ever been asked a stupid question during an interview; one that seemed to have no relation to the job responsibilities at all?  Tech people are often caught off-guard by these apparently irrelevant questions, but there is a way you can turn these to your favor.  Here is one idea. While chatting with a couple of folks between sessions at SQLSaturday 43 last weekend, one of them expressed frustration over a seemingly ridiculous and trivial question that she was asked during an interview, and she believes it cost her the job opportunity.  The question, as I remember it...

PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter Reboot

The Professional Development Virtual Chapter for PASS is holding its first virtual meeting on Thursday, May 13 at 1:00 PM Eastern / 10:00 AM Pacfic time.  Andy Warren (@sqlandy) will be the speaker.  Click here to attend via Live Meeting.  Also, check the http://prof-dev.sqlpass.org web site and RSS Feed for ongoing updates and details.

Godin on First Impressions

Seth Godin has some wise words for all bloggers to keep in mind in his recent post When a Stranger Reads Your Blog.

Introducing PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter

Next week at the PASS Community Summit, we will unveil the newest chapter of PASS, the Professional Development Virtual Chapter.  Previously known as SIGs (Special Interest Groups) these have been renamed as Virtual Chapters, which I think is a better description.  After all, they are organized and run like any other chapter of PASS, except that they are not constrained by geography or proximity of its membership.  And the phrase “Special Interests” has taken on such a negative political connotation lately, that I am happy to be distancing ourselves from that. Arnie Rowland, Jason Massie and I have been...

Are you a PC or a Mainframe?

There are two types of people in the world: Those that divide groups of people into two types, and those that don't... Lately, I've been thinking about two types of developers (or coders).  Or more specifically, two types of developer attitudes:  The PC and the Mainframe.  For the purposes of this article, I'm using PC in its generic form for personal computer, lumping both MAC and Windows into the same bucket.  You can even throw in some Linux for good measure. So what do I mean by PC and mainframe attitudes?  Well, if you're old like me, you...

Top 10 Non-Technical Blogs

Being in the tech industry, it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of technical blogs.  There are approximately a gazillion technical blogs, and a whole gob of those are really good.  I could easily spend 8 hours per day just combing through the good articles and blog posts out there.  Of course if I did that, I wouldn't get much real work done, and I would soon be without income.  That would be bad. So with all those good technical blogs out there, I'm not even going to attempt to put together a Top Ten list...

«November»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456