Author Topic: Complete newbie taking the plunge  (Read 2171 times)

Offline Kassius

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Complete newbie taking the plunge
« on: February 20, 2013, 04:59:43 PM »
First of all, I want to say how relieved I am to find a website such as this with so much useful help and information, and thank you for spending your free time producing this. I'm currently embarking on a training package with an online-training company towards gaining a full MCSA in SQL Server 2012.. having little experience prior to this in it!

Around 8-10 years ago as a hobby I self-taught PHP and MySQL to a level where I could build basic database driven websites and my career in retail has grown more stagnant and unfulfilling since then. I am currently working as front-line technical support in a retail store on the High Street, dealing in laptops, desktops and mobile phones.

I have read several of your articles about how to get a first job in the industry, most seem to imply that you are already working directly in the IT sector in a different vocation. Would you have any words of advice for those like me who are coming from a different industry into IT, on how to get that first role? I'm based in Wakefield near Leeds so I'm effectively commutable across most of the UK down to London and across to Manchester.



Offline s_osborne2

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 11:45:37 AM »
Hi,

Firstly I would let the fact that you're not coming "working in the IT sector" worry you. You'll bring a wealth of knowledge from the retail sector with you. See it as a benefit not a constraint.

You've done the right thing by choosing to do an online course, to me as a person who has interviewed DBA's that shows that

a) You're serious about getting what you want
b) You've recognised that you don't quite have the necessary skills but are trying to rectify that
c) You're prepared to do this off your own back and not being forced into it.

Get your certification, but in the meantime take a look at the entry level DBA jobs that are about. It wouldn't hurt to apply to a couple now, if you get an interview great! You may not get the first job you interview for, you may not get the second one either, but don't be dis-heartened. If you don't get a job, ask for feedback. Try and remember the questions you were asked that you didn't know the answers to. Research the answers so next time you'll get that job.

The key in interviews is to be confident, but honest. If you don't know, say you don't know. Don't try an BS your answer. The interviewer will see right through it.

Hope some of that helps,


Simon

Offline s_osborne2

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 11:53:33 AM »
Also i just happened to register for my local user group meeting in a couple of weeks time and notice that your local user group in Leeds is meeting this evening.

I didn't look at the session details but these events are free, yes! free training! and they're great opportunities to network and meet like minded people. Maybe one of them is looking for a junior DBA?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Register on there and see how you go.

Thanks,

Simon

Offline John Sansom (@SqlBrit)

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 12:19:10 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Also i just happened to register for my local user group meeting in a couple of weeks time and notice that your local user group in Leeds is meeting this evening.

I didn't look at the session details but these events are free, yes! free training! and they're great opportunities to network and meet like minded people. Maybe one of them is looking for a junior DBA?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Register on there and see how you go.

What a stupendous idea!

A hat tip to you Simon for not only sharing some great advice but also going the extra mile to look out for a fellow community chum. Well played sir.

Offline Kassius

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 01:35:52 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Also i just happened to register for my local user group meeting in a couple of weeks time and notice that your local user group in Leeds is meeting this evening.

I didn't look at the session details but these events are free, yes! free training! and they're great opportunities to network and meet like minded people. Maybe one of them is looking for a junior DBA?

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Register on there and see how you go.

Thanks,

Simon


Thank you for the heads up and the great advice - I was of the mind that I would have to be at least partially certified towards MCSA to even begin applying - now I shall start seeking out these vacancies!

With the meeting tonight, I am feeling somewhat daunted as I really am only scratching the surface on SQL, I wouldn't want to be the elephant in the room just yet.. but I'm going to register for the group, and almost certainly attend one of the nearer future meetings as I progress to a better level where I can comprehend and grasp what will be discussed.

Thank you again you've given me exactly what I've needed. *No longer in the dark* :)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 02:07:05 PM by Kassius »

Offline s_osborne2

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 01:42:07 PM »
No problem at all! Glad you found some of what i said useful. Good luck on your journey. Another resource i like to use to learn is YouTube. Plenty of free material on there. Finding the best way to learn is half the battle. Some are readers, some are video watchers, some are just try-it-outers. Personally i find a good mix of all 3 is useful, but i find that when reading it can be hard to take it all in. Videos and tinkering tend to work best for me.

Thanks,


Simon

Offline John Sansom (@SqlBrit)

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:50:39 AM »
Buck Woody shared You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login over on his blog this week that provides some good references.

Offline Kassius

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2013, 01:47:21 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Buck Woody shared You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login over on his blog this week that provides some good references.


Thank you again :) Will be devoting some study time tonight to having a good look.

Offline SQLFunkateer

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Re: Complete newbie taking the plunge
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 01:21:10 PM »
Lots of great advice.  Leverage community...dive into as much as you can and set goals for yourself in learning.  Go to any SQL events you can, SQLSaturdays, PASS virtual chapter meetings, local user groups.  Pick a few books to really digest and study.  The certification process, you need to consider, is not a badge of entry into this field...most people don't have an exceptional regard for them (well, I still look up in starry eyed admiration at the MCMs that walk among us).  You will not (likely) get a job based on certification, but it can be the "icing on the cake".  That said....I think the certification process is invaluable to me because it forces me to really buckle down and learn...I study things I might otherwise overlook since I don't use them at work, which gives me a broader knowledge base.  As a way of baiting myself to learn in a rigorous and structured way its excellent.

Junior DBA positions would be ideal but I never see them to be that common.  At this stage I would try to develop your skills (set up a home computer with developer edition or evaluation edition) and keep your eyes out for opportunity.  Report writing positions and SQL developer positions, if you can find one more entry level, would be a great path as well.  Definitely hit up the local user group as often as they meet.  The SQL community strikes me as exceptionally unique in that it IS a community (in my sysadmin days I never felt inclined to go hang out with the Active Directory "community" lol) and so meeting people and networking can really help.

Good luck!